Enhancing colour development of photochromic prints on textile : Physical stabilisation during UV-radiation exposure
Abstract: Textile UV-radiation sensors has lately been introduced to the field of smart textiles. Inkjet printing has been used as means of application due to the effective and resource efficient process. UV-LED radiation curing has been used in combination with inkjet printing in favour of low energy requirements, solvent free solution and reduced risk of clogging in the print heads. The problems arising when exposing photochromic prints to UV-radiations are that oxygen inhibition during the curing and photo-oxidation in the print reduces the prints ability to develop colour. It is the oxygen in the air in combination with UV-radiation that gives the photo-oxidating behavior. The aim of the study is to with the aid of physical protection reduce the effect of oxygen inhibition and photo-oxidation in the prints. Three types of physical treatments were used, wax coating, protein based impregnation and starch based impregnation. Treatments were applied before curing as well as after curing and the colour development after activation during 1 min of UV-radiation was measured with a spectrophotometer. Multiple activations were also tested to see how the treatments affected the fatigue behaviour of the prints over time. The aim was to have as high colour development as possible reflecting reduced oxygen inhibition and photo-oxidation. Results showed significantly higher colour development for samples treated with wax and whey powder before curing, but reduced colour development for amylose impregnation. Over time whey powder before curing showed highest colour development due to highest initial colour development. Lowest fatigue was seen for washed samples containing the chemical stabiliser HALS, showing an increased colour development. In reference to earlier studies the protective properties of wax and whey powder is due to their oxygen barrier properties protecting the print. The tested treatments have shown that it is possible to reduce the effect of photo-oxidation during curing leading to prints giving higher colour development. This gives a great stand point when improving existing and future application of photochromic prints on textiles.
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