ByMaja Radetic
Pages 12

Plasma treatment could be a viable alternative to conventional preparation and finishing processes in the textile industry as it is dry, clean, simple, multifunctional, efficient, environmentally friendly, and economically feasible process. Sometimes plasma treatment cannot completely replace an existing wet-finishing process. However, if it is used as a pretreatment, it may ensure the reduction of chemicals used in the wet process and further the reduction of pollutant concentration in effluents. Although plasma devices operating at low pressures provide better control and efficiency, plasma treatments at atmospheric pressures are more convenient for modification of textiles in various forms (tops, knitted or woven fabrics, non-wovens) as these plasma devices can be easily integrated into existing continual production lines. Plasma treatment of textile material is confined to very thin fiber surface layer, leaving the bulk properties unchanged. This is very important as the surface of fibers is responsible for many properties of textile materials. The bombardment of fiber surface with numerous plasma species results in significant chemical and morphological changes. The choice of gas and control of plasma operating conditions dictate the final effects and end-use properties. The application of oxidizing non-polymerizable gases induces improved wettability, dyeability, printability and color fastness, shrinkage-resistance to wool fibers, adhesion properties, and so on. On the other hand, plasma polymerization and plasma-induced grafting with hydrocarbons, organosilicones, and fluorocarbons provide water-/oil repellency. Plasma polymerization with specific monomers can be utilized for the fabrication of textile materials with improved flame retardancy.