Greener Water Repellency? Feasible alternatives to fluoro chemicals for DWOR treatments on textiles
Sammanfattning: BACKGROUND: Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) have been used as durable water and oil repellent treatments in clothing for more than 50 years. The reason for its popularity is related to the chemical structure, which also makes these compounds persistent in the environment. Numerous studies have shown negative environmental and health effects related to high concentrations of perfluorinated compounds in blood serum. Due to these studies, this paper aimed to find out if perfluorinated compounds could be replaced by non-perfluorinated without compromising performance related to water and oil repellency. METHODOLOGY: A reference sample impregnated with fluorocarbons was compared with the following non-perfluorinated treatments, aliphatic polyurethane (comb polymer) organic silicone and acid (comb polymer) and hydrocarbon (dendrimer). Impregnations were subjected to abrasion, UV-radiation and washing and after each destructive treatment; oil and water repellency tests were conducted. The environmental and health effect of all treatments were examined in a theoretical study. RESULTS: Due to difficulties with the impregnation process, comparable results could only be concluded with the perfluorinated and the hydrocarbon compound. The hydrocarbon was superior the perfluorinated compound to abrasion but for usage simulation methods that allowed chemical reactions, hence UV-radiation and washing, the fluorocarbons showed better resistance. CONCLUSION: Results show that the hydrocarbon treatment could replace perfluorinated treatments commercially when only water and not oil repellency is required. The alternative treatments in this study are not yet sufficiently examined with respect to environmental and health and can therefore not be called greener with certainty.
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