US20030087566A1 - Meltspun thermochromic fabrics - Google Patents

Meltspun thermochromic fabrics Download PDF

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Publication number
US20030087566A1
US20030087566A1 US10/281,047 US28104702A US2003087566A1 US 20030087566 A1 US20030087566 A1 US 20030087566A1 US 28104702 A US28104702 A US 28104702A US 2003087566 A1 US2003087566 A1 US 2003087566A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
reversible thermochromic
nonwoven fabric
fabric
pigment
making
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US10/281,047
Inventor
Thomas Carlyle
Miguel Rivera
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Avintiv Specialty Materials Inc
Original Assignee
Polymer Group Inc
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US34806401P priority Critical
Application filed by Polymer Group Inc filed Critical Polymer Group Inc
Priority to US10/281,047 priority patent/US20030087566A1/en
Assigned to POLYMER GROUP, INC. reassignment POLYMER GROUP, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: CARLYLE, THOMAS, RIVERA, MIGUEL
Publication of US20030087566A1 publication Critical patent/US20030087566A1/en
Assigned to JPMORGAN CHASE BANK reassignment JPMORGAN CHASE BANK SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: POLYMER GROUP, INC.
Assigned to POLYMER GROUP, INC., FIBERTECH GROUP, INC. reassignment POLYMER GROUP, INC. RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST Assignors: JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT
Assigned to CITICORP NORTH AMERICA, INC. AS FIRST LIEN COLLATERAL AGENT reassignment CITICORP NORTH AMERICA, INC. AS FIRST LIEN COLLATERAL AGENT SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: CHICOPEE, INC., FIBERTECH GROUP, INC, POLY-BOND, INC., POLYMER GROUP, INC.
Assigned to WILMINGTON TRUST COMPANY, AS SECOND LIEN COLLATERAL AGENT reassignment WILMINGTON TRUST COMPANY, AS SECOND LIEN COLLATERAL AGENT SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: CHICOPEE, INC., FIBERTECH GROUP, INC., POLY-BOND, INC., POLYMER GROUP, INC.
Assigned to FNA ACQUISITION, INC., POLYMER GROUP, INC., DOMINION TEXTILE (USA) INC., FNA POLYMER CORP., CHICOPEE, INC., PRISTINE BRANDS CORPORATION, FIBERGOL CORPORATION, POLYLONIX SEPARATION TECHNOLOGIES, INC., LORETEX CORPORATION, FABPRO ORIENTED POLYMERS, INC., FABRENE CORP., PNA CORPORATION, PGI POLYMER, INC., PGI EUROPE, INC., FIBERTECH GROUP, INC., BONLAM (S.C.), INC., TECHNETICS GROUP, INC., FABRENE GROUP L.L.C., POLY-BOND INC. reassignment FNA ACQUISITION, INC. RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENTS Assignors: WILMINGTON TRUST COMPANY, AS SECOND LIEN COLLATERAL AGENT
Assigned to CITICORP NORTH AMERICA, INC., AS COLLATERAL AGENT reassignment CITICORP NORTH AMERICA, INC., AS COLLATERAL AGENT SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: CHICOPEE, INC., FIBERTECH GROUP, INC., PGI POLYMER, INC., POLY-BOND INC., POLYMER GROUP, INC.
Assigned to FNA ACQUISITION, INC., POLY-BOND INC., LORETEX CORPORATION, PRISTINE BRANDS CORPORATION, FIBERTECH GROUP, INC., FIBERGOL CORPORATION, PGI POLYMER, INC., POLYMER GROUP, INC., FNA POLYMER CORP., TECHNETICS GROUP, INC., PNA CORPORATION, FABRENE GROUP L.L.C., FABRENE CORP., CHICOPEE, INC., POLYLONIX SEPARATION TECHNOLOGIES, INC., BONLAM (S.C.), INC., PGI EUROPE, INC., FABPRO ORIENTED POLYMERS, INC., DOMINION TEXTILE (USA) INC. reassignment FNA ACQUISITION, INC. RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENTS Assignors: CITICORP NORTH AMERICA, INC., AS FIRST LIEN COLLATERAL AGENT
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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Classifications

