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Surfactants play an important role in changing surface tension of liquids and surface energy of fabrics. Thus, depending upon their intended use, they either enhance wettability of fabrics and liquid transport, or their barrier efficacy. Surfactants are among the most common additives used in pesticide formulations because they increase the efficiency of applied pesticides on target surfaces but their impact on protective efficacy of pesticide applicators clothing has not been studied. This study focused on the effect of surfactant concentration on liquid penetration in fabrics of similar geometry but different fiber contents. The results showed that surface tension of the liquid is an important factor in fabric wettability and penetration, but liquid viscosity which affects adhesion and rface density of liquid on the fabric also plays an important role.
barrier fabrics, capillary transport, fiber-content, surfactant concentration, surface tension, viscosity, wetting, wicking
Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
Research Associate, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL