Thesis Details

Thesis Title: Stain Repellent-Animicrobial Textiles via Atmospheric Plasma Finishes
Thesis Author: Robert McLean
Abstract: This research was aimed to impart antimicrobial and stain repellent finishes to polyester fabrics using atmospheric pressure plasma-aided graft copolymerization of active monomers. The process consists of multiple steps; first, surface activation of fabric samples via atmospheric pressure plasma, followed by polymerization reaction of glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) and a quaternary ammonium chitosan derivative (HTCC) compound to produce polyester/GMA/antimicrobial agent. Next perfluorodecyl acrylate is bound to the polyester/GMA/antimicrobial agent via polymerization reaction in atmospheric pressure plasma. Samples were exposed to plasma, which has 99% helium and 1% oxygen, for times up to 2 ½ minutes with incremental exposure times to determine the optimal exposure to plasma. Samples were conditioned in an environmental chamber prior to plasma exposure. Weight changes were recorded to determine the percent add-on in each step. Samples were analyzed post plasma exposure and inclusion of the active agents using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Standard washing tests were conducted to determine the effectiveness of grafting after washing. Antimicrobial assays and stain repellent tests were conducted on treated samples and compared to control.