New Chlorine Free Hydrophobic Treatment
Toabo Corporation, Sotoh Co. LTD., and Moriyasu Dye Works Co. Ltd., has jointly worked to establish a pilot plant for a new chlorine free treatment named LIFE FIBRE ECO-FRIENDLY TREATMENT (LIFE FIBRE EFT) in the heart of the Japanese wool industry. This new treatment was launched at the Woolmark stand at ISPO held in Munich in February 2017.
Three companies are vying to offer international top makers the opportunity to utilize the technology to develop Zero AOX wool products to the global market in the near future.
LIFE FIBRE EFT is based on Interfacial Polymerization which encapsulates the native hydrophobic surface of wool fibre with polyamide, which prevents wool fibres from entangling, thus providing shrink proof attributes to the products.
It brings a solution of a Diacid Chloride in a water-immiscible solvent, into contact with an aqueous solution of Diamine. A Polymer is formed at the interface of the two liquid phases.
This treatment is new and unique, as it is commercially applicable enabling continuous processing, although the technology itself has long since been established.
Benefits of LIFE FIBRE EFT consist of several unique elements such as superior shrink resist functionality without removing scales, unlike other treatments such as Super-wash, Enzyme and Plasma treatments, maintaining wool’s native hydrophobic attributes. Off-scaling of those treatments damages the fibre a lot and often leads to yellowing and deterioration in fibre strength.
Environmental regulations are becoming more and more stringent around the globe especially in Europe. This new processing requires less water and less electricity, as it can be treated with a second order reaction and it only requires a water temperature of 40 degrees centigrade as a maximum.
Interfacial Polymerization comprises the molecular binding, thus, this polymer encapsulation, in comparison with Chlorine Hercosett generates better durability, and products developed with LIFE FIBRE EFT are not only machine-washable compliant to IWS TM31 – ISO 6330-1984, but also endure the application of Tetrachloroethylene that is commonly used in the dry cleaning system and are often tolerant against enzyme detergents.
The treatment can theoretically be engaged with any forms of intermediate products such as top sliver, yarn, and knitted and woven fabrics.
LIFE FIBRE EFT technology can achieve brilliant white colour and light shades with durable colour fastness to light by mixing pigment dye-stuff and ultraviolet absorber in the Polyamide polymerized on the preserved scales.
The treatment is proven to be applicable to other fibres regardless of whether they are man-made or natural fibres, which enables functionality such as UV protection and FIR by blending substances to the polymer.
Source: Life Fibre Company