HYDROCARBON OR FLUOROCARBON FINISHING?
Which is better?
The 1950's brought us Teflon and DDT. The discovery of DDT was awarded a Nobel Prize, but is a banned insecticide today. PTFE, a chemical version of Teflon, has fared better, but is also under scrutiny. PTFE and similar fluorocarbon telomers have been widely used for fabric finishing because they provide excellent water repellency and some oil repellency. However, the persistence of these compounds in the environment, the presence of fluorochemical telomers in the bloodstream of 90% of humans on earth, and concerns about the safety of these compounds for human and animal health, has led to the planned banning of certain fluorocarbon chemical finishes in 2015. Will we miss these questionable perfluorochemicals once when they are banned? More importantly - do we really need them?
Can hydrocarbon finishing do as well?
Today, DDT is not used and not missed. Similarly, water repellent finishing of textiles can be done better using much safer, and more environmentally-friendly, hydrocarbon-based chemistry. It may surprise many people in the industry that fluorocarbon finishing actually does not work as well for water repellency as the new, dry, hydrocarbon finishing treatment developed by GTT. Is that possible? Are we overstating?
Compare the video results for C8, C6 and the GTT Evergreen™ dry finishing treatment. The GTT hydrocarbon finish far outperforms the C8 and C6 treatment in water-repellency and laundry durability. Plus, it is much safer, does not involve hazardous chemicals and is safe for the consumer, the textile manufacturer and for the environment.
But what about oil repellency?
Good question. Not a simple answer. Yes, perfluorochemical finishes provide a measure of oil repellency (oleophobicity) to fabric. Hydrocarbon finishes, such as the GTT Evergreen™ treatment, only provide a limited measure of oleophobicity. But, with oleophobicity comes difficulty in stain removal. Even traditional fluorocarbon treatments such as C8 and C6 are prone to staining by having oils pushed into the fabric - a real life situation. Fluorocarbon finishes are more resistant to stain removal. Fortunately, it doesn't rain corn oil or salad dressing. The unsurpassed laundry durability of the GTT hydrophobic finish means you can safely remove a stain by laundry - without fear of also removing the treatment!
Still, there are times when oleophobicity is needed or is desired. In addition to our award-winning water repellency treatment. Our innovative, dry finishing technology can also provide true oleophobicity. Contact us for details on that.
The customer can chose: hydrocarbon finishing for water repellency or oleophobic finishing for both oil and water repellency. Both are based upon our water-free finishing technology.