Plasma Technology in Textiles || Textile Applications

use/application of plasma technology in textile industry

           Plasma Technology in Textiles   
Guddy Prajapati
Department of Textile Technology
Shri Vaishnav Vidhyapeth Vishwavidhyalaya, Indore, Madhya Pradesh,India 

WHY PLASMA TREATMENT OF TEXTILE? 

  • It is a surface treatment
  • Does not affect the bulk properties
  • Versatile and uniform treatment process
  • Environment friendly process


WHAT GAS PLASMA. DOES WHAT?

  • Helium/oxygen plasma treatment of PP introduces oxidized functional groups onto the surface, which may include alcohol, ketone, carboxyl, ether , ester or hydroperoxide. The introduction of polar groups onto the PP fibres allows chemical bonding with, for example, dye molecules, in contrast to the untreated PP molecular chains which are non-polar giving a hydrophobic surface.
  • Oxygen and oxygen-containing plasmas impart functional groups such as C-O, C=O, O-C=O and C-O-O, as well as surface etching of fibers, all enhancing wettability and adhesion characteristics.
  • Fluorine and fluorine-containing gases (CF4, C2F6) result in the incorporation of fluorine into the surface, resulting in hydrophobicity.
  • Nitrogen and ammonia plasmas introduce amino(-NH2) and other nitrogen-containing functionalities onto natural and synthetics fibres. On the wool, these are dye sites increasing dye absorption.
  • Treatment of PTFE with hydrogen-containing plasmas such as forming gas (N2/H2
  • :95%/5%) and ammonia results in large increase in surface energy due to a high defluorination rate resulting in the formation of C-C, C-H and C=C bonds and cross-links, and to nitrogen and oxygen species grafted onto the treated surface .

PLASMA TREATMENT VS. TRADITIONAL TEXTILE PROCESSING:


plasma treatment - vs- traditional textile processing





APPLICATION OF PLASMA TECHNOLOGY IN TEXTILES:

What are the different applications of plasma technology in textiles?

POTENTIAL USE OF PLASMA TREATMENTS

  • Hydrophobic enhancement of water and oil-repellent textiles.
  • Anti-felting/shrink-resistance of woollen fabrics.
  • Hydrophilic enhancement for improving adhesive bonding.
  • Removing the surface hairiness in yarn.
  • Scouring of cotton, viscose, polyester and nylon fabrics.
  • Anti-bacterial fabrics by deposition of silver particles in the presence of plasma.
  • Room-temperature sterilization of medical textiles

WATER REPELLENT FINISHING ON COTTON

The literature on water-repellency and waterproofing is frequently confusing because the repellency effect observed depends upon the test method and the test conditions used. The term ‘ water-repellent’ is actually a relative term because there is always some attraction between a liquid and a solid with which the liquid is in contact. The term ‘waterproof’ is normally taken to represent the conditions where a textile material (treated or untreated) can prevent the absorption of water and also the penetration of water into its structure.


WATER REPELLENCY ON COTTON BY PLASMA TREATMENT

  • To get water repellent effect on the substrate we can use fluorocarbon gas, siloxanes, and CH4 gas.
  • The textile the substrate which we have to be functionalized is placed in the plasma chamber and then plasma ignited on to the substrate and then these molecules react with themselves forming a polymer layer directly on the substrate.
  • This process produces a substrate having very low surface tension and thus the surface behaves like a water and oil-repellent fabric.

WORKING

Hydrophobic coating layers were produced by plasma polymerization of CH4. The substrate was continuously translated under the plasma deposition region at speed of 5-10 cm min2. The usable plasma area is 1 cm wide and 16 cm long. Helium or argon was used as a carrier gas (5-10 l min21) and CH4 was used as a reactive gas (10-40sccm). The power was controlled in the range of  250-400 W. Samples were mounted on a computer-controlled moving stage that traveled about 0.3-0.5 cm below the plasma source along the orthogonal direction to the plasma source head. In typical processes, the substrate was repeatedly passed back and forth across the glow-discharge plasma region at a speed of 5-10 cm min21. Here we can either use hexamethyldisiloxane gas, Fluorine, and fluorine-containing gases  (CF4, C2F6)   ETC.


FELTING OF WOOL

The process of felting involves relative movement of the fibers which may be caused either by mechanical rubbing or by a series of compression-extension operations.Under the influence of these intermittent forces of squeezing, twisting, etc., the wet fibers migrate in the preferential root ward direction because of the DFE, and at the same time they tend to curve, loop, and entangle with each other. This is the reason for felting of Wool. This process is irreversible. Because of the anchoring effects of the entangling and the differential frictional properties of fibers.Crimpness, flexibility and hygroscopic quality combined with the delicacy of fibers are the most important factors in felting. Felting is a complex process and the felting capacity depends not only on the inherent properties of wool but also on the conditions of the felting process.


ANTI-FELTING TREATMENT ON WOOL BY PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

  • Plasma treatment of wool fibers has shown to reduce this curling effect by etching off the exocuticle that contains the disulfide linkages which increases cross-linking and contribute towards shrinkage. 
  • This procedure also enhances wettability by etching off the hydrophobic epicuticle and introducing surface polar groups. 
  • The increase in surface area of the fiber, recorded with atomic force microscopy, is increased from 0.1m2/g to 0.35m2/g. 
  • These physiochemical changes decrease the felting /shrinkage behavior of wool from more than 0.2g/cm3 to less than 0.1g/cm3. 
  • For this process, we may use oxygen, nitrogen or mix. Of these gases.


