Clean chemistry, polymer science and a patented process, create the EMPEL™ advantage

The EMPEL™ chemistry foundation

Clean Chemistry, the foundation to a better long-term solution: use Hydrogen and Carbon – the building blocks of everything found in nature – and eliminate the use of water.

In traditional textile manufacturing, chemicals known as polymers are dissolved in water and then washed into the fabrics with a variety of complex machines. The problem with the old process, chemicals that wash on with water wash off with water. These water-based chemistries lack durability, uniformity and often involve many volatile chemicals dangerous to our health and our planet.

GTT starts with a water-free nature-based Hydrocarbon monomer solution. The best analogy is a can of white paint. Like adding color to a can of paint, additional safe chemistries can be added to the GTT base chemistry and then molecularly bonded to each fiber with a process called polymerization.

Conclusion; Fabrics treated with the GTT Hydrocarbon chemistry outperform all existing industry standards and eliminate the toxic waste stream discharged when polluted factory water gets dumped into the environment.

Polymers, the building blocks of GTT

The EMPEL™ process takes simple monomers and bonds them together as performance enhancing polymer chains to encapsulate each fiber of the fabric.

The word Polymer has two Greek roots, Poly meaning many and meros meaning parts. Polymers are large molecules made of small, repeating molecular building blocks called monomers. The process by which monomers are linked together to form a long molecule of a relatively high molecular mass is known as polymerization.

Nature invented polymerization and GTT has expanded on that concept. Common polymers from nature include wool and silk fibers and the cellulose that makes up plants. Man-made polymers are also commonly used outside the textile industry for example as binders to make paints stick to many different surfaces. The EMPEL™ process uses monomers and crosslinkers to molecularly bond unique and safe finishes to the individual fibers found in the yarns from which fabrics are made.

Molecular Bonding, why our chemistry lasts longer, performs better and creates new product opportunities

“Dry Curing” is the water-free, solvent-free process of taking our base monomer chemistry and turning them into polymers at the sight of the fibers. The EMPEL™ process uses thermal curing to create a molecular covalent bond between monomers and the fibers in the fabrics treated with our patented “Clean Chemistry”.   Thermal curing is accomplished by passing EMPEL™ treated fabric through a heated zone. The heat that the fabric is exposed to causes molecular bonding and polymerization to occur.

Once cured, the EMPEL™ treated fabrics remain stable and durable for the life of the fabric.  True polymerization causes bonding of the EMPEL™ polymers to the fabric.  This greatly improves the laundry durability and prevents breakdown of the polymers on the treated fabrics. (When clean fibers are treated with the EMPEL™ finish, the finished polymers will not wash off, rub off or wear off.)

Scanning Electron Microscope Pictures

EMPEL Dry FinishTraditional Wet Finish

Each fiber is individually coated

Test Results

Rigorous testing shows that EMPEL™ outperforms all other water repellent finishes.

There are two compelling reasons EMPEL™ Molecular Water Protection should replace all other water repellent finishes on the market; it delivers 10X better Performance and Durability. We test EMPEL™ against C8, C6 and C0 padded wet finishes for water repellency over time, laundry durability and abrasion resistance. The results are always the same, EMPEL™ wins, without close competition.

The current industry test method for water repellency, AATCC 22 will pass weak performing water repellent finishes with positive results. Those same water repellent finishes then fail and “wet out” very quickly in a severe rainstorm.

To demonstrate superior and differentiated results, GTT uses the more extreme Bundesmann Water Repellency Tester (ISO 9865). The Bundesmann machine generates large drops that fall 1.5 meters onto fabric swatches held over rotating metal cups. The artificial downpour is estimated to be 200-500x more powerful than a normal rainshower. In addition to the force of the Bundesmann rain, paddle wheels that simulate body movement break the natural surface tension of the suspended fabric.

Bundesmann testing shows that EMPEL™ delivers amazing results

Bundesmann test results also measure three levels of performance:

  1. Water beading on the surface is measured on a scale from 1-5.  5 means almost no drops are left on the surface after a 10-minute rain shower. 1 means the fabric has failed completely.
  2. Any water passing through the fabric swatch is collected in the cup and measured in milliliters. 
  3. The test fabric swatch is weighed before and after the test to determine how much water is absorbed by the fabric structure.

Bundesmann test results demonstrate that fabrics treated with EMPEL™ repel rain better, prevents rain from passing through the fabric and protect the fabric from absorbing water into the structure. Fleece hoodie fabric cannot normally repel water because the knit structure has too many openings. Watch how the rain runs off the face treated with EMPEL™.

Green_Fleece from EMPEL on Vimeo.

EMPEL™ versus C8, C6, not a contest

Here is the PROOF that EMPEL™ delivers better results than all other water repellent finishes. First, for performance, we directly compare fabrics treated with the leading toxic Fluorine chemistry C8 and C6. Several leading brands still use the C6 finish although the chemistry is hazardous and not as effective as the GTT EMPEL™ process.

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