Enhancement of cotton hydrophobicity through modified styrene admicellar polymerization

Ulman, Khushalini Nitin; Shukla, Sanjeev Ramchandra


A novel modified admicellar polymerization (ADPM) technique has been proposed for achieving hydrophobicity oncotton fabrics by synthesizing an ultrathin layer of polystyrene on them. The effect of ethanol and methanol on styreneADPM has been investigated and polymerization time is halved by using methanol at a concentration as low as 0.3 M.Evaluation of the hydrophobic effect is performed through drop tests, contact angle measurements and durability tests.Contact angle of water is as high as ~ 130° and water droplets are repelled for more than 30 min. ADPM delivershydrophobicity which is comparable with commercially available water repellents based on stearic acid melamine resins.Characterization through SEM confirms the formation of ultrathin layers of polystyrene on cotton. Thus, the findingssuccessfully exhibit a modified ADPM process as a potential water repellent finish affording conservation of time andchemicals.


Admicellar polymerization;Contact angle;Cotton hydrophobicity;Polystyrene;Surfactants

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