The well-organized symposium was chaired by Nelson E. Houser (M. Dohmen USA) And included speakers and attendees from AATCC (of course), academia, and most of the entire supply chain from retailers, brand owners, fiber suppliers, mills, and chemical suppliers.
Day 1 focused on defining the terms used surrounding "moisture management" and understanding the complexities involved in choosing and performing the appropriate test(s). Speakers and attendees provided multiple perspectives throughout the day. Stakeholders from consumers to ingredient providers were considered throughout the discussions.
Day 2 continued with moisture management and thermoregulation topics including associated test methods but the morning talks soon turned to the related and desired benefits of water repellency. The applications and characteristics of fluorinated and fluorine-free durable water repellents were covered in depth. Essentially, fluorinated finishes can provide the unique combination of oil and water repellency but come with some amount of perceived negative ecological profile, while top-performing fluorine-free products provide durable water repellency without the controversial ecological profile but at the cost of no oil repellency.
Both days were filled with presentations, discussions, and comments from industry leaders and associated interests to better understand the consumer-driven desired characteristics of moisture management and repellency. The research and textile testing capabilities of NCSU were also discussed and demonstrated. Interestingly, the 2-day symposium provided a forum for learning about and understanding the present state of the art while also exposing many gaps and opportunities for future development.
Bolger & O’Hearn reports that they have recently developed a market-leading Fluorine free durable water repellent -- Altopel F3.