DYEING

Dyeing and printing:

Several studies have shown that dye ability or printability of textiles can be markedly improved by plasma treatments. This effect can be obtained on both synthetic and natural fibres. Capillarity improvement, enhancement of surface area, reduction of external crystallinity, creation of reactive sites on the fibres and many other actions can contribute to the final effect depending on the operative conditions. Also production of colors on fibres exploiting diffraction effects has been attempted.

E.g..  The dye exhaustion rate of plasma treated wool has been shown to increase by nearly 50%. It has been shown that O2 plasma treatment increases the wettability of wool fabric thus leading to a dramatic increase in its wicking properties. Also the disulphide linkages in the exocuticle layer oxidize to form sulphonate groups (which is act as active sites for reactive dyes) which also add to the wettability. The etching of the hydrophobic epicuticle and increase in surface area also contributes towards the improvement in the ability of the fibres to wet more easily.when wool is dyed with reactive dyes maximum exhaustion is achieved A possible explanation to this behavior of reactive dyes is due to the increase in sulphonate groups on the fibre surface.


USES OF PLASMA TECHNOLOGY IN DIFFERENT FIELDS:

The plasma technology is widely used in the

  • electronic industry,
  • Textiles ,
  • manufacturing,
  • medical researches and technology,
  • optical technology

and many such fields which require quality production, which is sustainable and environment friendly.

ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS 

Plasma technology holds tremendous potential to develop processes which can limit the environmental impact of textile processing and contribute towards sustainable development. Savings with plasma treatment can be due to a variety of factors but mostly relate to conservation of water and energy as plasma treatment leads to dramatic reductions in the use of both.Such as in making textile hydrophilic surfaces of fibres to hydrophobic conventionally these treatments are performed by pad/dry/cure treatments which utilize large amounts of water and also require heat to cure the applied chemical.

In contrast plasma treatment can achieve the same effect by applying a gas such as oxygen for etching and a fluorocarbon in gaseous state for nanolayering by using comparatively very little electrical power and also performing the same action in much lesser time.And felt treatment of wool which normally requires the application of harmful chlorine based chemical on the surface of the fibres to degrade the epicuticle and exocuticle to increase the hydrophilicity of the fibres and remove their directional scales can be done using a plasma gas treatment such as O2 . This leads to the elimination of the wet treatment and also avoids the use of environmentally non friendly chlorine based chemicals.

Desizing of plasma treated fabrics has shown that by introducing polar groups on the surface of cotton with O2 plasma the fabric can desized in water at room temperature rather than the 90̊ C bath conventionally required. This can lead to energy savings because heating of the bath will not required for scouring by about 45% from 25 to 40 minutes to achieve similar results .

Plasma treated fibres also show quicker and higher exhaustion of dyestuff leading to less processing times and lesser amounts of chemical in waste water, thus leading to more efficient use of energy resources and less hazardous waste in discharge water.


ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF PLASMA TECHNOLOGY:

Advantages of the plasma technology:

Textile processing involves many stages like bleaching, finishing etc which adds value to the product. It has many constraints as it is a wet process. It utilizes large volume of water, various chemicals. It is associated with environment hazards also. Cost of processing is also a main concern. What if a new technology changes the cost structure of textile processing by reducing energy consumption, environmental waste and using fewer chemicals? Plasma-based technology can offer these benefits to textile processing industry. Off the many advantages of this technology, few are listed as:

  • Applicable to most of the textile materials for surface treatment
  • Optimization of surface properties of textile materials without any alternation of the inherent properties of the textile material
  • It is dry textile treatment processing without any expenses on effluent treatment.
  • It is a green process without the generation of chemicals, solvents or harmful substances.
  • The consumption of chemicals is very low due to the physical process.
  • It is applied for different kinds of textile treatment to generate more novel products to satisfy customers needs and requirements.
  • It is a simple process that could be easily automated and perfect parameter control

DISADVANTAGES OF PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Plasma treatment, however, does have certain drawbacks. The treatment tends to produce harmful gasses such as ozone and nitrogen oxides during operation. This happens due to the formation of free radicals and nascent oxygen during the treatment, which reacts with atmospheric gases to form harmful bi Products. In some cases, contaminations from the substrate such as sulfur from the crystalline links in wool can react with atmospheric oxygen to form oxides of sulfur. It is thereby recommended that plasma treatment systems are installed in well-ventilated areas to ensure that they pose no health risks for the workers working in the surrounding environment.

REFERENCES:

  • S. K.  Cinta* , S. M. Langade and Sathish . M ( Plasma Technology & Its application in textile wet processing) Internatinal Journal of Engineering Research & Technology (IJERT) Vol.  IISSN:Issue 5,2278July-0801-2012
  • Shah J. N. and Shah S. R. (Innovative Plasma Technology in Textile Processing: A step towards Green Environment) Research Journal of Engineering Science Vol . 2(4), 34-39, April (2013)
  • Book ( Plasma technologies for textiles ) Edited by R. Shishoo   WOODHEAD PUBLISHING LIMITED  Cambridge England
  • T-POT PROJECT ( Plasma Technology Applied  To Textiles ) www.leitat.org
  • Plasma Technology In Textile Processing Conference Paper . June 2004
  • Article  by Tanveer malik and Shivendra parmar (Use Of  Plasma Technology In Textiles)(
  • The Indian Textile Journal :- www.indiantextilejournal.com

Websites :- 


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9 Comments

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  3. Plasma will be the main source which will be used in future. This article explained all the concepts as far as plasma in textile is concerned

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  5. Very well written. The use of subtle language made it very easy to understand.

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