Wet processing has been and will remain important to the textile industry in the future. However, economic forces, market demands, and environmental concerns will shape the direction that chemical development for wet processing will take.
There are some clear trends apparent for chemical products destined for the textile wet processing industry.
Global competition is requiring textile chemicals at lower cost. One way to achieve this goal is to provide high solids concentrates. By reducing the amount of water to be shipped, transportation costs can be lowered, leading to lower cost products. One disadvantage of this approach is the necessarily higher cost per kilogram of the shipped product. Although the actual cost for use may be lower, the higher initial cost may be a deterrent to sales.
Another approach to lower chemical costs is to provide the chemicals in bulk or semi-bulk containers. In this way, the costs for drums and drum disposal are eliminated.
If the performance of a chemical product can be enhanced, then the amount of chemical needed for a specific property can be reduced. Using a more efficient chemical can lower the cost per use and since less chemical is being used, effluent problems can be minimized.
Combining several chemical auxiliaries into one product is another approach to lowering overall chemical costs. By reducing the number of individual products, shipping, storage, and disposal costs are significantly lowered.
Often, the use of a textile chemical involves generating undesirable side effects, such as foam and effluent problems. Overcoming these difficulties is costly in terms of additional chemical requirements and reduced productivity. One important requirement for competitive textile chemicals will be fewer problems during use.