The hydrophilicity of fibers is directly related to the comfort of fabrics and is one of the most important aspects of textiles. Therefore, polyester (PES) modification has focused on increasing moisture content and subsequently improving user experience. Based on the hygroscopic properties of glycerol, the main goal was to enhance the hydrophilicity of polyesters by glycerin treatment.
In addition, microwave irradiation and alkali treatment were applied to increase the adhesion of glycerol. Treated PES samples were characterized for moisture content, negative ions, water diffusion, and water vapor resistance analyses. Effect of different treatment conditions such as liquor ratio (1/10 or 1/15), temperature (40, 60, or 100 °C), evaluation time (2 or 5 min), and microwave radiation intensity (300 or 500 W).
The moisture content results of the treated PES showed that by reducing the liquor ratio and increasing the time and temperature, the moisture increase can reach nearly 14%, which is easily related to the increase in fiber weight. Alkaline treatment is performed and results in the highest moisture increase. Treatment with 500 W microwave irradiation resulted in higher retention of glycerol after rinsing. Applying different experimental conditions to glycerin-treated PES fabrics resulted in a significant improvement in moisture content and increased comfort. The results were compared with those of cotton and wool, which had higher moisture than untreated PES.
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