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Title: Wrinkle-resistant finishes on cotton fabric using nanotechnology
Authors: Lo, Lok-yuen
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2007
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of applying nanotechnology to the wrinkle-resistant treatment system used on cotton fabrics in terms of technological feasibility, theoretical feasibility and experimental feasibility. The technological maturity of nanotechnology in the textile industry was assessed through evaluating the development stages of the technology in the industry and examining the commercial developments. The lineal technological development model shows the completion of preliminary studies but indicates that scientific knowledge is still limited. The performance, surface morphology and features of nano-labels were compared with conventionally treated wrinkle-resistant fabric. Durability testing revealed that the wrinkle-resistant properties of specimens deteriorated with repeated home laundering and instrumental analysis did not provide any evidence of the attachment of nano-whiskers to the specimens. The lack of knowledge about the working mechanism of nanotechnology in a wrinkle-resistant finishing system confirmed the need for a theoretical study. Two theoretical working principles of nano materials in the wrinkle-resistant finishing system were postulated after consolidating the pertinent studies about the structure of cotton fibre, reviewing the characteristics of nano materials, and analysing pore sizes and their distribution in cotton. Nano material might be applied either as a catalyst to minimise the risk of acid degradation to the fibre, or as a building block for property modifications between the microfibrils and elementary fibrils of cotton fibre. Experiments were conducted to test the postulations. Three nano finishing materials were prepared and characterised: nano epoxy resin, nano wool keratin and nano silk polypeptide. A high concentration of nano epoxy resin in a solvent solvated system demonstrated a strength reinforcing effect to the cotton fabric. Improvements were then made to the system by incorporating nano wool keratin to catalyse the reaction of epoxy. This not only reduced the consumption of nano epoxy resin but also eliminated the use of solvent in the nano finishing system. To enhance the functionality of both the mechanical strength and wrinkle-resistance of cotton fabric, nano silk polypeptide was introduced through means of a systematic investigation into the effects of different processing parameters. The morphology and conformation effects of nano proteinaceous material were exemplified by the performance differences between totally amorphous and slightly crystalline nano silk polypeptide finishing agents. Instrumental analysis revealed that there was limited change in the configuration of the cellulose chains but the structural units of cotton stabilised after nano treatment indicating there was a possibility that nano material had penetrated between the microfibrils. In conclusion, there is considerable potential to improve the mechanical properties of wrinkle-resistant treated cotton fabric using nano materials but, in addition to the size effect, the morphology, conformation and rheological properties of nano materials are also critical to the finishing effects that can be achieved on cotton fabric.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Cotton fabrics.
Crease-resistant fabrics.
Cotton finishing.
Pages: xxii, 393 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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