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Functional nano-coatings for textiles repel oil and water, and are free of PFOA, PFOS

Europlasma : 04 October, 2013  (New Product)
New functional nanocoatings for technical textiles and produced using low pressure plasma technology have been baunched by Europlasma under the brand names Nanofics 10, Nanofics 110 and Nanofics 120.
Functional nano-coatings for textiles repel oil and water, and are free of PFOA, PFOS
Textiles are often treated or coated to obtain additional properties, for example water repellent and oil repellent properties. For textiles used in clothing, the “breathable” character is important, which allows heat and humidity (sweat) to be transferred through the textile. Such textiles are pleasant to wear.
Traditional coating processes are based on the treatment of rolls of textiles, which pass through a bath (dipping) and are then heated and dried (curing). The bath, which is normally heated, contains large quantities of coating chemicals dissolved in water. The heating step is necessary to obtain a good coating. Without heating, the liquid repelling properties of the coating would be bad.
Nanofics is Europlasma’s nanocoating technology platform, first applied on industrial scale in 1996. Nanofics 120 coatings are highly water and oil repellent fluoropolymer nanocoatings (water contact angle of 120 degrees according to ASTM D5964 and oil repellency level 8 according to ISO 14419), deposited by low pressure plasma technology.
The Nanofics 110 coatings are also fluoropolymer nanocoatings which are highly water repellent (water contact angle of 110 degrees according to ASTM D5964) and highly oil repellent (oil repellency level 6 according to ISO 14419). The unique aspect of these coatings is however that they are completely free from PFOA and PFOS. It is expected that because of health issues the apparel market will gradually move from Nanofics 120 to Nanofics 110, reflecting what is happening in other markets, such as medical devices.
PFOA is used as a processing aid in the manufacture of fluoropolymers to produce hundreds of items such as non-stick surfaces on cookware, protective finishes on carpets and clothing. According to the Environmental Working Group, PFOA is also a breakdown product of chemicals used to coat food packaging, including fast food, and stain-resistant coatings for couches, carpets, and clothing. PFOA is broadly toxic. It does not break down in the environment, and is considered to be persistent over geologic time scales. It nearly universally pollutes human blood and has a half-life in the body of more than four years.
PFOS is the perfluorooctane sulphonate anion and is not a substance as such. The term PFOS-related substance is used to refer to any or all of the substances which contain the PFOS moiety (defined as the C8F17SO2 group) and may break down in the environment to give PFOS.
According to a September 2004 UK report PFOS is:
  • persistent and bioaccumulative
  • has been detected in the serum of occupational and general populations
  • there appears to be an increased risk of episodes for neoplasms of the male reproductive system, the overall category of cancers and benign growths, and neoplasms of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • highly toxic (acute) to honey bees and bioconcentrates in fish
  • detected in tissues of wild birds and fish, in surface water and sediment, in wastewater treatment plant effluent, sewer sludge and in landfill leachate.
Now, Europlasma is also launching the Nanofics 10 coating which, unlike Nanofics 110 and 120, has very high affinity for water, resulting in water contact angles of lower than 10 degrees according to ASTM D5964. The Nanofics 10 coating is able to transform any water fabric into a fabric with permanent hydrophilic properties.
The nanocoating machines are suited to
mass production and processing costs
are very low.
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