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Effect of Splitting and Finishing on Absorption/Adsorption Properties of Split Polyester Microfiber Fabrics

Park, Myung-Ja, Kim, Seong Hun, Kim, Seong Joo, Jeong, Sung Hoon, Jaung, Jae-yun
Textile research journal 2001 v.71 no.9 pp. 831-840
absorption, adsorption, alkaline hydrolysis, anti-infective agents, cleaning, durability, fabrics, laundry, nylon, polyesters, shrinkage, surface area, textile fibers, water uptake, weight loss
Nylon/polyester (N/P) conjugate fibers are split by alkaline hydrolysis and then finished with an antimicrobial agent, and the effect of splitting and finishing on the absorption/adsorption properties of the microfibers is studied. The split microfiber fabrics vary in weight loss and pore structure depending on the various splitting conditions. The absorption behavior of microfiber fabrics is analyzed by the degree of splitting, shrinkage, fabric density, and weight loss. Optimum splitting conditions are investigated for superior absorption rate and capacity. Even and complete splitting produces fine fibers closely packed in a parallel structure, which creates capillary channels that transport water into fabric treated at 140°C with about 10% weight loss. Values of adsorption, add-on (%), and good durability to repeated laundering and dry cleaning of the agent on the finished N/P microfiber fabrics are high, in contrast to a conventional fiber fabric. This is most likely due to the high surface area and surface irregularities caused by splitting and hydrolysis. The absorption capacity of the finished fabrics decreases because some pore spaces are filled with the adsorbed agent, while the absorption rate increases due to capillary sorption. The water absorption instrument newly devised for this study is an excellent measurement system. It is possible to measure the amount of water absorption with time, and to distinguish the differences in absorbency of the split N/P microfiber knitted fabrics, which have pore structures that vary in shape and size, created by and deformed during the splitting and finishing process.