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Dow Corning develops OP-8800 for textile finishing applications
Jul '08
Dow Corning recently introduced OP-8800 Premium Hydrophilic Softener, a next-generation technology that helps formulators meet the needs of an increasingly demanding textile market by delivering finishes that provide:
• Improved comfort through excellent softness and wickability
• Virtually no impact on whiteness and stain release properties
• Outstanding process stability
• A more environmentally sustainable and safer solution

“Recent market trends along the entire textile industry value chain, especially in the home textiles and apparel markets, have required that formulators develop ecologically sound, safe, high-performance, multifunctional textile finishes,” said Fernando Vazquez, Dow Corning Americas Textiles Technical Leader. “We believe OP-8800 Softener is the perfect product to help formulators meet those needs.”

Testing shows that OP-8800 Softener offers excellent softness, water absorbency, and wicking, with minimum to no impact on original substrate whiteness and the stain-release properties of fluorocarbon-treated textiles. OP-8800 Softener outperforms conventional silicone hydrophilic softeners on several key features.

However, it is when comparing the level of solvents or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in similar competitive offerings that OP-8800 Softener really makes its mark.

One of the major causes of air pollution in the textile industry occurs when heat-curing or drying of coatings and finishes causes the vaporization of organic compounds.

Because VOCs can harm the environment and human health, governmental agencies around the world are enacting more stringent air quality regulations to limit VOC emissions.

OP-8800 Softener helps mitigate these problems because it is nearly 100 percent composed of a novel silicone copolymer, virtually eliminating VOCs from its composition, whereas some competitive silicone products contain up to 300g/L of VOCs.

OP-8800 Softener also offers maximum formulation flexibility, processability, stability, and ease of application. Testing shows that microemulsions made with the product are high-shear and high-pH stable, and even compatible with anionic treatments.

“OP-8800 Softener is an extremely well-balanced, more environmentally sound, safer, multifunctional product that delivers a unique combination of benefits over a wide range of conditions,” Vazquez said.

“We think it's about as close to an 'ideal' silicone as any that's ever been developed by Dow Corning for textile finishing applications.”

Dow Corning is a solutions provider and innovative partner delivering value through superior technology, application expertise, and market experience.

Dow Corning

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