Belgium’s Europlasma was awarded Best Innovation in Sportswear and Outdoor Apparel at this week’s ITMA Future Materials Awards in Milan for its durable water repellent (DWR) coating solution.
The awards celebrate achievement in the textiles industry across 19 categories. Europlasma, a leader in low-pressure plasma technology, was also nominated for Most Innovative Medium Company.
On accepting the award, Wim Huijsman, Europlasma’s sales manager and environmental specialist, said, “We are proud to install a technology that puts social responsibility into practice, taking significant steps towards zero discharge of water and hazardous chemicals and carbon neutral performance.”
Europlasma’s 3-D plasma coating machines provide protection and functionality to the textile and footwear industries, among others, and the company has received praise for the environment-friendly nature of its products.
The most successful group of coatings is the award-winning DWR and oil repellent coatings, which are branded Nanofics 110 and Nanofics 120 respectively. These coatings are mostly used in outdoor, workwear or air filtration products. Nanofics 10 is primarily used by the medical industry as it makes materials permanently hydrophilic.
Peter Martens, Europlasma’s sales and product manager, said, “We see great interest from different industries to use Nanofics instead of wet chemical processing for functionalization of technical textiles. Customers not only use Nanofics to increase the performance of their materials and products, at the same time they want to radically reduce their environmental footprint by using dry and clean plasma technology.”
Huijsman continued: “From several case studies in sporting goods we have found that our customers, by using only one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of PlasmaGuard DWR chemical, they can save the world from five kilos (11 pounds) of traditional wet chemicals, more than 115 kilograms (253.5 pounds) of waste water and almost 80 kilograms (176 pounds) of carbon dioxide emission. PlasmaGuard DWR also eliminates the use of crosslinking agents, chlorides, formaldehyde, and other toxic products.”