    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D04BRAIDING; LACE-MAKING; KNITTING; TRIMMINGS; NON-WOVEN FABRICS
    • D04HMAKING TEXTILE FABRICS, e.g. FROM FIBRES OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL; FABRICS MADE BY SUCH PROCESSES OR APPARATUS, e.g. FELTS, NON-WOVEN FABRICS; COTTON-WOOL; WADDING ; NON-WOVEN FABRICS FROM STAPLE FIBRES, FILAMENTS OR YARNS, BONDED WITH AT LEAST ONE WEB-LIKE MATERIAL DURING THEIR CONSOLIDATION
    • D04H3/00Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of yarns or like filamentary material of substantial length
    • D04H3/08Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of yarns or like filamentary material of substantial length characterised by the method of strengthening or consolidating
    • D04H3/16Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of yarns or like filamentary material of substantial length characterised by the method of strengthening or consolidating with bonds between thermoplastic filaments produced in association with filament formation, e.g. immediately following extrusion
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D01NATURAL OR MAN-MADE THREADS OR FIBRES; SPINNING
    • D01FCHEMICAL FEATURES IN THE MANUFACTURE OF ARTIFICIAL FILAMENTS, THREADS, FIBRES, BRISTLES OR RIBBONS; APPARATUS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF CARBON FILAMENTS
    • D01F1/00General methods for the manufacture of artificial filaments or the like
    • D01F1/02Addition of substances to the spinning solution or to the melt
    • D01F1/04Pigments
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D01NATURAL OR MAN-MADE THREADS OR FIBRES; SPINNING
    • D01FCHEMICAL FEATURES IN THE MANUFACTURE OF ARTIFICIAL FILAMENTS, THREADS, FIBRES, BRISTLES OR RIBBONS; APPARATUS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF CARBON FILAMENTS
    • D01F6/00Monocomponent artificial filaments or the like of synthetic polymers; Manufacture thereof
    • D01F6/02Monocomponent artificial filaments or the like of synthetic polymers; Manufacture thereof from homopolymers obtained by reactions only involving carbon-to-carbon unsaturated bonds
    • D01F6/04Monocomponent artificial filaments or the like of synthetic polymers; Manufacture thereof from homopolymers obtained by reactions only involving carbon-to-carbon unsaturated bonds from polyolefins
    • D01F6/06Monocomponent artificial filaments or the like of synthetic polymers; Manufacture thereof from homopolymers obtained by reactions only involving carbon-to-carbon unsaturated bonds from polyolefins from polypropylene
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D04BRAIDING; LACE-MAKING; KNITTING; TRIMMINGS; NON-WOVEN FABRICS
    • D04HMAKING TEXTILE FABRICS, e.g. FROM FIBRES OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL; FABRICS MADE BY SUCH PROCESSES OR APPARATUS, e.g. FELTS, NON-WOVEN FABRICS; COTTON-WOOL; WADDING ; NON-WOVEN FABRICS FROM STAPLE FIBRES, FILAMENTS OR YARNS, BONDED WITH AT LEAST ONE WEB-LIKE MATERIAL DURING THEIR CONSOLIDATION
    • D04H1/00Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres
    • D04H1/40Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties
    • D04H1/42Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties characterised by the use of certain kinds of fibres insofar as this use has no preponderant influence on the consolidation of the fleece
    • D04H1/4282Addition polymers
    • D04H1/4291Olefin series
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D04BRAIDING; LACE-MAKING; KNITTING; TRIMMINGS; NON-WOVEN FABRICS
    • D04HMAKING TEXTILE FABRICS, e.g. FROM FIBRES OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL; FABRICS MADE BY SUCH PROCESSES OR APPARATUS, e.g. FELTS, NON-WOVEN FABRICS; COTTON-WOOL; WADDING ; NON-WOVEN FABRICS FROM STAPLE FIBRES, FILAMENTS OR YARNS, BONDED WITH AT LEAST ONE WEB-LIKE MATERIAL DURING THEIR CONSOLIDATION
