Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 53, Issue 6, pp 4683–4692 | Cite as

Textile-inspired methodology toward asymmetric fabric based on weft-backed weave for oil/water separation

  • Yue Gao
  • Jun Wang
  • Xiaofeng Mou
  • Zaisheng CaiEmail author


We report a novel asymmetric weft-backed woven fabric applied for oil/water separation. The fabric with asymmetric wettability is woven with two different yarns, which are produced by hydrophilic viscose and hydrophobic polypropylene fibers. It could work in “oil-removing” and “water-removing” modes by the artful structure of weft-backed woven fabrics under the driven force of gravity. The separation efficiency of the woven fabric exceeds 95%, while the cycle times have been raised to 15 compared to previous research, which satisfies practical requirements for oily water treatment. A plausible separation mechanism of the fabric was firstly studied to offer better guidance for fabricating asymmetric wettable materials. This work provides a cost-effective, readily available method for the fabrication of oil/water separated materials under a simple and rapid procedure. Furthermore, it offers an interdisciplinary perspective for exploring applications of traditional textile method in environment conservation field.



The paper is supported by Ph.D. Programs Foundation of Ministry of Education of China, 20130075130002.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest

Supplementary material

Water droplets roll off on the superhydrophobic surface while being absorbed by the superhydrophilic surface (MPG 1679 kb)

Comparison for the separation of heavy oil/water mixture and light oil/water mixture on the superhydrophobic surface (MPG 2024 kb)

Comparison for the separation of light oil/water mixture and heavy oil/water mixture on the superhydrophilic surface (MPG 2743 kb)

10853_2017_1857_MOESM4_ESM.mp4 (5.1 mb)
Supplementary material 4 (MP4 5206 kb)

Supplementary material 5 (MP4 2646 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and BiotechnologyDonghua UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Science and Technology of Eco-Textile, Ministry of EducationDonghua UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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