Silicone softeners have been widely used in the textile industry for their excellent properties, including defoamer, water repellent, lubricant, and softener. With the development of society and the quality improvement of life, the requirement for fiber and its products is also higher and higher, which promotes the continuous innovation and development of silicone softener for textiles.
Silicone softeners have experienced three stages in the development process. The early silicone softener was made of silicone oil by mechanical emulsification, which is called the first-generation silicone softener. This kind of organic silicon does not contain active groups, so it is not firmly combined with the fabric and is not washable. The second-generation silicone softener is an organosilicon emulsion containing hydroxyl group, which contains a small amount of hydroxyl group. It can form a network cross-linking on the surface of the fabric under the action of the metal catalyst. Therefore, it has a certain washability, and its stability and application effect are greatly improved compared with the first-generation product. However, it still has shortcomings such as single function, easy to float oil, and demulsification.
The third-generation of functional silicone softener can increase the active groups of silicone by introducing amino, epoxy, carboxyl, polyether, and other groups into the main chain of siloxane. It can greatly improve the washing resistance by relying on the strong combination of active groups and fabric fibers and give different styles to fabrics by depending on different active groups.
Monofunctional modified silicone oil such as amino silicone oil and long chain alkyl silicone oil can give the fabric a unique finishing style and feeling. However, due to the single finishing effect of monofunctional modified silicone oil on fabrics, it is necessary to mix different monofunctional modified silicone oil in order to achieve the desired finishing effect.