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Application and Performance Comparison of Various Silicone Softeners

Application and Performance Comparison of Various Silicone Softeners

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1. Dimethyl silicone emulsion


This is the first product of silicone softeners. The relative molecular mass of silicone oil used as softener is generally 60,000-70,000. After finishing, it can give the fabric a smooth, stiff and cool feeling, reduce the friction coefficient of the fabric, and improve the wear resistance and seamability of the fabric.


However, because there are no reactive groups on the molecular chain, it cannot react with the fiber, nor can it cross-link by itself, but only relies on molecules to attach to the surface of the fiber, so it has poor washing durability and limited improvement in elasticity.


2. Organic silicone hydroxy emulsion (hydroxy silicone oil emulsion)


This is the most widely used kind of silicone softeners in the 1980s. Its relative molecular mass is generally 60,000-80,000. The larger the relative molecular mass, the better the softness and smoothness.


Due to the end of the molecular chain and the end-capped of the Hong, it can cross link with the reactive base of the fiber or itself to form a certain elastic polymer film under the action of the crosslinking agent and catalyst. Thus, it has the washing resistance, and can improve the elasticity of the fabric. According to the ionicity of the emulsifier used, silicone hydroxy emulsion is divided into cationic silicone hydroxy emulsion and anionic silicone hydroxy emulsion.


3. Hydrophilic soluble silicone (polyether hydrophilic silicone)


This kind of silicone softener is usually polyether and epoxy modified poly-siloxane. It is a colorless and transparent thick liquid, which can give fabrics good moisture absorption, breathability and antistatic properties. Because it is non-ionic, it can be mixed with various auxiliaries.


When it is used together with resin, it can reduce the resin's chlorine absorption and release formaldehyde. In addition to resin finishing and soft finishing, it is also widely used in paint dyeing process, which can improve not only the feel of fabrics affected by adhesives, but also the shortcomings of the adhesive roller.


4. Amino modified silicone


The introduction of amino groups into the macromolecular chain of poly-siloxane can greatly improve the performance of organosilicon. This operation can not only form firm orientation and adsorption with fibers, reduce the friction coefficient between fibers, but also chemically react with epoxy groups, carboxyl groups, and hydroxyl groups. Due to its characteristics, it can be applied to cotton, wool, silk, viscose fiber, polyester, polyamide, acrylic and other fibers and their blended fabrics. After finishing the fabric, it can obtain excellent softness and resilience, soft and plump, smooth and delicate. Generally speaking, the higher the amino content, the better the softness.


But a higher amino content also means greater yellowing. This is mainly because the side chain—(CH2)NH(CH2)2NH2 has two amine groups (primary amine group and secondary amine group), a total of three active hydrogen atoms, which is easy to oxidize to form a chromophore. This diamine structure has a synergistic effect of accelerating oxidation. Therefore, there must be an optimal balance between the amino content and yellowing.

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