Application of Plasma Technology in Textile: A Nanoscale Finishing Process

Written by: <Authors><Author><Id>1624</Id><Name>Fibre2Fashion</Name><FriendlyName>fibre2fashion</FriendlyName></Author></Authors>

Textile materials have intrinsicproperties that make them very valuable, flexible, lightweight, strong, largesurface to volume ratio, good touch, softness, etc. Because of this, they areexcellent for imparting additional functionalities like hydrophobic, oleophobic or antibacterial. Traditional wet methods for applying these finishesrequire the use of large amounts of chemicals, water and energy. Plasma is adry processing technique and provides a solution to reduce the use of all threementioned resources. In this overview, a discussion on how plasma can achieveon textile materials and what the current state of integration in textileprocessing has presented.

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Plasma is an ionized form of gas and can be created using acontrolled level of AC or DC power and an ionizing gas medium. It is anensemble of randomly moving, charged atomic particles with a sufficientparticle density to remain, on average, electrically neutral. Plasmacontains positive ions, electrons, neutral gas atoms or molecules, UV light andexcited gas atoms and molecules, which can carry a large amount of internalenergy (plasmas glow because light is emitted as these excited neutralparticles relax to a lower energy state). All of these species can and dointeract with any surface placed in contact with the plasma. By choosing thegas mixture, power, pressure etc. we can quite precisely tune, or specify, theeffects of the plasma upon the surface. We are all familiar with solid, liquidand gas the three states of matter & we can move between the states byadding or removing energy (e.g., heating/cooling). If we continue to addenough energy, gas molecules will become ionised (lose one or more electrons)and so carry a net positive charge.....