|Title of Invention||
"A BIOACTIVE TEXTILE PRODUCT"
|Abstract||The present invention relates to a bioactive textile product containing a cellulose fiber of the Lyocell type, the said fiber being characterized in that it exhibits a biodegradation rate of less than 60% after 20 weeks and/or in which the note for the susceptibility to Eurotium rubruni amounts to less than. 2 after 4 weeks at an air humidity of 85 %.|
|Full Text||The present invention relates to a bioactive product in the form of a textile article containing a cellulose fiber with a reduced biodegradation rate as well as a reduced susceptibility to moulds.
It is known to impart antimicrobial properties to cellulose fibers by means of additives.
From US 3,296,000 it is known to modify viscose fibers with 3,4, 4 ' - trichlorcarbanilide in order to achieve bacteriostatic properties.
The EP-A 0,728,855 describes the manufacture of fibers of various origins, among other things, cellulose fibers having deodorizing properties. Thereby, photocatalysts, in particular titanium oxide (TiCh) are used. In addition, an adsorbent in the form of a phosphate of a tetravalent metal and of a hydroxide of a divalent metal is used. The EP-A 0,728,855 furthermore describes that, in addition to the substance having a deodorizing effect, a metallic component (f.i.silver, copper or zinc) may be used as an antimicrobial component.
From the market survey " Functional Fibres-Trends and Product Development in Japan " of the Toray Research Center Inc., 1993, viscose fibers which are said to exhibit antibacterial and odour-reducing properties are known under the brand names" CELFRESH ", "PC Rayon", "CELBEL" and " CELCLEAN ".
In the case of the fiber " CELFRESH " activated carbon in an amount content of approx. 30% is added to the viscose. In the case of the fiber " PC Rayon " a metal phtalocyanine derivative is addedd to the viscose. Regarding the fibers " CELBEL " and " CELCLEAN " metal ions are applied onto the already spun fibers during the aftertreatment process.
However, the use of activated carbon or of metallic components involves the drawback that those components, as become apparent also, for example, from the above quoted market survey, are dyed and therefore have a negative impact on the whiteness of the resulting fiber. In particular in the so-called Lyocell process for the manufacture of cellulosic fibers, the addition problem arises that many metallic components reduce the stability of the cellulose solution.
The use of chitosan in order to give deodorizing and/or fungicidal properties or bacteriostatic properties, respectively, to cellulosic regenerated fibers is also known, for example, from US-A 5,320, 903 or from PCT-WO 94/09192.
Furthermore, it is known to furnish fibres or textile products with antimicrobial agents.
A disadvantage of additives or finishing consists in the possible toxicological and also ecological effects, for example by allergic reactions or also due to the release into the environment when washing the products produced therefrom.
Environments exhibiting an increased air humidity promote the growth of microorganisms, in particular of moulds, for instance in beddings, in particular in filings for bed linen and pillows. Those moulds also form the nutritional basis for mites.
Therefore, there still exists a demand for cellulosic fibres having biocidal properties, which, in addition, are skin-compatible.
STATEMENT OF INVENTION
The present invention provides a bioactive product containing a cellulose fiber of Lyocell type, said fibre being characterized in that it exhibits a biodegradation rate of less than 60% after 20 weeks and it is basically free from antimicrobial substances.
Preferably, the cellulose fibre according to the invention has a. biodegradation rate of less than 40%, particularly preferably of less than 30%) after 20 weeks.
Furthermore, the present invention provides a cellulose fibre which is characterized in that the note for the susceptibility to Eurotium rubrum amounts to less than 2 after 4 weeks (measured according to the test described below, mean value from three measurements) at an air humidity of 85%). Particularly preferably, the note for the susceptibility to Eurotium rubrum amounts to 1 or less after 4 weeks at an air humidity of 85%.
Preferably, the cellulose fibre according to the invention is preferably characterized in that it is a fibre of the Lyocell type.
Furthermore, the cellulose fibre according to the invention is preferably characterized in that it is basically free from antimicrobial substances. "Basically free" means that the fibre does not contain any additional antimicrobial agents apart from substances which are contained in the fibre as a result of the normal conditions of the respective manufacturing process and which possibly also display an antimicrobial activity.
Surprisingly, it has been found that, in case of Lyocell fibres, the growth of microorganisms is delayed or prevented, respectively, in comparison with other cellulosic fibres such as cotton or viscose fibres.
In solvent-spinning processes, the cellulose is dissolved directly in an organic solvent without the formation of a derivative and the solution is spun. Such fibres are also referred to as "solvent-spun" or "Lyocell" fibres. „Lyocell" is the generic name allocated by BISFA (The International Bureau for the Standardization of man made fibers) for cellulose fibres which are produced by dissolving cellulose in an organic solvent without the formation of a derivative and extruding fibres from said solution by means of a dry-wet spinning process or a melt-blown process. An organic solvent is thereby understood to be a mixture of an organic chemical and water. At present, N-methyl-morpholine-N-oxide is used as an organic solvent on a commercial scale.