    • D04H1/00Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres
    • D04H1/40Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties
    • D04H1/42Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties characterised by the use of certain kinds of fibres insofar as this use has no preponderant influence on the consolidation of the fleece
    • D04H1/4326Condensation or reaction polymers
    • D04H1/4334Polyamides
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D04BRAIDING; LACE-MAKING; KNITTING; TRIMMINGS; NON-WOVEN FABRICS
    • D04HMAKING TEXTILE FABRICS, e.g. FROM FIBRES OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL; FABRICS MADE BY SUCH PROCESSES OR APPARATUS, e.g. FELTS, NON-WOVEN FABRICS; COTTON-WOOL; WADDING ; NON-WOVEN FABRICS FROM STAPLE FIBRES, FILAMENTS OR YARNS, BONDED WITH AT LEAST ONE WEB-LIKE MATERIAL DURING THEIR CONSOLIDATION
    • D04H1/00Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres
    • D04H1/40Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties
    • D04H1/42Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties characterised by the use of certain kinds of fibres insofar as this use has no preponderant influence on the consolidation of the fleece
    • D04H1/4326Condensation or reaction polymers
    • D04H1/435Polyesters
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D04BRAIDING; LACE-MAKING; KNITTING; TRIMMINGS; NON-WOVEN FABRICS
    • D04HMAKING TEXTILE FABRICS, e.g. FROM FIBRES OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL; FABRICS MADE BY SUCH PROCESSES OR APPARATUS, e.g. FELTS, NON-WOVEN FABRICS; COTTON-WOOL; WADDING ; NON-WOVEN FABRICS FROM STAPLE FIBRES, FILAMENTS OR YARNS, BONDED WITH AT LEAST ONE WEB-LIKE MATERIAL DURING THEIR CONSOLIDATION
    • D04H1/00Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres
    • D04H1/40Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties
    • D04H1/42Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties characterised by the use of certain kinds of fibres insofar as this use has no preponderant influence on the consolidation of the fleece
    • D04H1/4382Stretched reticular film fibres; Composite fibres; Mixed fibres; Ultrafine fibres; Fibres for artificial leather
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D04BRAIDING; LACE-MAKING; KNITTING; TRIMMINGS; NON-WOVEN FABRICS
    • D04HMAKING TEXTILE FABRICS, e.g. FROM FIBRES OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL; FABRICS MADE BY SUCH PROCESSES OR APPARATUS, e.g. FELTS, NON-WOVEN FABRICS; COTTON-WOOL; WADDING ; NON-WOVEN FABRICS FROM STAPLE FIBRES, FILAMENTS OR YARNS, BONDED WITH AT LEAST ONE WEB-LIKE MATERIAL DURING THEIR CONSOLIDATION
    • D04H3/00Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of yarns or like filamentary material of substantial length
    • D04H3/02Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of yarns or like filamentary material of substantial length characterised by the method of forming fleeces or layers, e.g. reorientation of yarns or filaments
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T442/00Fabric [woven, knitted, or nonwoven textile or cloth, etc.]
    • Y10T442/20Coated or impregnated woven, knit, or nonwoven fabric which is not [a] associated with another preformed layer or fiber layer or, [b] with respect to woven and knit, characterized, respectively, by a particular or differential weave or knit, wherein the coating or impregnation is neither a foamed material nor a free metal or alloy layer
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T442/00Fabric [woven, knitted, or nonwoven textile or cloth, etc.]
    • Y10T442/60Nonwoven fabric [i.e., nonwoven strand or fiber material]

