Properties of cellulosic fabrics treated by water-repellent emulsions

Mohamed, Amina L; Hassabo, Ahmed G; Nada, Ahmed A; Abou-Zeid, Nabil Y


Water-repellent cotton, jute and linen fabrics have been prepared by treating them with emulsions made of beeswax/stearic acid (BW/SA) mixture. Different BW/SA ratios are tested to find out the best formulation recipe and different additives are incorporated in order to enhance emulsion stability and water repellency rating, such as alkali and metal salts. Triethanolamine (TEA) alkali has been selected for promoting the water repellency results. Cellulosic fabrics are pre-/post-treated with metal salts (aluminium chloride and zirconyl chloride) to enhance their physical attachment to the surfaces. Optimum emulsion ingredients for best results are found to be BW: SA (1:1), in presence of TEA (0.5 mole equivalent of SA) and zirconyl chloride concentration (1 g/L). Treated fabrics have been imparted with a water repellency characteristic, showing a value of 90, 80 and 80 for cotton, linen, and jute fabric respectively. Mechanical properties for treated fabrics are also demonstrated. FTIR spectra of treated fabric show no evidence of any chemical reactions between the substrate and the emulsion. Emulsions show stable rheological behavior upon storing for 3 months.


Beeswax; Cellulosic fabrics; Hydrophobic surface; Stearic acid; Water-repellent emulsion

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