28/03/2019 – DITF — auf Deutsch lesen

PFC-free outdoor and workwear

DITF and Hohenstein have investigated new resource-saving material concepts for polytetrafluoroethylene-free textiles.


PFC-free jacket with water vapour permeable microporous membrane © DITF


Functional textiles are water- and dirt-repellent while remaining breathable. To achieve this, surfaces that let nothing penetrate their protective layer, yet wick sweat away, rely on a microporous membrane of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). However, PTFE membranes are not only difficult to process but certain steps in their production have been revealed to be harmful to the environment. Thus, more and more outdoor and workwear manufacturers are looking for new materials. The innBW innovation alliance between the German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research (DITF) and the Hohenstein Institute has developed alternative microporous membrane laminates based on polypropylene (PP) and polyester (PES). The big advantage of these materials is that their production, processing and disposal have less of an impact on the environment. Polypropylene is the second most commonly used standard plastic and is often used in packaging. The research results were promising: impregnation agents containing fluorine can be replaced with fluorine-free alternatives available on the market while maintaining water repellency. This means that it is possible to create PCF-free clothing without the use of polyfluorinated compounds. Dr. Volkmar v. Arnim, team leader for technical textiles and surface technology at the DITF explains to textile network: „Microporous PP films are currently not used for textile laminates. So we currently don’t have an established supplier for these laminates. However, based on the results of our research, our existing suppliers should be able to produce them.“

Read more on our german website.