Durable Press Finish of Cotton Fabric Using Malic Acid as a Crosslinker

  • Kim, Byung-Hak (School of Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University) ;
  • Jang, Jinho (School of Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University) ;
  • Ko, Sohk-Won (School of Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University)
  • Published : 2000.12.01


It has been considered that malic acid, $\alpha$-hydroky succinic acid, could not form crosslinks in the cellulosic materials unless activated by other polycarboxylic acids such as butanetetracarboxylic acid or citric acid because there are only two carboxylic acids per molecule available fur the formation of one anhydride intermediate. However we found that the dicarboxylic malic acid with sodium hypophosphite catalyst without the addition of other crosslinkers was able to improve wrinkle resistance of cotton up to $294^{\circ}$(dry WRA) and $285^{\circ}$ (wet WRA), which is a measure of crosslinking level in cotton. $^1$H FT-NMR, FT-IR and GPC analysis indicated the in-situ formation of an trimeric $\alpha$, $\beta$-rnalic acid with a composition of 1:3 through the esterification between hydroxyl group and one of carboxylic groups in malic acid during curing. The crosslinking of cotton was attributed to the trimeric $\alpha$, $\beta$-malic acid, a tetracarboxylic acid, which can form two anhydride rings during curing. The influence of crosslinking conditions such as concentrations of malic acid and catalyst, pH of the formulation bath, and curing temperature were investigated in terms of imparted wrinkle resistance and whiteness. The addition of reactive polyurethane resin in the formulation slightly increased the mechanical strength retention of crosslinked fabric coupled with additional increase in wrinkle resistance.