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com June 2001

Textile Month
The International Textile Magazine

Techtextil 2001
Fabric finishing
Rapier Weaving

Asia is now realising the benefits of a

new balanced softener formulation,
writes Dr WP Mei of Dow Corning

Silicone superiority
SILICONE softening agents have silicones are not compatible with material demonstrates high shear Supplied with a non-volatile
been used in Asian textile some textile additives and process stability, allowing it to be easily content of at least 95%, the new
processing for more than 20 aids (certain permanent press formulated into a stable softener has exhibited even less
years, known for their ability to resins, for example), which can microemulsion that can be applied yellowing than current
deliver superior performance in lead to spotting problems if not via jet dye exhaustion. aminofunctional materials, for
softening and a smooth, slippery properly applied. In most cases, As one of the only silicone improved fabric whiteness.The
feel to textile fabrics. While they processing difficulties and softeners on the market that is whiteness index was determined
are currently estimated as having a compatibility problems can be suitable for application by either using a Hunterlab Colorimeter,
50% share of the textile softener avoided with appropriate product jet dye exhaustion or roller with an average of five readings
market (the other 50% being background and experience, but padding, Dow Corning’s 8803 taken as a result. (Figure 2.)
organic formulations), it has only silicone researchers have Softener can be added to the The 8803 Softener has been
been in the last few years that continued to investigate new same bath with durable press shown to be less hydrophobic
silicone softeners have begun to product formulations to provide finishing resins and can be used than current aminosilicone
see widespread use. As a result, more stable materials with for fabric softening in pigment softeners, as indicated in water
formulators are less experienced broader resin compatibility. printing operations.The absorption testing. For example, a
with the unique features and organofunctional silicone fluid drop of water placed on woven
characteristics of these products. New formulation provides softening performance cotton fabric treated with the
Although they are recognised as To address these issues, Dow nearly equal to conventional new softener will be absorbed in
delivering premium softness, Corning researchers have aminosilicone materials.The new about two minutes, whereas a
conventional amino silicone developed a balanced softener formulation imparts soft hand to water drop on the same fabric
formulations have not been formulation with significantly many types of fabric, including treated with conventional
without their limitations.They are improved process stability and woven cotton, cotton knit, woven aminosilicone will stand for more
process-sensitive and must be wider compatibility with common polyester and woven than 30 minutes. Water
emulsified using specific techniques process aids and performance cotton/polyester blends. absorption test results are
to ensure stability. In addition, additives.The organofunctional (See Figure 1.) illustrated in Figure 3.

Figure 1: Hand Evaluation Results Key

to graphs:
DOW CORNING 8803 Softener
Figure 2: Whiteness Index
3.5 (100% Cotton Knit)

3 80



1.5 40

Rating (0-5)

Whiteness Index



0 0

Polyester woven P’cotton woven Cotton woven Cotton Knit

Reprinted from TM June 2001

Figure 3: Water Absorption Test Results prior to its initial use.The machine should be run with the
equipment must also be cleaned bath heated to 90°C for sixty
35 regularly to prevent accumulation minutes, then drained.The fabric is
of any dyestuffs, process auxiliaries rinsed with clean water
30 or fibrous material. (neutralised by the addition of
After draining off all residual acetic acid), then the bath should
25 water, the machine can be refilled be drained and rinsed again before
and started. Next, the emulsion unloading the fabric for drying.
20 and acetic acid should be charged, New advancements in silicone
and the bath heated to 40°C.The softeners have led to the
Absorption Time/minutes

