The overall project aim is to provide the European textile industry (approximately €25.20 Billion market) with an alternative material to PFC-C8 whilst refining comparable performance. This will be achieved through extending our understanding of various other alternatives to deliver durable water and oil repellent coatings. With this knowledge, we will develop a cost effective, environmentally friendly solution that will to be bonded to the fabric in order to provide durable multifunctional performance especially, as different industries and applications require multifunctional coatings. Furthermore, it would be an added advantage for the textiles industry to be able to manufacture textiles with multifunctional features at highly competitive prices.

Scientific objectives
To generate a greater understanding of the relationship between new fluorosilicone water based hybrid emulsion textile treatment chemicals and their impregnation on textiles, in order to produce multifunctional, durable fabrics that are environmentally friendly without altering the feel of the fabric. A key aspect of the project will be to look at advancement of sol-gel solutions and development of materials to address performance requirements, specifically:

  • The identification of the optimum siloxane composition including all key functional groups, specifically:
    • Chemical ligands to provide covalent bonding to a range of textiles
    • Stable long-chain hydrocarbon groups to provide low surface energy
    • Hydrophilic groups to enable water dispersion
  • The establishment of a fabrication methodology to allow the reproducible production of the siloxane building blocks.
  • The production of a water-borne dispersion of the optimum siloxane composition.

Technological objectives
To develop molecular structures, which incorporate both low surface energy 22(mN/m) properties and suitable binding groups, which will facilitate the chemical bonding to the fibre surface, yielding a high performance product. The specific objectives are to:

  • Develop anti-soiling treatments with fluorine content of less than 0.05% by weight on the final coated textile compared with 0.1-3.0% for the current state of the art, by the use of long chain hydrocarbon groups.
  • Develop anti-soiling treatments with high durability demonstrating no loss of performance after 50 washes, by the development of covalent bonding between the treatment and the textile.
  • Develop a water-borne coating that can be applied to textiles using standard immersion deposition techniques to produce a suitable layer on the surface of the fabric, without excessive loading, which would negatively alter the material properties (e.g. weight and stiffness).
  • Establish the techno-economic benefit of the treatment showing REACH compliance and environmental responsibility, whilst also achieving the cost base viewed as acceptable by the project partners.