Abstract

The present invention relates to a method of achieving a uniform distribution of reversible thermochromic pigment within a spunmelt nonwoven fabric, by incorporating the reversible thermochromic pigment into the polymer melt at the time of fiber or filament formation. It has been found that incorporating the pigment into the polymer melt enhances thermochromic uniformity as well as fabric durability. In addition, the reversible thermochromic fabric is processed in a single formation step, resulting in the present invention being more efficient than those methods practiced in the prior art.

Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present invention relates generally to a process of manufacturing nonwoven fabrics, and in particular, a process that incorporates a reversible thermochromic pigment into a polymer melt in order to achieve a durable and uniform distribution of thermochromic characteristics within a spunmelt nonwoven fabric. [0001]
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Reversible thermochromic chemistry allows for materials which are capable of changing from a first color to a second color in the presence of heat. Such substances have previously been used in combination with nonwoven and woven fabrics. Woven fabrics are those fabrics comprised of a plurality of warp and weft yarns that are interlaced on a loom. Nonwoven fabrics are comprised of natural or synthetic fiber, or a combination thereof, which are formed into a web or batt and then bonded or interlocked by means commonly known to one skilled in the art. [0002]
  • Nonwoven fabrics are highly versatile as they can be altered functionally and aesthetically, by use of suitable additives, to meet the needs of a multitude of end products, such as in apparel, industrial, and hygiene products. Reversible thermochromic pigment is one such additive that can change the appearance of a nonwoven fabric, and is generally useful in that such pigments are indicators of thermal history or attainment of temperature. By incorporating a thermochromic pigment onto a nonwoven fabric, the fabric provides a visual indication of a shift in temperature of the fabric through color change. A nonwoven fabric comprising a reversible thermochromic pigment will change colors with the temperature flux, meaning it can go back and forth between two colors depending on the degree of heat directed toward the fabric. [0003]
  • As evident in the prior art, thermochromic materials have been used in combination with nonwoven fabrics, as demonstrated by U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,228,804; 5,252,103; and 4,681,791, all hereby incorporated by reference. [0004]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,228,804 describes a color-change material comprising a reversible thermochromic layer that is superimposed onto a porous layer, wherein the porous layer includes a low-refractive-index pigment. The microencapsulated thermochromic material is dispersed into a film-forming compound containing a binder and applied to a substrate, such as a nonwoven. [0005]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,252,103 teaches a method of pigmenting fibrous cellulosic material that can be a nonwoven fabric, in which the material is initially treated with a cationic compound and then immersed in an aqueous solution of an anionic compound and a pigment. A thermochromic substance may be added to said aqueous solution in order to give color-changing properties to the pigmented fabric and a binder may be added to the solution to enhance fabric durability. [0006]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 4,681,791 discloses a method of forming a reversible thermochromic nonwoven fabric by means of coating the individual fibers prior to forming the fabric. The individual fibers are coated with thermochromic pigment and a binder mixture whereby the resultant fabric is believed to have better thermochromic uniformity. [0007]
  • As indicated above, the prior art encompasses multi-stepped processes to achieve a thermochromic nonwoven. The durability of the thermochromic pigment, however, is deleteriously affected due to the topical application of the pigment onto the fabric. Topical application of the thermochromic pigment can lead to color flaws in the fabric's surface if the fabric is subjected to abrasion or the coating is not uniformly applied. The prior art clearly warrants a need for a more efficient mode of acquiring a durable thermochromic nonwoven fabric. The present invention discloses a rapid method of fabricating a uniform and durable, reversibly thermochromic nonwoven fabric. [0008]
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to a method of achieving a uniform distribution of reversible thermochromic pigment within a spunmelt nonwoven fabric, by incorporating the reversible thermochromic pigment into the polymer melt at the time of fiber or filament formation. It has been found that incorporating the pigment into the polymer melt enhances thermochromic uniformity as well as fabric durability. In addition, the reversible thermochromic fabric is processed in a single formation step, resulting in the present invention being more efficient than those methods practiced in the prior art. [0009]
  • Prior art suggests the use of a binder to assist with the adhesion of the reversible thermochromic pigment to the fiber, with the intention of enhancing the color fastness of the fabric. The present invention does not require a binder to either adhere the thermochromic pigment to the nonwoven fabric or for the purpose of color durability enhancement. By integrating the reversible thermochromic pigment into the polymeric melt, the pigment is incorporated throughout the extruded filaments, forming a uniform reversible thermochromic fabric and a fabric resistant to surface color defects that may be caused by abrasion or washing of the nonwoven fabric. [0010]
  • Reversible thermochromic pigments function under a Lewis acid chemistry. At a specific temperature, electron donation occurs resulting in a shift of wavelength absorption properties that causes a color change. The reversible thermochromic pigment particles utilized in the present invention consist of the standard color changing components that are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,681,791, hereby incorporated by reference. The reversible thermochromic pigment of the present invention also contains UV absorber chemistry in order to prevent thermochromic degradation in the presence of UV light. In the present invention, the manufacturing process time to produce a reversible thermochromic nonwoven is much shorter. The thermochromic concentrate is combined within a polymer melt blend creating a homogeneous mixture. The melt blend is extruded as the fibers or filaments are collected on a forminous screen forming a web. It is also within the purview of the present invention that the nonwoven fabric comprises staple length fibers. The web is then bonded to form a nonwoven fabric. The resultant nonwoven fabric is one that can alter its appearance by changing color in response to heat.[0011]
