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WACKER develops shear-resistant softener for textile finishing
Feb '08
WACKER, the Munich-based chemicals group, has developed a new silicone softener emulsion to textile finishing. The concentrate, marketed as POWERSOFT PE 150, is self-dispersing and designed for use in exhaust processes. High shear-resistance makes it extremely versatile and usable in high-speed finishing processes.

POWERSOFT PE 150 is a microemulsion concentrate based on aminofunctional silicone fluids. It bestows a silky-soft feel on textiles made of natural, synthetic and blended fibers. This makes garments much more comfortable to wear. Unlike standard silicone softeners, POWERSOFT PE 150 does not affect color. Color hue and intensity are virtually unchanged after the finishing process.

The concentrate can be diluted with cold tap water as required, without turning cloudy. There is no need to add an emulsifier. Compared to conventional silicone-based softeners, POWERSOFT PE 150 is extremely stable when exposed to shear forces. Thus, it can be used in high-speed finishing processes. Shear-resistance is retained even when high dilutions of the concentrate are used. Salts do not destabilize the emulsion either.

Another special feature of POWERSOFT PE 150 is its unusually high fiber affinity, making it ideal for exhausting: it can be used in very low concentrations, as well as with strongly reduced liquor ratios. In low concentrations, the softener is practically entirely absorbed onto the fibers. As a result, the residual liquor, which must be disposed of as effluent, is almost silicone-free.

The product's properties are ideal for finishing knitwear, as these fabrics – due to their poor shape retention – are mostly treated by exhaust processes. POWERSOFT PE 150 bestows excellent wearer comfort on synthetic fibers blended with elastic fibers.

Wacker Chemie AG

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