machine should be run development of a unique
continuously for 20 minutes, then formulation designed specifically for
drained of water, after which the improved application process
fabric can be unloaded for drying stability and resin compatibility
and the equipment should over conventional aminosilicones,
be cleaned. without compromising the soft
0 A simple test of the emulsion hand and silky feel for which
Cotton woven P’cotton woven Polyester woven can then be used to determine its silicone products are known. Dow
suitability for jet dye exhaustion. It Corning 8803 Softener can be
Emulsification should be prepared by diluting to a easily formulated into a stable
Table 1
8803 Softener 15% Like other silicone fluids, the 2% solution, then moving to a microemulsion, which can be
SOFTANOL 70 15% organofunctional silicone 50°C bath and mechanically stirring applied via jet dye exhaustion or
SOFTANOL 1202 2.5%
Acetic acid 0.2% formulation must be emulsified to at 3000 rpm for 30 minutes. roller padding. As a result of its
Water 77.3% allow application via water-based At the end of this cycle, no oil broad compatibility, it can also be
1 Secondary alcohol polyoxyehtylene
processes. Known to be one of the should be observable on the applied in the same bath with
alkylether containing 7 EOs (HLB 12.1). keys to product stability, the solution's surface. durable press finish resins.Treated
2 Secondary alcohol polyoxyehtylene emulsification process is an fabrics have shown less yellowing
alkylether containing 12 EOs (HLB 14.5).
Softanol is a trademark of Nippon important step in assuring Durable press finishing and reduced hydrophobicity
Shokubai Kagaku Kogyo Co. efficient operation. The new softener formulation is when compared to conventional
For emulsification suited to the suitable for durable press finishing aminofunctional silicone
Table 2 Asian market through a systems using glyoxal resin/MgCl2 softener formulations.
Fabric:liquor 1:10
20% solids emulsion 2-7% owf phase-changed process using or DMDHEU resin/MgCl2. An The family of silicone polymers
(depends on type of fabric) surfactants, the ratios and mixing example of the process for wrinkle includes an extremely diverse
Acetic acid 0.05 g/l
operations shown in Table 1 should free finishing of cotton, rayon or group of materials, with literally
be strictly observed. blends of the two would be as thousands of variations. Silicones
Table 3 First, the silicone softener should shown in Table 3. are engineering materials which
Ciba Knittex Fel1
be mixed with the Softanol 70, combine certain characteristics of
(DMDHEU, 70% active) 30-50 g/l followed by charging an acetic acid Re-dyeing both organic and inorganic
Dow Corning 8803 Softener 0.1% and water 3.5-4% mixture Occasionally the finished colour of compounds, at times able to offer
(20% solids) 10-30 g/l
PE emulsion 5-10 g/l and stirring until a phase change is a fabric is unacceptable and must the most desirable properties of
MgCl2 9-15 g/l observed. Next, charge 50% of the be re-dyed. If the fabric has been both. Copolymers based on
Process water and mix until the emulsion treated with a silicone softener, it methyl silicone and polyether
Padding ratio 60-90% becomes homogeneous, then must be removed with stripping chemistries are also popular in
Bath temperature Ambient
charge the Softanol 120 and mix agents specially designed for textile processing. Like any
Drying and setting well. Finally, charge the acetic acid removing silicones. Because of its formulation technology, silicone
1st stenter zone temperature ~110°C
2nd stenter zone temperature ~130°C
0.1% and the rest of the water, and water repellent nature, silicone will materials require a basic
3rd stenter zone temperature mix well. prevent the fabric from being understanding of their physical
(and above stenter) ~150-180°C re-dyed evenly. properties and effective processing
Total treating time 40-70 seconds
Jet dye exhaustion For cotton, poly/cotton and techniques to reach optimum
A key feature of the new silicone polyester fabrics treated with the performance.
Table 4
softener formulation is the fact that new organosilicone softener, the Dow Corning develops,
Fabric:liquor 1:12 it can be applied using a jet dye following formulation is manufactures and markets a
Dow Corning 2-2862 exhausting process as a result of its recommended: See Table 4 diverse range of silicon-based
Stripping Agent 12 g/l
Dow Corning 2-2863 high shear stability.The suggested For lycra-containing fabric materials. Currently offering more
Stripping Agent 22 g/l formulation for the process is treated with the new than 10,000 products to
NaOH 2 g/l
shown in Table 2. organosilicone softener, the customers around the world, the
The first step is to ensure that all following formulation is company is a global leader in
Table 5
Formulation removable dyestuff is eliminated recommended when re-dyeing is silicon-based technology, with
Fabric:liquor 1:10 from the dyed fabric, once the necessary: See Table 5 shares equally owned by The Dow
Dow Corning 2-28621
Stripping Agent 2 g/l desired colour is obtained. A jet For any of the fabrics mentioned, Chemical Company and Corning
Dow Corning 2-28632 dye machine which has never been the process is the same.Water, Incorporated. More than half of
Stripping Agent 2 g/l
Na2CO3 10 g/l used for softener exhaustion must fabric, NaOH and stripping agents Dow Corning’s sales are outside
be cleaned with a scouring agent should be loaded in that order.The the United States. TM

Reprinted from TM June 2001