Electron spectroscopy for chemical analyses (ESCA)—A tool for studying treated textiles



Electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA) has been successfully used to determine the location of flame-retardant polymers or reagents and crosslinking and oil/water-repellent reagents in relation to fiber surfaces of chemically modified cotton fabrics and cotton/polyester blends. Changes in intensity of characteristic ESCA element signals were followed as the particle size of the treated fabric varied. Dimethyloldihydroxyethyleneurea (DMDHEU) and the flame-retardant polymer formed from tetrakis(hydroxymethyl)phosphonium chloride (Thpc) and urea penetrate and are homogeneously deposited throughout cotton fabrics. The oil/water-repellent finish, FC-218, and the flame retardants from the THPOH/NH3 reaction and tris(dibromopropyl) phosphate are deposited on the surfaces of both cotton and polyester fibers.