Eco-efficient hybrid coatings for durable textile applications

The advent of globalisation has urged the European textile industries to implement new technologies to maintain the cost-effectiveness of the sector. One such development is the application of thin silane finishes on textiles, a development that has been introduced during the last decade. The extraordinary properties of these (functionalised) finishes include a.o. enhanced abrasion resistance and omniphobicity.

Globalisation has also resulted into an increased awareness about the pollution caused by traditional industrial processes and its impact on the atmosphere. To counteract this evolution there has been a considerable investment in the development of new production processes that deliver similar performances with only a fraction of the emission of the original production process. The curing of coatings by means of UV-light is certainly a major breakthrough that will save tons of CO2 emission. Although the technique was introduced in the 1960’s in different sectors, the application in the textile coating industry is still in its infancy.

The use of photo-curable coatings in textiles is very promising and has already proven to be an eco-friendly alternative to traditional solvent-based processes. Thanks to its low investment on return and the possibility of high production speeds it is very likely to be introduced into the textile market in the near future.

The use of the sol-gel technology in UV-curable hybrid coatings allows to apply the unique performances of sol-gel coatings in an environmentally sound way.

The major advantages of this technology include:

  • Energy-efficiency
  • High return on investment
  • Enhanced abrasion resistance
  • High (coating) as well as low viscosity (foulard, spray…) application feasible
  • Low VOC emission
  • Easy functionalisation (easy clean, UV protection…)