Antistatic Effect of Atmospheric Pressure Glow Discharge Cold Plasma Treatment on Textile Substrates
Hydrophobic synthetic textile substrates, nylon and polyester fabrics, were continuously treated in an atmosphericpressure-glow-discharge-cold-plasma reactor using He and air. The samples were evaluated for antistatic properties by measuring the static charge build-up and half charge decay time. The 60 sec air-plasma treated nylon fabric produced only 1.53 kV of charge and showed a significantly smaller half decay time of 0.63 sec compared to static voltage of 2.76 kV and a half decay time of 8.9 sec in the untreated nylon fabric. In comparison, the He plasma treated nylon fabrics showed relatively less improvement by producing static charge built-up of 2.12 kV and half charge decay time of 1.1 sec. Similar improvements were obtained for polyester (PET) fabrics as well. The treated samples showed good antistatic properties even after five laundry wash cycles. The surface characteristics of the samples were investigated using SEM, AFM, and ATR-FTIR. The results revealed that the improvement on antistatic properties are attributable to increase in the surface energy of the fabrics due to the formation of hydrophilic groups and increase in the surface area due to the formation of nano-sized horizontal and vertical channels on the fibre surface. The study suggests that plasma treatment may be used for imparting effective antistatic finish on otherwise hydrophobic substrates.
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