Biobased waterborne Polyurethane-Urea/SWCNT nanocomposites for hydrophobic and electrically conductive textile coatings
The article explains the develop of biobased waterborne polyurethane-Urea/SWCNT nanocomposites for hydrophobic and electrically conductive textile coatings.
Waterborne polyurethane-urea dispersions (WPUD), which are based on 100% bio-based semi-crystalline polyester polyol and isophorone diisocyanate, have been successfully synthesized and doped with single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) to obtain a finishing agent that provides textiles with multifunctional properties.
The chemical structure of WPUD has been characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The thermal properties have been evaluated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA). Mechanical properties have been studied by tensile stress–strain analysis.
Moreover, the particle size, particle size distribution (PSD), and stability of developed waterborne dispersions have been assessed by dynamic light scattering (DLS), Z-potential, and accelerated aging tests (analytical centrifugation). Subsequently, selected fabrics have been face-coated by the WPUD using knife coating method and their properties have been assessed by measuring water contact angle (WCA), water column, fabric stiffness, and air permeability. The electrical conductivity of textiles coated with SWCNT-doped WPUD has been evaluated by EN 1149 standard.
Finally, the surface morphologies of uncoated and coated fabrics have been studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). All of the synthesized polyurethane-ureas provide the coated substrates with remarkable water-repellency and water column, being therefore a more sustainable alternative to waterproof coatings based on fluoropolymers, such as PTFE. The additivation of the polymeric matrices with SWCNT has led to textile coatings with excellent electrical conductivity, maintaining water column properties, giving rise to multifunctional coatings that are highly demanded in protective workwear and technical textiles.