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Textile News

Dye And Pigment Makers Strive To Survive

<i>With the loss of more than 60 U.S. conversion plants in the past year, companies focused on added chemical product values at lower costs.</i><b>By Dr. Fred Cook, Head, School of TextileandFiber Engineering, Ga. Tech, and Consulting Editor</b>

Dyes, Pigments, AuxiliariesBy Dr. Fred Cook, Head, School of TextileandFiber Engineering, Georgia Tech, and Consulting Editor Dye and Pigment Makers Strive to SurviveWith the loss of more than 60 U. S. conversion plants in the past year, companies focused on added chemical product values at lower costs. 

As detailed in the featured report, Crisis in U.S. Textiles, the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) presents in stark figures the dramatic and rapid decline in the nation's textile flat goods manufacturing capabilities over the past three years, with more than 60 plants closing their doors in the past 12 months alone. Although the bulk of the loss has been in the textile apparel fabric arena, homefurnishing and industrial fabric manufacturers have not been immune to the historic down-sizing of the industry sector. Many of the closed operations contained coloration processes representing a considerable fraction of the U.S. market share. Coupled with a flood of cheap colorants entering the market from the Orient (chiefly China, India and South Korea), the traditional chemical suppliers of dyes, pigments and auxiliary chemicals are reeling under the combined pressures. In addition to following the textile apparel business south of the border with NAFTA and CBI initiatives, their uniform reaction to the crisis is to concentrate on the product sectors that are likely to remain on U.S. soil, and through chemical innovations, provide added value to the manufacturers and their products at lower overall costs. This includes finding ways and products to combine discrete chemical processes, e.g., bleaching and dyeing, as well as shorten remaining cycle times, both designed to increase productivity and lower manufacturing costs to keep domestic producers competitive in a global business. Meeting specific, short-term goals and desires of the manufacturers is the dominant mission of most of the chemical companies today, and with the future of the U. S. textile industry still very much in play, research into completely new chemistries in dyes, pigments and auxiliaries for U. S. market introduction has slowed to a snail's pace. Survival and competing for the remaining market share are the primary foci of the chemical vendor industry, and a considerable volume of innovation and creative thinking is being devoted to the area as winners emerge from the fray.Capitalizing on the industry movement to alkaline dye systems for polyester disperse coloration, Yorkshire Americas introduces Intratex PDA Liquid. The principal auxiliary in the company's latest version of the Synchron combined mild bleach/alkaline disperse, 1-bath/1-step dyeing system, the PDA Liquid sets pH and effectively buffers the dyebath. The PDA substantially reduces trimers on polyester fiber by saponification and eliminates trimer deposition on equipment, reducing cleaning times. It exhibits no adverse effects on the disperse dyes or the polyester fiber properties. Selected disperse dyes are used that are stable to the caustic and mild hydrogen peroxide (HP, 0.2% w/w) levels used in the Synchron system. Primarily developed for whitening/dyeing polyester-cotton blends or 100% polyester fabrics in jets, the Synchron System decreases overall cycle time and increases productivity. Yorkshire's Pat-Lev PL is an improved migrating agent for disperse dyeing of polyester textiles at low liquor ratios (LR's, Bayer purchased Sybron in the past year, and its Industrial Chemicals Div. is driving a number of initiatives to develop processes and systems to increase the industry's productivity while decreasing overall costs. Baglase RP is a new peroxydase enzyme afterscour product that effectively removes hydrolyzed reactive dyes from cellulosic goods with a single rinse while increasing wash fastness. The product is somewhat dye selective, showing excellent effectiveness (75-80% loose color reduction) for certain ranges and colors while reducing total cycle time by ~15 minutes. It is especially suitable for afterscouring heavy reactive red shades.Bayer is also working to improve acid dye penetration/fixation on nylon and nylon/Lycra swimsuit products. The goal is to improve properties without adding excessive chemical costs, process time or stiffness to manufacturing the product. Currently coded F-2080B, the new chemistry is a blend of a fixative (from the company's Mesitol line) with a mixture of tannic acids. It will be marketed under the Vaportec series of acid dye fixatives, and is especially effective at a 3 g/l treatment