Archroma bringing protection and hygiene for textile products


Archroma continuously challenge the status quo in deep belief to make textile industry sustainable

Personal protective textiles needed, especially nowadays, in healthcare or hospitals must fulfill many performance requirements, where one of the most important properties is the resistance against fluids. Creating a barrier against fluids is needed to avoid skin contact with infective contaminants, as blood has a lower surface tension than water (42mN/m compared to 72mN/m), which means it can more easily penetrate through textile materials.

Figure: The majority of Archroma’s products are certified by some of the most important eco-standards.

Because of this lower surface tension of blood, the surface tension of the fabric becomes more important than the classic repellence needed in outdoor gear for example, where usually only protection against rain is needed. For the highest protection levels, an additional polymer film is necessary to provide a reliable pressure-resistant barrier, which can be achieved either by coating or lamination.

It is critical to keep in mind that, for all medical protective

clothing, the supplier of the final product is generally responsible for all regulatory compliance requirements, including proof of efficacy, etc.

Protective clothing

  • Protective clothing refers to the clothing worn by personnel in special areas such as medical emergency rooms, where infectious diseases can be found.
  • There is a wide field of different protective clothing types with different functionalities and therefore different requirements.
  • Disposable solutions are dominating the market.
  • Non-disposables can have the same performance but are more environmentally friendly.
  • The main requirements are different barrier functions against liquid penetration and blood repellence.
  • According to the zone and end-use, different performance levels are required as well.
  • It is crucial to understand which treatment is required and which standard has to be met.

Repellent barrier

Droplets emitted by humans when sneezing or coughing are water-based and hydrophilic micro-sized drops with a maximum 100-micron diameter. Coming from human saliva, they contain many different body-based particles and can also carry bacteria and viruses.

A repellent treatment of the textile helps to create a barrier effect on the surface and to allow fewer droplets sticking to the outer layer of the mask by minimizing contact between a potentially infectious agent and the fabric.

When comparing the existing barrier technologies, that are widely accepted in apparel and technical textiles, polyfluorinated chemicals (PFC) provide superior functionalities as they protect against water but also fat or oil-based liquids, but also as their ability to reduce the surface energy of textile materials is much higher. This high efficacy prevents droplets from adhering and allows them to easily roll off the article surface, thus avoiding contact with the skin surface.

Indifference to fluorocarbon chemistry, fluorine-free* repellent technologies provide a barrier effect only against water-based substances. This means that droplets that are not only containing water may not roll off that easily and may even adhere to a textile.

Antimicrobial hygiene protection

An antimicrobial treatment provides additional protection,

better hygiene and reduced odor, as any adhered bacteria are deactivated and unable to grow. In medical hygiene this is very important as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a common threat nowadays and adds risk to any virus-infected person who is hospitalized.

SANITIZED AG, our partner for hygiene technologies, aids measures to promote hygiene management.

Sanitized® T99-19 and Sanitized® T11-15 textile products were tested against viruses (following ISO 18184:2019) and show a reduction of viral load by up to 99% on treated PES textiles.

Tests were conducted using a feline coronavirus possessing structures and mechanisms reminiscent of SARS-CoV-2, thus facilitating inferences about COVID-19.

A positive viral load reduction on a treated article has to be tested according to national legislation requirements.

Viral activity

  • Viral activity efficiency after 2hrs according to ISO 18184 against feline coronavirus;
  • The feline coronavirus belongs to the same family as SARS-CoV-2;
  • As the virus activity declines on each surface a protection treatment must speed this up to reduce cross-infection;
  • Sanitized® T99-19 and T11-15 showing high efficiency;
  • Both products are not particle-based;
  • Antimicrobial treatments are more and more used in other items, such as fashion and activewear.

Best-in-class protection

Ideally, medical textiles and clothing should be treated with additives proving some barrier effect, anti-bacterial and viral reduction on the textile.

Archroma has you covered with potentially life-saving chemistry, in the outer layer, that helps to create a barrier against contaminated sneezes and droplets, and with antimicrobial treatments for the middle layer that provides additional material protection for better hygiene and comfort. The inner layer is usually kept chemical-free to avoid skin irritation.

Non-woven masks

Archroma-Non-woven masks-specifications

Community masks

COVID-19 transmits from people to people due to water-based droplets transportation.

The virus can adhere to various surfaces and can be carried by breath vapor and saliva droplets.

When our daily lives return to normal again, masks will likely be part of our regular equipment. We will need to be protected with a comfortable and efficient face mask.

Archroma has the expertise and technology systems to make sure that your mask has you covered.

What’s an enhanced fabric mask?

Construction should offer a minimum 2 to 3 layers;

Each layer has a different function, fiber and finish;

Each layer needs to be as breathable as possible;

The chemicals must be particle-free to avoid particle inhalation whilst breathing;

The chemical treatments need to offer some level of wash durability, as this is the major argument for textile masks.

Archroma’s latest-generation Nuva® N provides an excellent level of protection, offering maximum surface energy reduction, together with Sanitized® antibacterial additives.