Advanced Polyester Textiles Adaptive to Ambient Conditions
The combination of polyelectrolyte microgel technology with conventional functionalisation methods to activate the surface of polyester textiles is an innovative approach towards textiles adaptive to their environment. Biopolymer microgel complexes consisting of soft synthetic pH/thermo-responsive microparticles and natural polysaccharide macromolecules in various combinations serve as a novel textile surface functionalising system. Microgel incorporation into polyester surface layers can be achieved with non-demanding techniques such as UV irradiation. The adaptivity of the functionalised textiles to ambient conditions of varying pH, temperature and relative humidity is expressed by changes in their physicochemical and water management properties. These changes occur within a physiological pH/temperature range of the human body (pH 4-8, 20-40°C), owing to the corresponding stimuli-responsive properties of the functionalising microgels, giving scope for applications in the fields of biomedicine and protective clothing. Indicatively, such changes involve a shift in polyester surface charge from positive to negative values at a pH range 5.0-6.6, following the trend of the incorporated polyelectrolytes. Below 36°C, functionalised textiles exhibit improved water wettability, whilst above 36°C they have lower moisture regain and higher water vapour transmission rates than the non-functionalised textiles. The manifestation of the imparted adaptivity to ambient conditions is also a function of the intrinsic characteristics (e.g. porosity, surface roughness) of the textile, allowing for suitable combinations of substrates and functionalizing systems with tailored properties.
P. Glampedaki, "Advanced Polyester Textiles Adaptive to Ambient Conditions", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 100, pp. 17-26, 2017