Fabrication of new multifunctional cotton–modal–recycled aramid blended protective textiles through deposition of a 3D-polymer coating: high fire retardant, water repellent and antibacterial properties†
This study reports a facile fabrication of multifunctional cotton–modal–recycled aramid blended protective textiles through the deposition of a three-dimensional tetrakis(hydroxymethyl)phosphonium chloride (THPC)–urea polymer coating. For this, blended fabrics with different compositions, weaving structures, thicknesses, GSMs and thread densities have been fabricated, followed by chemical deposition of the THPC–urea polymer coating on the fibrils of the yarn and then in the amorphous region through ammonia treatment. Full characterization of the resulting fabrics through SEM and FTIR allowed confirmation of the deposition of THPC–urea on each blended fabric. Treated and untreated samples were evaluated for their water repellency, flame retardance and antibacterial properties through diverse experimental tools. The results show that the lowest average char length (warp – 3.18 cm, weft – 2.84 cm) and radiant heat flux density (11.021 kW m−2), and highest LOI% (36.8%), were found in the 40%-cotton–30%-modal–30% aramid fabric, whereas the best thermal protective performance (t12 – 4.0 s, t24 – 5.9 s) was observed in the fabric with a high thickness and GSM. Regarding the water repellent properties, all treated samples showed superior water repellence properties expressed as water contact angle (θH2O) as high as 141.70° to 151.50°. Besides, the 3D polymer coating deposited on blended fabrics exhibited high antibacterial properties (99.90%) against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538 and Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 4352 as calculated according to the KS K 0693:2016 method. These results herein provide fundamental grounds to design blended textiles with necessary functionalities for smart and protective applications.