Effect of dielectric barrier discharge parameters on properties of mulberry silk fibre
A dielectric barrier discharge reactor operated at atmospheric pressure has been used to modify the properties of plain woven silk fabrics. Operating parameters, such as treatment time, and the intensity of current across the electrodes has been changed in the presence of air as a plasma gas. Properties such as wickability, absorbency, tensile strength, tear strength, dyeability measurements; Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy FTIR analysis; and surface topology investigations have been carried out in this study. The findings reveal that the plasma treatment results in surface etching and generation of new functional groups mainly oxygen and oxygen-containing groups. Newly formed functional groups contribute to the improvement in water absorbency and the rate of vertical wicking on silk stripe. Selected acid and basic dye uptakes on treated samples are found to increase almost linearly, but the values decrease with the increase in treatment duration at a higher discharge current. A slight increase in tensile and tear strength is observed in air plasma treated silk fabrics. Air plasma treatment of silk fabric in high energy barrier discharge results in an increase in yellowness. SEM micrographs clearly confirm the formation of ripple like surface morphology in the form of micro-roughness created by etching effect of active species of air plasma.
Colour yield; Dielectric barrier discharge; Silk fabric; Tensile strength; Whiteness
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