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Devan's masterbatch formulation wins Techtextil prize
10
Jun '13
Devan proudly announces that it has won a prize for its latest innovation: a new masterbatch formulation for dyeable and printable polypropylene.

Techtextil is the most important trade fair for technical textiles which will be held at the Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre from 11 to 13 June 2013.

The award of this prize highlights the important work that Devan carries out on the development of new technologies for the global textile industry and is a real recognition of Devan’s commitment to invest in the future.

This new innovation is a functional masterbatch from the @2spin range that allows the dyeing and printing of polypropylene through conventional processes, something that the industry has been looking at for more than 30 years. A patent application has recently been filed.

Polypropylene (PP) is a thermoplastic polymer used in a wide variety of applications including textiles (e.g. floor-coverings, upholstery, apparel, non-wovens, technical textiles …)

The advantages of PP are quite well known in the market:

- Good bulk and covering, very lightweight fabrics possible (olefin fibres have the lowest specific gravity of all fibres)
- Good stain and soil resistant
- Low moisture absorption
- Resistant to deterioration from chemicals
- Easy to produce
- Cheap raw material

However, one of the disadvantages of PP is that it is not possible to dye the fibre through conventional dyeing methods. Due to the absence of reactive groups and its highly hydrophobic characteristics, PP fibres cannot be dyed in the manner of other fibres such as polyester or polyamide. For these reasons, it is generally pigmented in the mass during the fibre extrusion process.

Today PP is mostly pigmented in the mass during the spinning process. This process makes sense for large production batches but is absolutely not economically viable for smaller runs. Unfortunately fibre producers are forced to do this resulting in:

- Increased level of colour change waste
- Large stock levels of yarn and colour masterbatch

The innovation is based on a different approach. The product is added to standard PP fibre grade polymers by means of a direct dosing unit. Due to its unique composition and the production process it is homogeneously distributed into the fibres and allows a uniform dyeing.

This new innovation makes it finally possible for PP fibre to be dyed homogeneously through conventional dyeing processes, resulting in good washing and light fastness properties if good quality dyes are used and without negative side effects on the physical properties of the fibre.

Devan Chemicals

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