, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 6349–6363 | Cite as

One-step fabrication of flexible, durable and fluorine-free superhydrophobic cotton fabrics for efficient oil/water separation

  • Zhonghua Mai
  • Xin Shu
  • Guoqing Li
  • Dongzhi ChenEmail author
  • Min Liu
  • Weilin Xu
  • Hongwei Zhang
Original Research


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.


Cotton 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).

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (AVI 25642 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 2086 kb)


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Materials Science and EngineeringWuhan Textile UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of New Textile Materials & Advanced Processing TechnologyWuhan Textile UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringWuhan Textile UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.School of Electronic and Electrical EngineeringWuhan Textile UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Institute of Super-Microstructure and Ultrafast Process in Advanced Materials, School of Physics and ElectronicsCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China

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