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Title: The influences of various preparation processes using plasma and enzyme technologies on the properties of poly(lactic acid) fabric
Author: Abdrabbo, Abdulalhameed
Awarding Body: Heriot-Watt University
Current Institution: Heriot-Watt University
Date of Award: 2012
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Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) is a thermoplastic, biodegradable polymer made from 100% renewable resources such as corn or sugar cane starch. PLA fibres have properties similar to those polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The key advantages of PLA are the lower energy consumption required and lower greenhouse gas emission during production when compared to PET; in addition it can biodegrade to water and CO2 by the end of its life cycle The purpose of this work is to investigate the moisture management properties of PLA knitted fabric due to the importance of liquid-fibre interaction in garment technology, and to study the possible modifications of this aspect using plasma and enzyme preparations as these technologies constitute the basis for the twenty-first century portfolio of eco-friendly textile treatments. The evaluation of fabric behaviour was carried out according to a statistical factorial design methodology and using analytical techniques of image analysis, X-ray Photoelectron Microscopy (XPS) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Additionally a new device for measuring the spreading dynamics and the stain shape of droplets moving through the fabric was developed. Two different plasma machines were implemented in this work, a Europlasma CD400 and a Nanotech PE250 machine. The study investigated the relationship between the plasma parameters of pressure, power and time and liquid transport rates. It was found that the different plasma reactors induced different effects in the fabric. Europlasma experiments caused surface etching, leading to slight changes in the liquid movement through the fabric, whereas treatments with Nanotech PE250 machine introduced new polar groups in the fibre, accompanied by surface etching, resulting in enhancement in moisture transport rate. A lipase was used for enzyme treatments. The study examined the effect of pH, temperature, treatment time and concentration in enzyme activity towards the PLA fabric in terms of surface chemistry, morphology and vertical wicking rate. Lipase treatment increased the surface roughness, was observed by SEM, and the vertical wicking rate was also increased.
Supervisor: Wardman, Roger; Fotheringham, Alex Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available