Thesis Details

Thesis Title: Current Replacements for Flourocarbon Finishes
Thesis Author: Craig Lindemann
Abstract: Due to recent scrutiny of perfluorooctainoic acid (PFOA)-containing fluorochemical (FC) repellent finishes, research was conducted to evaluate the performance of commercially available alternative to such products. Such products have been shown to be environmentally persistent and potentially hazardous. A list of available finishes was compiled and a number of products were selected for evaluation. Finishes were applied using a pad-dry-cure process, and their performance was evaluated using industry-approved, standard test methods for oil and water repellency. Finishes were applied to six fabric substrates, with end uses in the apparel, home furnishings, and automotive industries. Results of the work indicate that none of the commercially available products tested performed at the same level as the traditional, PFOA-containing products. Novel, short-chain FCs showed the highest level of performance among the alternatives tested. These were the only products which were able to provide oil repellency. Silicone and hydrocarbon wax products were also evaluated and showed varying levels of performance. Short-term and long-term durability to home laundering of the finishes were evaluated. Hydrocarbon wax products showed the poorest durability of the finish types tested. None of the alternative products tested were found to have the same level of durability as the traditional FC finishes. Influence of isocyanate and melamineformaldehyde crosslinking resins was found to be fabric specific, showing significant benefit on cotton substrates.