Marwa Abou-Taleb, Hosam El-Sayed

Biopolymer-loaded plasma-mediated multi-functional finishes of polypropylene fabrics

  • Polymers and Plastics

Polypropylene (PP) has unique competitiveness with other synthetic fibers due to its suitable spinnability, availability of raw materials, and low processing cost. PP fabric exhibits excellent chemical, physical, and mechanical properties, such as a light texture, adequate tensile strength, and resistance to most chemicals. However, the absence of reactive functional groups in PP fiber, besides its high crystallinity, results in hydrophobic surface, low affinity to dyestuffs, and poor antistatic properties, which restrict its use in the clothing field. Herein, a water- and energy-saving, eco-friendly finish is proposed to render PP desired properties suitable for textile applications. The surface of PP fabric was activated using oxygen and nitrogen plasma radiations. The plasma-irradiated PP fabric was post-treated with two renewable eco-friendly proteinic biopolymers, namely gelatin and sericin, in the presence and absence of a crosslinking agent. The effects of different process conditions on the properties of the modified PP, including the duration of plasma exposure, the concentration of biopolymer, and treatment temperature were monitored. The affinity of the treated PP fabric towards anionic and cationic dyes was evaluated. The findings of this study demonstrated that the comfort attributes of the plasma/biopolymer-finished fabrics, such as the induced antistatic properties, wettability, and ultraviolet protection, were remarkably improved. The plasma-mediated biopolymer-finished PP fabrics were found dyeable with cationic and anionic dyes. The change in the chemical and morphological structures of PP fabrics was monitored using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy.

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