Chemicals have long been used in fabric production.
They are a key ingredient in many other industrial products, including plastics, ceramics and pharmaceuticals.
But they’re also becoming more important in the global supply chain, with companies such as Bayer, Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Industries Inc. looking to improve the quality and speed of their processes.
As more and more chemicals are added to the fabric industry, they’re increasingly being processed in a manner that reduces the amount of chemical residues left behind, said Peter Gammel, professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a senior author of the paper.
“If you want to be able to produce the highest quality products, you’re going to need to eliminate a lot of those things,” Gammels told Reuters Health by phone.
Gammell and his colleagues analyzed the chemical composition of fibers in the fibers of more than a dozen fabrics from the chemical fiber to the fiber-to and fiber-amide, the most commonly used in these fabrics.
The scientists used a mass spectrometer to identify the chemicals in each of the samples, and then used computational modeling to calculate the chemical ratios of each chemical.
They found that the ratio of chemicals in a given fiber varied from about 2 to 3:1, with more chemicals per unit mass than in cotton and wool.
That ratio can change in a variety of ways, including from fiber to fiber-amide, the researchers found.
Chemicals used in textile production, from fabric to textile, are usually concentrated in the fiber and are mostly free to form molecules that can react with each other.
Chemically reactive molecules are molecules that are highly reactive to a wide range of organic molecules.
A person’s skin and eyes are made up of hundreds of thousands of these chemicals.
Chemical compounds in fabrics have been a mainstay of the textile industry for centuries.
For example, wool is a commonly used textile fabric and has been the material of many clothing and textile products for centuries, including the fabric of the United States, which is made from it.
For years, the cotton industry has struggled to make new fibers, especially for the textile and textile-based products that have become so popular over the past few decades.
That’s because the quality of the raw material is a major issue in the manufacturing of these products.
However, the synthetic fibers are much less prone to the problems that are typically associated with cotton, said Gammells co-author Benjamin G. Miller, an associate professor of textile engineering and textile science at UC Berkeley.
“This is an industry that is in a lot more demand than cotton,” Miller said.
Chemists are working to make the chemicals less toxic and to improve their durability.
For that, they use other chemical processes that are known to be less damaging, he said.
“You could just go to a factory and pick up a sheet of paper and they’re going into a chemical reaction, and it’s going to make your skin go red,” he said, referring to the chemical reaction that can produce harmful chemicals.
The researchers used computational models to calculate what would happen if chemicals were removed from the fabric before processing, and the scientists found that removing chemicals from the fibers would reduce the chemical levels in the finished product.
“The main goal was to find a process that would reduce [the chemical] residue to the level of the original fibers and the amount that we could potentially make,” Gamsel said.
In this case, the scientists used molecular techniques to create synthetic fibers that could be washed and dried with a chemical solution.
Gamsels and his co-authors are working on similar experiments that will evaluate chemical content of fibers for other fabrics, which will be important as the industry develops its use of chemical-free materials.
The research is published in the journal ACS Chemical Biology.