The growing interest on wool fibers as an eco-friendly and sustainable material for diversified industrial applications demands for enhancement of their functional performance. To address this, wool fabrics were treated in the present research with low pressure hexafluoroethane (C2F6) plasma to impart super hydrophobicity and improve their abrasion resistance. Unscoured and scoured wool fabrics were treated with C2F6 varying plasma power (80W and 150W), gas flow rate (12 sccm and 50 sccm) and treatment time (6 min and 20 min) and the effect of plasma parameters on the abrasion resistance, water contact angle and dyeing behavior of wool fabrics were studied. Martindale abrasion testing showed that the surface abrasion of wool fabrics increased with the abrasion cycles and the samples treated with 150W, 20 min, 12 sccm showed superior abrasion resistance. The scoured wool fabrics showed a contact angle of ~124°, which was stable for only 4 min 40 s, whereas the plasma treated samples showed a stable contact angle over 150°, exhibiting a stable super hydrophobic behavior. The C2F6 plasma treatment also significantly reduced the exhaustion of an acid dye by wool fabrics. The EDX study confirmed the deposition of fluorine containing elements on the wool fabrics significantly altering their properties.
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 8 Jun 2021|