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Graphic element Research > Growth > Research projects > Previous projects > Industrial Processes > Plasma treatments for textiles - new products and environmental protection
Graphic element Plasma treatments for textiles - new products and environmental protection
     
 
Traditional textile finishing involves high water consumption and toxic chemicals. Dry plasma treatment means increased European competitiveness and better products.
 

Traditional textile finishing operations are carried out in aqueous solutions and require large quantities of water - about 380 litres of water per kilogram of cotton. What is more, these processes require the handling and subsequent emission of harmful chemicals which have to be treated in accordance with increasingly stringent European legislation. Dry finishing processes like plasma treatment have long been studied in the laboratory, but up to now, none has emerged which can produce the same high-quality results as traditional methods.

The objective of this project was to define the potentials and limitations of plasma treatments within the European textile industry. First, plasma processes were studied on a laboratory scale. The best processes were then tested on a pre-industrial scale. Incorporating the latest developments in electronics, including advanced generators, control and monitoring systems and pumping and electrode systems, partners showed that dry treatment processes can be integrated into textile production operations and can compete favourably with traditional treatments. The new processes can also be used to improve dyeing and spinning, and can lead to new products like antibacterial cotton or flame retardant textiles.

At a time when textile production is increasingly moving out of Europe and into countries with low labour costs, project partners say their results will help to keep some activity in Europe, saving European jobs.

Cordis RCN: 6712
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