2014 World Conference on Fabric and Home Care: WACKER Presents Silicone Impregnant for Household and Textile Applications
Munich-based chemicals group WACKER will be presenting its WACKER® HC 303 silicone emulsion at the 2014 World Conference on Fabric and Home Care, organized by the American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS). The product forms a water-repellent silicone film on textiles, leather, wood or other substrates. The microemulsion contains no solvents and allows manufacturers to develop highly effective impregnants for a variety of household applications. The conference will be held October 6 – 9 in Montreux, Switzerland.
Until WACKER® HC 303 was developed, it was by no means certain that good impregnation results could be achieved with water-based silicone emulsions. On the contrary, water solubility and hydrophobicity were long considered to be mutually exclusive. The reason for this is that the stabilizing emulsifiers form water-permeable microchannels in the impregnation film, which severely compromise the impregnation effect.
The Munich-based chemical group solved this problem by developing the WACKER® HC 303 silicone emulsion, thus finally achieving a breakthrough in water-based impregnation systems. Upon drying, the colorless, low-viscosity, oil-in-water microemulsion forms a water-repellent silicone film that remains unaffected by emulsifiers or other inclusions. When used in textiles or leather, the emulsion envelops individual fibers in a thin, uniform layer without sticking them together. This allows the impregnated surface to breathe and stay dry, while water and other aqueous liquids – such as red wine or coffee – immediately bead off. The impregnant achieves its full effect even at room temperature. The impregnated substrate does not need to undergo heat treatment following application.
WACKER® HC 303 gives manufacturers a reliable, long-lasting means of impregnating textiles. This is also demonstrated by the drop test, in which a cotton towel treated with WACKER® HC 303 requires eight hours to absorb a drop of water. The only other way of achieving better results in tests like these is to use a solvent-based impregnant.
WACKER® HC 303 can be processed to create ready-to-use, aqueous impregnants and polishes for a wide variety of porous substrates such as textiles, leather, cork, wood or stone. The microemulsion is particularly suitable as a laundry impregnant that can be added directly to the rinse cycle. In these applications, WACKER® HC 303 restores previously impregnated textiles to their full water-repellent effect.
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