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A waterborne based polyurethane dispersion provides waterproof and breathable coating for outdoor textiles

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Outdoor clothing and accessories are designed to keep joggers and hikers dry when it’s raining. They also need to allow water vapor from sweat to escape. More and more, buyers are looking for outdoor textiles that have less impact on the environment. All three of these requirements are met by INSQIN® technology from Covestro.

We have developed new products under our INSQIN® brand that use water-borne technology to produce waterproof and breathable textile coatings for jackets, shoes, caps, gloves, backpacks and other items. The new coating is applied in a two-layer system using newly developed polyurethane dispersion products Impraperm® DL 5249 and Impraperm® DL 5310. Together, they are able to enhance the performance of outdoor sportwear and provide the increased functionality and comfort that consumers desire.

Rain, rain go away

Two layers are responsible for the waterproof properties of the outdoor clothing on display: an adhesive coating, which is based on Impraperm® DL 5310, and a surface coating, which is based on Impraperm® DL 5249. The layered garments can withstand a water column of more than 8,000 millimeters during testing. The water column is a measurement of how water-resistant a functional textile fabric is: when the measurement is carried out in accordance with DIN EN ISO 811, the outer side of the textile fabric is exposed to liquid. The water pressure is then steadily increased-until the third drop is seen on the inner side. The effective pressure at this point is then specified in millimeters of water column.

It is quite easy to customize the breathability and water resistance of the coating to the intended purpose and function of the textile fabric.

Thomas Michaelis

Head of Textile Coatings for the Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America (EMEA/LA) region, Covestro

Better breathability

Water-based coatings with Impraperm® DL 5310 and Impraperm® DL 5249 provide garments with good, uniform breathability over the entire surface. This is a clear advantage over other technologies for outdoor clothing, in which membrane films are spot-bonded with the textile fabric. Adhesives are usually not breathable, which means that no water vapor can escape at the adhesive points. However, water-based Impraperm® dispersions not only offer an alternative to this membrane technology, but can also be used to improve them: when used as an adhesive, they offer permeability for water vapor at the adhesive points.

A process improvement for the environment

Unlike conventional solvent-based technology for waterproof and breathable textile coating, the latest INSQIN® solution does not use solvents, thereby reducing the potential impact on workers and the environment in textile production. As importantly, textile manufacturers can switch quickly and easily to this more sustainable solution, thereby meeting their customers’ increasing demand for more sustainable clothing.

Highly versatile-not just for textiles

Tailor-made properties can be achieved by varying the formulation and coating thicknesses. Due to the many configuration possibilities of the INSQIN® system, its use is not limited to only garments. Owners of backpacks, shoes and gloves also benefit from it.

  • INSQUIN® technology offers excellent breathability for outdoor fabrics.
  • INSQUIN® technology does not use solvents, reducing thereby the impact of textile production on the environment.
  • Impraperm® polyurethane dispersions, when used as an adhesive, guarantee permeability for water vapor at the adhesive points.
  • INSQUIN® technology gives consumers a more sustainable choice for the clothing and accessories they use outdoors.

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