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • While the present invention is susceptible of embodiment in various forms, hereinafter is described a presently preferred embodiment of the invention, with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the invention, and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiment illustrated. [0012]
  • In accordance to the present invention, the nonwoven fabric is a spunmelt, as exemplified by meltblown fabrics or spunbond fabrics, and any combinations thereof. The fibers or filaments of the spunmelt can be selected from a group of polyesters, polyamides, or polyolefins, such as polypropylene, polyethylene, and the combinations thereof. The fibers or filaments may also be one of a multi-component configuration of the above mentioned polymers. The fibers may also be staple-length fibers wherein the molten polymer is extruded and drawn, resulting in a tow, which is cut into finite staple-lengths. [0013]
  • A spunbond process involves supplying a molten polymer, which is then extruded under pressure through a large number of orifices in a plate known as a spinneret or die. The resulting continuous filaments are quenched and drawn by any of a number of methods, such as slot draw systems, attenuator guns, or Godet rolls. The continuous filaments are collected as a loose web upon a moving foraminous surface, such as a wire mesh conveyor belt. When more than one spinneret is used in line for the purpose of forming a multi-layered fabric, the subsequent webs is collected upon the uppermost surface of the previously formed web. The web is then at least temporarily consolidated, usually by means involving heat and pressure, such as by thermal point bonding. Using this bonding means, the web or layers of webs are passed between two hot metal rolls, one of which has an embossed pattern to impart and achieve the desired degree of point bonding, usually on the order of 10 to 40 percent of the overall surface area being so bonded. [0014]
  • A related means to the spunbond process for forming a layer of a nonwoven fabric is the melt blown process. Again, a molten polymer is extruded under pressure through orifices in a spinneret or die. High velocity air impinges upon and entrains the filaments as they exit the die. The energy of this step is such that the formed filaments are greatly reduced in diameter and are fractured so that microfibers of finite length are produced. The extruded multiple and continuous filaments can be optionally imparted with a selected level of crimp, then cut into fibers of finite staple length. These thermoplastic resin staple fibers can then be subsequently used to form textile yarns or carded and integrated into nonwoven fabrics by appropriate means, as exemplified by thermobonding, adhesive bonding, and hydroentanglement technologies. The process to form either a single layer or a multiple-layer fabric is continuous, that is, the process steps are uninterrupted from extrusion of the filaments to form the first layer until the bonded web is wound into a roll. [0015]
  • The spunmelt nonwoven fabric of the present invention has a preferred basis weight range of 0.50-2.50 osy, with a most preferred basis weight range of 1.0-2.0 osy. Incorporated into the spunmelt polymeric melt of the nonwoven fabric is a reversible thermochromic pigment. In the present invention, the nonwoven fabric is lavender at room temperature, however the color of the fabric can be any one of an array of colors based on the thermochromic pigment used and is not meant to be a limiting factor of the present invention. The reversible thermochromic nonwoven fabric has a preferred temperature indicating range of 40° C.-60° C., with the most preferred temperature indicating range of 45° C.-55° C. The nonwoven fabric of the present invention changes from lavender to white when exposed to temperatures within the fabrics temperature indicating range. Once the temperature has risen above or below the temperature indicating range of the thermochromic nonwoven fabric, the fabric reverts back to the lavender color. [0016]
  • The reversible thermochromic pigment utilized in the present invention contains particles preferably 3-5 microns in size, with a most preferred particle size of 3 microns. The chemistry of the reversible thermochromic pigment is a conventional construct, consisting of an electron-donating color former, electron-accepting developer in which the compound contains a phenolic hydroxyl group, carboxylic acid with 2-5 carbon atoms or carboxylic salts, and a thermally controlled color-changing agent which can be an alcohol, ester, or ketone, to name a few. Such thermochromic pigments are available from Polymer Dynamix, including the reversible thermochromic pigment of the present invention, which is commercially known as TC-4555-PP. The thermochromic pigment is added to the polymer melt at a preferred range from about 0.5%-5%, having a more preferred range of 1%-5%, and a most preferred range of 2%-4%. [0017]
  • The polymeric melt may also contain additional additives such as UV absorbent chemistry in order to inhibit degradation of the electron-accepting developer in the presence of UV light. UV absorbent chemistries operate to transfer photochemical energy into thermal energy. Other additives that assist with product enhancements, such as static control, stain resistance, flame retardency, fluidic absorbency or repellency may also be utilized with the present invention. The reversible thermochromic pigment particles, which are incorporated into the polymeric melt, may also contain a coating, such as a wax, to assist with processing. [0018]
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, the spunmelt nonwoven fabric is a spunbond polypropylene with a basis weight of 1.50 osy and has a reversible temperature indicating range of 45° C.-55° C. The reversible thermochromic pigment was added at 3% by weight to the polymer melt. The resultant color-changing fabric can be useful in a variety of commercial applications such as bedding, apparel, and hygiene. [0019]

