How are silicones used in the Textiles industry?
Silicone chemistry has now established itself within modern textile manufacturing. Silicones are used in both the processing and final finishing of fabrics and yarns.
Applications cover three main areas:
- Fluids and emulsions for thread and fabric lubrication
- Antifoams as processing aids
- Emulsions for use as textile modifiers
The use of silicones as lubricants during yarn and thread production improves the gliding properties so that the thread breakage is minimised, the sewing properties are improved and the lustre of the sewing threads enhanced. Lubrication also improves the resistance to high temperatures that might occur during the process.
Silicones are well known as antifoam agents used during the sizing and dyeing processes. They control the amount of foam generated optimising productivity, continuing to perform in difficult conditions such as high temperatures and high pH values.
They may be added directly to wet processes to knock down or prevent foam or used as formulation ingredients to achieve low-foaming textile solutions.
Typical applications can be:
- Polymerization of synthetic fibres
- Production of natural and synthetic yarns
- Fabric pre-treatment's, dyeing, colouring and finishing
As antifoams, silicones are also employed to control foam in water treatment processes. Modified silicones are used as wetting agents to reduce the surface tension of aqueous systems: the contact time between materials and the aqueous system is reduced and the production speed increased.
Silicones are used as softeners in the aqueous phase of conventional finishing processes. As "hand modifiers" to give an excellent softness and a silky, smooth or grabby hand to fibre and textile.
They can also improve other physical properties, such as tear strength, abrasion, wrinkle resistance, stretch recovery and shrinkage reduction. They can provide either water absorption or water repellence and make fabrics more comfortable and more desirable to touch, purchase and wear.
|AF1206||Silicone Antifoam 6% Solids||High antifoam activity|
|AF1208||Silicone Antifoam 8% Solids||High antifoam activity|
|AF1210||Silicone Antifoam 10% Solids||High antifoam activity|
|AF1216||Silicone Antifoam 16% Solids||High antifoam activity|
|AF1220||Silicone Antifoam 20% Solids||High antifoam activity|
|AF1316||Silicone Antifoam 16% Solids||High antifoam activity|
|AF25030||Non-silicone Antifoam 30% Active||High antifoam activity|
|AS1500||1 Part RTV adhesive sealant paste high temperature||Fast room temp cure|
|ICM SVE-2067||Emulsion of 100000 cSt PDMS oil||EC 648/2004 compliant surfactants|
|ICM TA-20||Silicone antifoam||Extreme foam knock down|
|EM 18||35% Silicone Emulsion||Excellent wetting characteristics|
|AF1500 HV||Silicone Antifoam 100% Active High Viscosity||Suitable for non-aqueous processes|