Investigation onto the Effect of Surface Etching using Chemical Etchants on the Dye-Ability of UHMWPE Fibre
Ultra high molecular weight fibre cannot be dyed using conventional dyeing techniques as they are extremely hydrophobic and do not possess any polar groups. Wet etching of the surface was used as the pre-treatment process to improve the dyeability of the Ultrahigh Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) knitted fabric using potassium dichromate and sulphuric acid as etchants. The surface modified fabric was dyed at 130°C using high Temperature (HT) dyeing technique with disperse dye and evaluated in terms of Colour Strength (K/S), washing fastness, rubbing fastness, and tenacity. It has been observed that wet etching improved the colour strength substantially with an overall good fastness to washing and rubbing but the tenacity decreased with an increase in etching time.