Textile Antimicrobials

Chris Chadwick

Chris Chadwick holds the position of Technology Manager for the global textile applications business of Arch Chemicals, Inc. This business utilizes established Arch manufactured antimicrobial chemistry optimized for textiles and coupled with the consumer co-brand - Purista®.  Chris holds a B.Sc. Honours Chemistry degree and has 10 years of experience in technology development of antimicrobials for the coatings, timber, and plastics industries. 



Bacteria can have an impact on textiles and the users thereof, by generating odours that can make the wearer feel uncomfortable, and so the garment is likely to be washed frequently. Traditional methods of controlling bacteria, such as high-temperature laundry and use of bleach were compared with modern trends in wash practice.  Modern textiles are typically washed at lower temperatures using lower amounts of water, and as a result the textiles contain higher numbers of residual bacteria.  The antimicrobial PHMB (the active ingredient behind the Purista® co-brand) was examined using molecular modelling studies, to show how it binds at a number of sites along its polymer chain on cellulosic fabrics, resulting in a very durable finish on the textile.  PHMB’s non-specific mode of action against odour-causing bacteria was also examined.  The final part of the presentation looks at a life cycle analysis study of towels, where the energy consumption, from growing the cotton, through manufacture, to use by the consumer was analysed.



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