Full steam ahead for fluorocarbon-free water repellency innovations by HeiQ

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HeiQ launches a performance enhanced version of its fluorine-free durable water repellent technology BARRIER ECO. In line with their sustainability approach, the Swiss textile innovator focuses entirely on DWR technologies without fluorocarbons and thus, provides environmentally-friendly alternative solutions to textile brands with diverse applications.

Lately textile brands, specifically outdoor brands, have been under pressure from a number of environmental NGOs, criticizing the use of fluorocarbon (PFC) based chemicals to achieve durable water-repellence (DWR) performance of ski jackets, pants and further outdoor gear. This criticism is based on the findings that PFCs are bioaccumulative and persistent in the environment. HeiQ’s BARRIER ECO was one of the first water repellent finishes without the use of fluorocarbons and is today one of the best in its class. This has been proven by the adoption of this effective and sustainable technology by well-known brands like The North Face, Völkl, Jack Wolfskin, Vaude, Mark’s and Outerknown.

Inspired by ducks’ natural ability to stay warm and dry in the wettest and harshest of conditions, BARRIER ECO’s innovative hyper-branched 3D structure imitates a duck’s feathery coat and repels water and snow effectively and ecologically without any harmful fluorocarbons so there are no PFOSs or PFOAs. Furthermore,  this bluesign-approved and Oekotex-conform technology provides a soft handle and retains breathability, and is therefore ideally suited for outdoor wear like jackets, hiking pants, fleece and also footwear.

However, to the present day fluorine-based technologies still deliver a higher performance than fluorine free technologies. HeiQ’s R&D team is working full steam ahead to further enhance its technological fluorine free offering.

Today HeiQ presents the enhanced product version BARRIER ECO DRY. With it, HeiQ has developed an all-round product applicable to all fiber types with improved performance results. Our Research has shown that fabric and good pre-treatment matters to achieve performance. HeiQ has optimized its fluorine free product formulation with Barrier ECO CEL to maximize performance on Cotton and Barrier ECO PES on pure Polyester fibers. These three sustainable product novelties will be presented at ITMA Milan from the 12th to 19th November at the HeiQ booth H8-E105.

HeiQ provides full support and advice to its customers during the transition to non-fluorocarbon based DWR technologies.

Diverse in-house ISO repellency test methods are provided to determine the technology’s performance on different fabrics and garments, including spray and roll-off angle test as well as the Bundesmann and water column testing.

During the ITMA exhibition, HeiQ’s CTO Prof. Dr. Murray Height will give a deep knowledge presentation about “Water repellency without fluorine – Learning from Nature” at the Textile Colourant and Chemical Leaders Forum on 14 November 2015.