One-step fabrication of flexible, durable and fluorine-free superhydrophobic cotton fabrics for efficient oil/water separation
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Fabrication of superhydrophobic cotton fabrics commonly suffers from disadvantages such as extensive usage of toxic and expensive fluorinated adhesives, tedious and time-consuming treatment processes, poor durability and compromised mechanical properties. Herein, this work offers a one-step approach for fabricating eco-friendly, fluorine-free, flexible and robust functional cotton fabrics by immersion in composite coatings containing polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and calcite particles. Results demonstrate that the PDMS/calcite coatings not only enhance mechanical properties of cotton fabrics, but also impart cotton fabrics with excellent superhydrophobic and tunable comfort properties in comparison with the reference materials. Notably, the cotton fabrics treated with the PDMS/calcite coatings also show excellent oil/water separation efficiency of up to 99% after 10 cycles, robust water laundering stability and self-cleaning ability. Therefore, this novel straightforward, cost-efficient, eco-friendly and durable PDMS/calcite composite coating for cotton fabric has great potential in diverse applications including self-cleaning apparel, water-proof wall covering and continuous oil clean-up.
KeywordsCotton fabrics Composite coatings Surface treatments Mechanical properties Oil–water separation
This research has received financial supports from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51503161), the Foundation of Wuhan Textile University (173006) and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2016YFA0101102).
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