Claims (7)

What is claimed is:
1. A process of making a reversible thermochromic nonwoven fabric comprising:
a. providing a thermoplastic resin;
b. providing a reversible thermochromic pigment;
c. blending said thermoplastic resin and said reversible thermochromic pigment into a homogeneous blend;
d. extruding said homogeneous blend as continuous thermoplastic filaments;
e. collecting and consolidating said thermoplastic filaments into a nonwoven fabric; and
f. said nonwoven fabric exhibiting the ability to change color in response to heat.
2. A process of making a reversible thermochromic nonwoven fabric as in claim 1, wherein said thermoplastic resin is selected from the group consisting of polyamides, polyester, polyolefins, and the combinations thereof.
3. A process of making a reversible thermochromic nonwoven fabric as in claim 2, wherein said polyolefin is polypropylene.
4. A process of making a reversible thermochromic nonwoven fabric as in claim 1, wherein said reversible thermochromic pigment is a melt additive comprising an electron-donating color former, electron-accepting developer, a thermally controlled color-changing agent, and ultra-violet absorbent chemistry.
5. A process of making a reversible thermochromic nonwoven fabric as in claim 1, wherein said fabric exhibits the ability to change color within a temperature indicating range of 40° C.-60° C.
6. A process of making a protective composite wrap as in claim 1, wherein said consolidating means is a thermal calendaring process.
7. A reversible thermochromic nonwoven fabric comprising a nonwoven fabric comprised of a thermoplastic resin and a reversible thermochromic pigment.
US10/281,047 2001-10-23 2002-10-23 Meltspun thermochromic fabrics Abandoned US20030087566A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US34806401P true 2001-10-23 2001-10-23
US10/281,047 US20030087566A1 (en) 2001-10-23 2002-10-23 Meltspun thermochromic fabrics

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US10/281,047 US20030087566A1 (en) 2001-10-23 2002-10-23 Meltspun thermochromic fabrics

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EP (1) EP1446519A4 (en)
WO (1) WO2003035948A1 (en)

Cited By (24)

