Zinc and Alginate for Multipurpose Textiles

Marija Gorenšek, Vili Bukošek

Department of Textiles, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Snežniška 5, SI-1000 Ljubljana,
E-mail: marija.gorensek@ ntf.uni-lj.si

The paper presents the possibility of applying zinc solutions on cotton fabrics. In a two-stage procedure a fabric is first impregnated with ZnCl2 and then with alginate. The presence of zinc on impregnated samples is proved quantitatively and qualitatively. Absorption of water, overall flexural rigidity and UV transmittance of impregnated fabrics are measured and the UV protection factor (UPF) calculated. It has been stated that the absorption of water of the fabrics impregnated with ZnCl2 depends on the concentration of ZnCl2; the same applies to the combination of ZnCl2 with alginate. An overall flexural rigidity of fabrics increases after impregnation with 0,5M, 1M and 3M solution of ZnCl2; it increases even more after application of ZnCl2 and alginate. Although the UPF of the fabrics improves after impregnation with ZnCl2, it does not achieve good UV protection as per the AS/NZS 4399: 1996 standard; good UV protection can be achieved on fabrics dyed with a phthalocyanine dyestuff. By applying ZnCl2 in combination with alginates on dyed fabrics, we can obtain differently absorbent materials which provide UV protection and have anti-microbial properties.

Key words: cotton, ZnCl2, alginate, ultraviolet protection factor, SEM.