In this second session of Ask the Innovators, join us Jan. 27th on the Green Chemistry Innovation Portal to discuss the science of greener alternatives to durable water repellents for textiles. For an introduction to the topic, see this article by Christiana Briddell. During our online discussion, you can ask innovators and researchers at Patagonia, Chemours, the Swedish Research Institute for Industrial Renewal and Sustainable Growth (Swerea), and the University of Leeds anything you would like to know about durable water repellent technology. Our participants have been recruited from different sectors and areas of expertise in order to provide a variety of perspectives on this topic.
The experts joining us for this session will be:
Ask the experts anything you like: How do durable water and stain repellents work? Why are conventional chemistries falling out of favor? What alternatives to perfluorinated chemicals are available? How can academia and industry collaborate to create next generation textile chemistry?
Questions will be collected on this post and answered live by text on January 27th, so create a free ACS ID now and submit your question below. Come back from 11:30 AM-1:00 PM ET (8:30-10:00 AM PT) on Jan. 27th to chat with the innovators and the community right here!
Ask your question below, and don't forget to come back on January 27th to see the answer.
To what degree is functional substitution - the idea of replacing function and not molecular substitution being discussed with regards to DWRs? Are there times where water repellency performance is overprescribed? What material changes/modifications may be available to achieve the DWR functionality?
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer questions! I'm wondering about non-fluorinated alternatives which could include paraffin or nano-materials. What renewable alternatives are being researched, and how is the safety of something like a novel nano-material being assessed?
How do the current non-fluorinated alternatives compare to the traditional fluorinated counterparts? Are they able to produce the same or better performance or is there still some work to be done? How much of the research and development of new water repellants is done in-house within a company vs. in collaboration with academic labs?
I've heard of some biomimicry approaches in development, mostly based on the lotus leaf. Can anyone comment on how close to commercialization these are, or whether there are other biomimetic approaches that look promising?
Would you comment on durability of repellant coatings and what is typically necessary in a textile application? What is the relative durability of the topology approaches (e.g., lotus leaf) like coatings from Evonik on textiles?
How does one balance the need for water resistance/repellant coatings with stain resistance? Seems to me that you have competing functional needs of hydrophobicity and lipophobicity.
What is being done, or what could be done, from a fiber and weave perspective or porous membrane perspective (other than fluorinated materials) to avoid the use of a coating? Is this being looked at? What have been the most promising?