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Improvement of the Launderability of Polypropylene Multifilament Yarns

Weimer, Robert P., Conner, Willard P.
antioxidant activity, antioxidants, diffusivity, drying, fabrics, laundry, markets, molecular weight, polypropylenes, textile fibers, washing, yarns
Polypropylene multifilament yarns are being used in a variety of industrial and consumer products. Penetration into some textile markets, however, has been hampered by poor resistance to laundering. Cyclic wash-dry laundering causes heat-stabilized yarns to lose antioxidant and strength more rapidly than the sum of the effects of washing or drying alone. This phenomenon plus other experimental evidence indicate that the dominating loss mechanism is one of diffusion or “thermal pumping.” It is suggested that during washing the antioxidant is leached from the epidermal layer of the fiber. During drying, the antioxidant diffuses to the surface from within as the antioxidant concentration profile is leveled throughout the fiber. Increasing the molecular weight of an antioxidant species reduces its diffusivity with a concomitant loss in antioxidant capability. Very long lifetimes, however, under home laundering conditions have been achieved by a compromise between diffusivity and capability of the antioxidant.