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8 Unique Features of Optical Brighteners in Textile Industry

Author: Sameer Tendulkar
by Sameer Tendulkar
Posted: Mar 31, 2016
optical brightening

Optical Brightening agents (OBA) or Fluorescent Optical Whitening Agent are basically chemical based compounds, which are capable of absorbing light in the UV (Ultra-Violet) as well as violet area and later re-emits it in the blue area. Optical Brighteners play a crucial role in the textile manufacturing industry. They are used for treating different types of fabrics including wool, nylon, cotton, silk, polyester etc. Textile companies rely on bleaching and whitening methods to ensure that their fabric appears bright and white. Often, textile companies resort to bleaching for the purpose of getting rid of the color related impurities. However, despite bleaching, the fabric may appear creamish or yellowish in terms of color and looks, which prompts the need for applying or using optical whitening agents that are excellent for neutralizing this creamish or yellowish tint on the fabric.

Textile industry uses three different types of Optical Brighteners for treating textiles effectively. While, the first type are products containing sulfonic acid, including acid and dyes for wool, polyamides and cotton, the second type of OBA is basically a Cationic whitener that possess the functionalities of a basic dye and are used for whitening polyacrylonitrile fibers. The third and the final type is a whitening agent that is used for treating polyester as well as secondary fibers.

Following are the eight Unique Features or properties of Optical Brightening Agents or Whitening Agents:

  1. Solubility: Before choosing an optical brightening agent for textiles, one should determine whether it is soluble or not. The OBA should also have good amount of substantivity for the textile.
  2. Light and Wet Fastening: Optical Brightening Agents should emit good light and wet fastening properties.
  3. Exhaustion and Strike Rate: A high-quality whitening agent should have a good strike rate on the textile substrate as well as exhaustion and building up properties.
  4. Electrolytes: A good quality optical brightening agent must also have appropriate amount of electrolytes and sensitivity in order to impart enough whiteness to the fabric.

5. Penetration Properties: The Optical Whitening Agent should possess good amount of leveling as well as penetration properties.

  1. Compatibility: An Optical Whitening Agent should be stable and compatible with the finishing chemicals and the treatment process like temperature and heat.
  2. Colorless: A premium quality whitening agent should be colorless when applied on the textile substrates and it shouldn’t absorb on the part that is visible on the substrate.
  3. Fast and Stable: The Optical Brightening Agent should be fast and stable in case of the reductive and oxidative chemicals used for bleaching.

Before treating textiles with optical brightening agents, it is impertinent that textile industries take proper care of the fabric during the pre-treatment, removal of the sizing chemicals and scouring process. In the absence of appropriate care, the substrate may not appear as bright and white as desired. Therefore, to achieve desired whiteness level and also to treat the fabric effectively, textile manufacturers must use the best quality Optical Brighteners and also follow the appropriate procedures.

Need premium quality Optical Brighteners? Valblanc can provide you with innovative, reliable and effective whitening agents and optical brighteners for treating your textiles effectively.

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Author: Sameer Tendulkar

Sameer Tendulkar

Flag of India

Member since: Feb 22, 2015
Total live articles: 538

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