The effects of ozone treatment on polylactic acid (PLA) fibres

EREN H. A. , Avinc O., Uysal P., Wilding M.

TEXTILE RESEARCH JOURNAL, vol.81, no.11, pp.1091-1099, 2011 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 81 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0040517510397576
  • Page Numbers: pp.1091-1099


A set of knitted poly(lactic acid) (PLA) fabrics was ozonated at room temperature for periods ranging from one to 60 minutes in order to identify any accompanying effects on physical properties (specifically whiteness, water-absorbency, flexural rigidity and burst strength), fiber surface integrity or internal microstructure. A significant (ca. 6% after 10 minutes of treatment) initial increase in whiteness was observed, with longer treatment times producing little further change. The fabric's absorbency and flexibility both increased, the time of wetting having fallen by ca. 20% and the flexural rigidity by ca. 16%, respectively, after 10 minutes of treatment. Fabric strength remained virtually unaffected for short times (up to 10 minutes) of ozonation, although longer treatments caused a measurable drop (ca. 10% after 60 minutes). SEM imaging showed virtually no evidence for surface damage, even after 60 minutes of treatment, whereas peroxide treatment caused massive pitting of the fiber surface. Raman spectroscopy of the ozonated PLA fabrics indicated that the treatment had not affected the internal microstructure of the fibers. Our conclusion is that brief (no more than 10 minutes) room-temperature ozonation is potentially an effective, safe and low-energy alternative to conventional higher temperature peroxide treatment.