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US20050208850A1 (en) * 2004-03-19 2005-09-22 Nike, Inc. Article of apparel incorporating a modifiable textile structure
US20050274055A1 (en) * 2004-06-09 2005-12-15 Cook Roger B Color-changing fishing equipment
EP1725703A1 (en) * 2004-03-16 2006-11-29 University Of Delaware Active and adaptive photochromic fibers,textiles and membranes
WO2007032710A1 (en) * 2005-09-13 2007-03-22 Sca Hygiene Products Ab Absorbent articles and laminates containing a bonding pattern
US20080057261A1 (en) * 2006-08-29 2008-03-06 Mmi-Ipco, Llc Temperature Responsive Smart Textile
US20080057809A1 (en) * 2006-08-29 2008-03-06 Mmi-Ipco, Llc Temperature and moisture responsive smart textile
US20080075850A1 (en) * 2006-06-09 2008-03-27 Moshe Rock Temperature responsive smart textile
EP1942958A1 (en) * 2005-09-13 2008-07-16 SCA Hygiene Products AB Absorbent article with colour changing properties
EP1957020A1 (en) * 2005-12-07 2008-08-20 Sca hygiene products ab A method for manufacturing an absorbent article
US20080279253A1 (en) * 2007-05-10 2008-11-13 Macdonald John Gavin Method and articles for sensing relative temperature
US20080305700A1 (en) * 2005-11-04 2008-12-11 Espinosa De Los Monteros Carlo Non-Woven Fabric That Acts as an Indicator
US20090143516A1 (en) * 2007-11-30 2009-06-04 Macdonald John Gavin Thermochromic responsive elastic polymer substrate
US20090149925A1 (en) * 2007-12-05 2009-06-11 Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. Temperature Indicator for Warming Products
US20090149772A1 (en) * 2007-12-05 2009-06-11 Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. Temperature Indicator for Cooling Products
US20090326409A1 (en) * 2008-06-27 2009-12-31 Cohen Jason C Clothing sufficiency indicator
US20110052861A1 (en) * 2006-08-29 2011-03-03 Mmi-Ipco, Llc Temperature Responsive Smart Textile
US20120193002A1 (en) * 2011-01-31 2012-08-02 Judith Tracy Secure, protective cover for use with hot appliances
US20120211156A1 (en) * 2011-10-18 2012-08-23 Benjamin Robert Harvey Multi-seasonal camouflage pattern fabrics and coatings for hunting
US20120242009A1 (en) * 2011-03-22 2012-09-27 Timothy Ian Mullane Method of producing color change in a substrate
US20140196216A1 (en) * 2013-01-11 2014-07-17 Hill-Rom Services, Inc. Mattress topper, occupant support assembly and occupant support system with thermosensitive vapor transfer characteristics
US8871994B2 (en) 2010-12-10 2014-10-28 Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. Wetness sensor for use in an absorbent article
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US20090149772A1 (en) * 2007-12-05 2009-06-11 Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. Temperature Indicator for Cooling Products
US20090149925A1 (en) * 2007-12-05 2009-06-11 Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. Temperature Indicator for Warming Products
US20090326409A1 (en) * 2008-06-27 2009-12-31 Cohen Jason C Clothing sufficiency indicator
US9462828B2 (en) 2009-03-09 2016-10-11 British American Tobacco (Investments) Limited Apparatus for introducing objects into filter rod material
US9101166B2 (en) 2010-12-01 2015-08-11 Tobacco Research And Development Institute (Proprietary) Limited Feed mechanism
US9089163B2 (en) 2010-12-01 2015-07-28 Tobacco Research And Development Institute (Proprietary) Limited Feed mechanism
US10092032B2 (en) 2010-12-01 2018-10-09 Tobacco Research And Development Institute (Proprietary) Limited Feed mechanism
US8871994B2 (en) 2010-12-10 2014-10-28 Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. Wetness sensor for use in an absorbent article
US8794826B2 (en) * 2011-01-31 2014-08-05 Judith Tracy Secure, protective cover for use with hot appliances
US20120193002A1 (en) * 2011-01-31 2012-08-02 Judith Tracy Secure, protective cover for use with hot appliances
US8460597B2 (en) * 2011-03-22 2013-06-11 The Procter & Gamble Company Method of producing color change in a substrate
US20120242009A1 (en) * 2011-03-22 2012-09-27 Timothy Ian Mullane Method of producing color change in a substrate
US20120211156A1 (en) * 2011-10-18 2012-08-23 Benjamin Robert Harvey Multi-seasonal camouflage pattern fabrics and coatings for hunting
US9810587B2 (en) 2012-03-05 2017-11-07 Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organisation Composite sensor fibres and applications therefor
US9907718B2 (en) * 2013-01-11 2018-03-06 Hill-Rom Services, Inc. Mattress topper, occupant support assembly and occupant support system with thermosensitive vapor transfer characteristics
US20140196216A1 (en) * 2013-01-11 2014-07-17 Hill-Rom Services, Inc. Mattress topper, occupant support assembly and occupant support system with thermosensitive vapor transfer characteristics

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