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Development Trend of Waterproofing Agents for Textiles
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Development Trend of Waterproofing Agents for Textiles

As people's demand for outdoor sports continues to increase, outdoor sports have gradually become more popular and popular among the people. At the same time, the subcategory of outdoor sportswear has also experienced rapid growth. Driven by the trend of outdoor sports, the demand for waterproof functional fabrics in domestic and foreign markets is increasing year by year. As we all know, some functions of textiles are usually achieved by finishing the fabrics with functional additives, and waterproofing is one of them. Currently, the "three-proof" finishing agents that have a high market share and can achieve waterproof, oil-proof, and anti-fouling functions usually contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFAS).

PFAS, as a type of synthetic organic fluoride, was first developed and produced by the American 3M Company in the 1950s. So far, it has been widely used in many fields, such as non-stick pan coating, electroplating, photography and imaging, semiconductors, fire-fighting foam, aviation hydraulic oil, textile waterproof and oil-repellent agent, food packaging, etc. PFAS has a profound impact on the environment and ecosystems, as shown in the following: It is extremely stable and extremely difficult to decompose in the natural environment, which means that it can exist in the environment for a long time; it is highly mobile and easily flows with water Migration through other media, this mobility not only increases the scope of pollution, but also makes it more difficult to control and reduce pollution; it is highly bioaccumulative and will continue to accumulate in the food chain cycle, and may enter the human body through the food chain; it is highly toxic and may It has a negative impact on the immune, reproductive and developmental systems of organisms and even causes serious diseases such as cancer.

In recent years, there have been increasing reports on the widespread distribution and harmfulness of PFAS. Data disclosed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2018 shows that there are currently more than 4,700 types of PFAS on the global market, and according to public reports, in tap water, groundwater, seawater, remote areas such as the Arctic and Antarctic, animals and human blood PFAS have been found in tissues such as liver, kidney, heart and muscle.

Currently, the fluorine-containing waterproofing agents on the market are mainly perfluorooctyl organic fluorine waterproofing agent (C8 waterproofing agent) and perfluorohexyl organic fluorine waterproofing agent (C6 waterproofing agent), but they are gradually being restricted regionally. and disabled. In particular, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) may be produced during the production and use of C8 waterproofing agent, and perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA) may be produced during the production and use of C6 waterproofing agent. , Perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) substances have been restricted and banned globally, which has promoted the development of its alternatives. In particular, the global detoxification campaign launched by Greenpeace International in 2011 aims to ban the use of toxic and harmful substances in clothing. Internationally renowned brands and retailers in the clothing and footwear industry jointly established the ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) organization , which aims to eliminate toxic and harmful chemicals from the supply chain and establish a corresponding timeline.

Substitutes for fluorine-containing waterproofing agents, including low-fluorine waterproofing agents and fluorine-free waterproofing agents, will be the main development direction of waterproofing agents in the future. In terms of the development of low-fluorine waterproofing agents, the comprehensive performance of C8 waterproofing agent is better than that of C6 waterproofing agent, and the comprehensive performance of C6 waterproofing agent is better than that of fluorine-free waterproofing agent. How to balance product performance and environmental protection is a problem that must be faced in the development of low-fluorine waterproofing agents. The development of low-fluorine, high-performance short-chain waterproofing agents can be achieved by modifying the macromolecules of the waterproofing agent to give full play to the performance of fluorocarbon substances.

In terms of the development of fluorine-free waterproofing agents, fluorine-free waterproofing agents with more complete functions and higher performance, especially new polymers with lower surface tension, are the key research directions of major companies in the future. It mainly focuses on polyurethane and silicone modification, polyurethane and acrylic modification, acrylic and silicone modification, nano-SiO2 modification and modification of various superhydrophobic structures. At the same time, in the context of carbon peak and carbon neutrality, bio-based materials are increasingly used in the textile industry. The main raw materials of fluorine-free waterproofing agents have made certain breakthroughs in bio-based technology. In the future, bio-based fluorine-free waterproofing agents will The development will receive more and more attention. At present, some additive manufacturers have launched independently developed and produced biologically derived fluorine-free waterproofing agents. For example, Rudolf has launched a fluorine-free waterproofing agent RUCO-DRY BIO CGR made from plant waste. It is derived from by-products accumulated during grain processing. The active ingredient is composed of more than 90% biomass. To meet the performance and durability requirements of traditional waterproof textile finishing agents; Demei Chemical has launched DM-3699, a fluorine-free waterproofing agent with high bio-based content and good washability. It is derived from natural palm and has a bio-based content of more than 80%. It can be used for more than 50 times of home washing. The product is suitable for waterproof finishing of various fiber types of fabrics.

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