WACKER, the Munich-based chemical company, has launched an innovative hydrophilic fabric softener for factory textile finishing.
The new product, which is called WETSOFT® NE 750, does not only improve the softness of textiles, but also retains the ability to absorb water. This is particularly important for towels and materials that need to remain absorbent after finishing. The silicone fluid formulation is marketed as a water-free concentrate. It just needs to be diluted with water to produce a ready-to-use emulsion. WETSOFT® NE 750 is a new premium product for high-quality textiles that imparts a pleasant and full soft feel as well as excellent absorbency.
The main constituents of WETSOFT® NE 750 are block copolymers based on aminofunctional silicones and polyglycol. The silicone fluid segments arrange themselves in free-moving loops on the outside of the fabric and reduce friction between the fibers. This provides the fabric with an excellent soft feel, which even remains after washing. The polyglycol segments, on the other hand, ensure that the silicone finish, which is normally water-repellent, remains permeable to water.
The combination of softness and water absorbency is of crucial importance for high-quality textiles. Tests show that materials treated with WETSOFT® NE 750 have a pleasant, soft and full hand feel while remaining absorbent. As a result, they quickly take up moisture from skin and hair. This is due to the fact that the emulsion penetrates to the core of the fabric, even when the fabric contains long pile fibers. Compared to conventional fabric softeners, the special molecular architecture of WETSOFT® NE 750 facilitates water uptake and, at the same time, significantly increases absorbency. From a textile manufacturer’s point of view, it is important that subsequent textile corrections, such as re-dying of the material, can easily be made after the textile has been treated with the product.
WETSOFT® NE 750 offers significant advantages for textile-auxiliary formulators. The hydrophilic fabric softener is marketed as a waterfree concentrate with a high solids content. The product is self emulsifying and can be diluted with water in a ratio of 1:1 to 1:5 to form a stable emulsion. This makes the product easy to formulate. Users obtain a stable emulsion that combines the typical product benefits of a microemulsion and a macroemulsion. The hydrophilic fabric softener can be applied to towels, woven textiles or knitted fabrics by either exhaust or padding processes. Both cotton and blended fabrics containing polyester can be finished with the product.