In said process, the solution of the cellulose is usually extruded by means of a forming tool, whereby it is moulded. Via an air gap, the moulded solution gets into a precipitation bath, where the moulded body is obtained by precipitating the solution. The moulded body is washed and optionally dried after further treatment steps. A process for the production of Lyocell fibres is described, for instance, in US-A 4,246,221. Lyocell fibres are distinguished by a high tensile strength, a high wet-modulus and a high loop strength.
The present invention also relates to the use of the cellulose fibre according to the invention for the manufacture of yarns, fabrics, knitted fabrics, nonwovens and other textile articles. In particular, the invention relates to the use of the fibre according to the invention as a component of home textiles such as, for example, blankets, pillows, furniture, mattresses, towels, bed linen, in particular as a filling fibre in blankets, pillows, mattresses and furniture.
Furthermore, the present invention relates to a textile article, for instance a home textile, which contains the cellulose fibre according to the invention.
Preferably, the textile article according to the invention contains an amount of cellulosic material of at least 10% by weight. In case of furniture, said amount refers to the textile components (cover etc.) of the piece of furniture.
Preferably, the cellulosic material in the textile article contains the cellulose fibre according to the invention by 30 to 100% by weight.
Textile articles containing the cellulose fibre according to the invention are particularly suitable as bioactive products.
For the purposes of the present invention, "bioactive" is understood to be the delay or prevention, respectively, of the growth of microorganisms.
Due to the resistance of the cellulose fibre according to the invention to moulds, mites and the like are deprived of their nutritional basis. Therefore, textile articles according to the invention are particularly suitable also as anti-mite products.
Lyocell fibres (CLY) were compared with cotton (BW) and viscose fibres (CV) in a soil-burying test. In comparison with other cellulose fibres such as BW and CV, Lyocell fibres show a clearly delayed degradation behaviour or bioactivity, respectively.
Approx. lg of carded air-dry nonwoven fabrics (approx. 6x6 cm) are placed in a coarse-meshed bag of synthetic fabric (mosquito net) and sealed with adhesive tape.
The samples are buried in a container (flower box approx. 100 x 20 x 15 cm) centrally in horticultural soil (Spezial Humus, Messrs. Gartenhilfe GmbH 4030 Linz) and are set up in the dark at room temperature (20 - 25°C). The soil is kept moist by irrigation with tap water. At certain intervals, the samples are dug out, dried and weighed. Throughout the observation period, the degradation factor is determined by weight detection as well as optically.
The results are illustrated in the follwing table:
The Lyocell fibre indicated by "SI" is a Lyocell fibre furnished with silicone.
If the viscose fibre having a titre of 6.7 dtex is compared to the Lyocell fibres also having a titre of 6.7 dtex, a difference in the degradation rate of 40 - 50% will appear after 20 weeks.
It turns out that the biodegradation rate of Lyocell fibres is by 50% lower than that of viscose and by 80% lower than that of BW.
Testing fibres for their susceptibility to moulds
The trials described below were carried out at the EMPA (Eidgenossische Materialpriifungs-und Forschungsanstalt).
The test is performed according to rule CEN/TC 248/WG13/Doc N 142 - Method A2, wherein the growth of the mould fungus "Eurotium rubrum" is observed at room temperature and at an air humidity of 75, 85 and 100%.
The humidity in the moist chamber was adjusted by
NaCl for 75%
KC1 for 85% and
water for 95%.
Eurotium rubrum EMPA 633 was generally used as the fungus, the spore density of the inoculation amounted to 106 per ml.
The fungal growth at the samples is evaluated by means of the following diagram:
As can be seen in the following table, a Lyocell fibre exhibits a clearly inhibited fungal growth relative to viscose fibres after 4 weeks at an air humidity of 85%.
1. A bioactive textile product containing a cellulose fiber of the Lyocell type, said fiber being characterized in that it exhibits a biodegradation rate of less than 60% after 20 weeks and it is basically free from antimicrobial substances.
2. The product as claimed in claim 1, wherein it is an anti-mite product.
3. The product as claimed in claim 1, wherein amount of cellulose fiber ranges from 30 to 100% by weight.
4. The product as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein it is present as a yarn, a fabric, a knitted fabric or a nonwoven.
5. The product as claimed in claim 4, wherein it is a home textile comprising the cellulose fiber as a filling fiber.
6. The product as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the cellulose fiber exhibits a biodegradation rate of less than 40% after 20 weeks.
7. The product as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the cellulose fiber exhibits a biodegradation rate of less than 30% after 20 weeks.
8. The product as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the cellulose fiber exhibits a note for the susceptibility to Eurotium rubrum of less than 2 after 4 weeks at an air humidity of 85%.
9. The product as claimed in claim 8, wherein the cellulose fiber exhibits a note for the susceptibility to Eurotium rubrum of 1 or less after 4 weeks at an air humidity of 85%.
10. A bioactive textile product substantially as herein described with reference to the foregoing examples.
|Indian Patent Application Number||777/DELNP/2005|
|PG Journal Number||41/2009|
|Date of Filing||28-Feb-2005|
|Name of Patentee||LENZING AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT|
|Applicant Address||WERKSTRASSE 2,A-4860 LENZING,AUSTRIA.|
|PCT International Classification Number||D01F 2/00|
|PCT International Application Number||PCT/AT2003/000251|
|PCT International Filing date||2003-09-01|