Improvement of Liquid Absorption Properties of Nonwoven Polypropylene Substrates by Low Pressure Plasma Treatment with CH4-O2 Mixture Gas

Autores UPV


The use of nonwoven textile substrates for filtration and absorption purposes is generalized due to the high surface area they can provide. Many of these applications require good wetting properties to increase efficiency. In this work, low pressure plasma treatment with a CH4-O2 mixture gas has been used to increase surface wettability and subsequent absorption properties on nonwoven polypropylene substrates. CH4 plasma treatment leads to a plasma polymerization process which results in hydrophobic surface finishing, but in combination with O2, it is possible to form a functionalized plasmapolymerized layer thus improving wetting properties. Changes in wetting properties have been studied by contact angle measurements showing that optimum wetting properties are obtained with exposure times to plasma treatment of about 10 min, and no significant changes are obtained for longer exposure times. Absorption efficiency has been followed by determining three different parameters by the guidelines of the UNE-EN-ISO 9073-6 standard: wetting time, liquid absorption capacity (LAC) and liquid propagation rate or absorption speed. All these properties are remarkably improved as the exposure time to CH4-O2 plasma increases; this improvement is remarkably high for relatively short exposure times (5-10 min) and no significant changes are obtained for long exposure times so that, it is possible to conclude that previous plasma treatment with exposure times in the 5-10 min range is an efficient method to improve overall absorption properties of nonwoven polypropylene substrates. © 2012 The Korean Fiber Society and Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.