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Robin Grankvist
Robin Grankvist
Business Area Manager - Performance Textiles & Nonwoven
TT: First of all, can you describe a bit about the use of PFCs in the textile industry? Where and how is it used in the manufacture of textiles and technical textiles?

Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) have been used in the textile industry for decades. One of their main usage areas is to confer water and oil repellent properties to textile materials. You'll find PFC on most apparel textiles including ski wear, children clothes, and sportswear and on all kinds of technical textiles ranging from car seats and sofas to medical gowns and uniforms.

TT: How does it harm the sustainable textiles and technical textiles industry?

PFCs are man-made chemicals that take a very long time to degrade in nature (probably thousands of years). Today it is clear that some PFCs, i.e. the long chained C8 such as PFOA and PFOS, are causing harm to both animals and human health. The health profile of the short chained PFCs (e.g. the C6) is not yet fully clear, but many product companies want to be on the safe side and therefore require that PFC-free alternatives are used.

TT: How can your product OC-Aquasil Tex™ help in the phasing out of harmful chemicals from the textile industry?

OC-aquasil™ Tex is a water repellent for textile manufacturers that require great repellency, but don't want to use the controversial PFC chemistry.

TT: Is the demand for sustainable additives high in the market?

The demand from product companies on sustainable and non-toxic chemistry is very strong. Many of the major players in the apparel industry have gone public with their intention to phase out PFCs and other controversial chemistries. Textile manufacturers supplying the apparel industry need to cope with these restrictions and are therefore investing heavily into the implementation of PFC-free water repellents. The technical textile industry is lagging a bit behind in the area of PFC-free water repellents, probably since most of their products are not directly used by consumers. However, as the awareness of the PFC-issue increase, also the technical textile industry is expected to demand more sustainable additives. However, in the technical textile industry the demand for renewable additives such as biobased binders for the manufacturing of nonwoven or technical textile is strong.

Published on: 07/10/2014

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of technicaltextile.net.


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