Adsorption mechanism of surfactants on nonwoven fabrics



For improved surface properties, nonwoven fabrics of polypropylene and poly(ethylene terephthalate) were treated with several kinds of surfactants, including anionic, cationic, and nonionic types. The adsorption isotherms of the anionic, cationic, and nonionic surfactants on the nonwoven fabrics were different. The adsorption isotherm of the cationic surfactant (dodecyl dimethylbenzyl/ammonium chloride) exhibited a maximum. The adsorption isotherm of the anionic surfactant (sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate) was in the shape of the fifth Brunauer adsorption isotherm, and that of the nonionic surfactant (alkylphenol/ethylene oxide condensate) was similar to the fourth Brunauer adsorption isotherm. The time of the adsorption equilibrium was constant for the same types of adsorbate and adsorbent, and it was not related to the initial concentration. The specific surface resistance of the nonwoven fabrics decreased substantially after the adsorption of ionic surfactants. The nonwoven fabrics with the surfactants were characterized with scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 89: 3210–3215, 2003