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Home / News / Ascend unveils Acteev Protect to keep fabrics fresh

Ascend unveils Acteev Protect to keep fabrics fresh

19
Jun '20
Pic: Ascend Performance Materials
Pic: Ascend Performance Materials
Ascend Performance Materials has unveiled Acteev Protect, a breakthrough technology specially formulated to guard against the growth of mildew, fungi and other microbes to keep textiles and nonwoven fabrics fresher for longer. Ascend partnered with independent labs to accelerate its launch due to recent shortage of articles resistant to microbial growth.

However, Acteev Protect does not protect users or others against disease-causing bacteria.

The technology is a leap forward in protection for face masks, apparel, upholstery, air filters and more, said Lu Zhang, Ascend’s vice president leading the Acteev launch. “Bacteria, mildew and other microbes growing on fabrics and filters cause the item to break down, discolour and give off unpleasant smells,” she said. “Acteev Protect guards against that microbial growth, keeping the articles clean.”

The technology has been in development for several years, but with the recent shortage of articles resistant to microbial growth, Ascend accelerated the product launch by partnering with independent labs for testing and reallocating resources to scale up production. “The current global scarcity of microbe-resistant materials is not going to end unless manufacturers are able to obtain the right media,” Zhang said. “We saw a way we could quickly meet those urgent needs with this innovative technology.”

Acteev Protect combines zinc ion technology with polyamide-based woven, nonwoven and knit fabrics. The active zinc ions are embedded into the polymer matrix, providing a long-lasting solution that does not wash away, unlike topical finishes or coatings. The polyamide fabrics are durable yet soft to the skin, and the nonwoven filtration media – available as nanofibres, meltblown and spunbond – efficiently keep out unwanted particles.

The embedded zinc in its ionic form is a powerful inhibitor of bacterial growth, said Vikram Gopal, Ascend’s senior vice president of technology. “Zinc is an essential element needed for bacterial growth, so bacteria readily allow it inside the cell body. But the zinc ion outcompetes other essential elements such as manganese and magnesium and chokes their ingestion channels,” he said. “Without those minerals, the microbes can’t grow or reproduce.”

Other products use silver as an antimicrobial, Gopal said, but that metal comes with unwanted environmental consequences. “Silver is typically used as a finish or a coating,” he said. “That process is water-intensive, and the excess silver has to be disposed of, eventually ending up in our waterways.”

Zinc, however, is labelled Generally Regarded as Safe by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Additionally, the fabrics feature all the benefits of premium polyamides, which offer more comfort than polypropylene in single-use masks and allows knits and wovens to be dyed, printed on and laundered.

Polyamide 66 wovens and knits have considerable advantages over other types of nylons in garments and other textile applications, said Harrie Schoots, president-elect of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colourists and a senior business leader of Ascend’s textile business.

“This material resists abrasion and doesn’t pill or shed microfibres. It has a soft hand and excellent drape, and it can be dyed solid or bright colours,” Schoots said. “Uniforms or activewear made with Acteev Protect will be durable and comfortable and can be designed to match current colour trends.”

Additionally, these features will last the lifetime of the garment. “Because the zinc ions are embedded during the polymerisation process, knit and woven articles made with Acteev Protect stand up to 50 washes or more,” Schoots said.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (SV)

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