concentration on dark reds, substantially increasing the shade's water, perspiration and IIA wash fastness test results. To replace sodium chloride as a dye salting-out agent, Bayer offers Tanasalt as a liquid. The product, based on sodium acetate, is more expensive than sodium chloride, but is useful in situations where the latter can no longer be used in dyeing formulations, e.g., cases where the plant effluent is toxic to, or causes sterility or reproductive problems in, daphnia shrimp or other EPA test organisms.In an interesting twist, Bayer grafts an ionomer built on urea sulfamate chemistry onto cotton to make the fiber highly anionic. The product, called Supercotton 102, is stable to bleaching, allowing a post-treatment whitening process for the textile. The treated/bleached material can then been sewn into garments adjacent to fabric pieces that are dyed with anionic dyes, i.e., white-on-colored constructions, without worrying about dye transfer in later home washing operations.Nicca USA introduces a lower cost, non-aromatic dispersing/leveling agent for disperse dyeing of polyester at low LR's, ND-557. The product consists of an anionic dispersion of a nonionic ester, is low foaming and effects excellent dye dispersibility with no coagulation. The leveler provides excellent dye levelness, retardation and migration. As a greater migration aid, Nicca offers Sunsolt RX-22 dispersing/leveling agent, which also exhibits excellent stripping performance and low foam. The formulation bases on a SAC (Nicca's RM-340U) plus a low molecular weight (MW) aromatic ester, and is supplied as a clear, amber liquid.Direct, reactive and acid dye fixatives have been a mainstay at Nicca (the company is the largest world supplier of the first), and Neofix E-117 and Neofix F are the latest introductions to the line. E-117 is heavy metal free (contains no zinc), and is non-formaldehyde and non-flammable. Marketed as a dark brown liquid with no distinct odor (50% active solids), the formulation bases on an amine-condensate polymer. E-117 imparts excellent washfastness to cellulosic fabrics dyed with either directs or reactives, and is applicable by both continuous and exhaust methods. A lower cost fixative, Neofix F is supplied as a clear, colorless, non-flammable liquid with a pungent odor. Built on a formaldehyde condensate polymer, the washfastness improvement imparted by the fixative is described as good, and it can also be applied both continuously or by exhaust methods. For fixation of acid dyes on nylon and its blends with Lycra, Nicca touts SUNLIFE XL-5 as showing excellent acid stability, compatibility with cationic-type levelers (lending itself to 1-bath/2-step applications, saving cycle time and increasing ), and no flame propensity.Riding the wave of the commercial dye synthesis capability built up in the orient over the past 10 years, Isochem Colors bases its business on ability to purchase colorants mostly from China and India, which it then standardizes, reformulates and sells to the manufacturing industry. With marketing and technical service the cornerstones of its business, Isochem is aggressively marketing a line of bifunctional reactive dyes (built on vinyl sulphone/chlorotriazine chemistry) in highly concentrated liquid form:-Isozol Navy FBN 40% liquid;-Isozol Yellow RN 50% liquid;- Isozol Red 3BSC 50% liquid.The company formulations exhibit excellent reproducibility and excellent strike/exhaustion characteristics. Usually, Isochem can reduce plant dye costs when compared to competing products from integrated chemical companies. The next expansion for the company will be into auxiliary chemicals, with some penetration into pigments for non-textile markets, e.g., plastics. Dystar continues its commitment to R and D, expanding the range of its Procion XL + reactive dyes gained in its merger with BASF. Designed for "right the first time (RFT)" dyeings, the colorants are described as polyfunctional and deactivated chromophores. They exhibit outstanding level dyeing performance, unequalled levels of shade reproducibility and fastness profiles to meet modern retailer requirements, particularly with respect to washing stability. In recognition of the outstanding efficiency of the Procion XL+ reactive dyes, Dystar received the UK Green Chemistry Award for industrial companies at a London Ceremony in December 2000. The Green Chemistry Network, whose members include the Royal Society of Chemistry, awarded the prize for the first time to encourage young scientists and companies in the U.K. to accelerate their focus on environmentally compatible alternative chemistries.  
The Levafix CA group of bifunctional reactive dyes touting modern anchor chemistry has also been launched by Dystar, first with four trichromatic dyes (yellow, red, blue and navy). To extend the CA range, Dystar is currently introducing orange and brilliant yellow colorants. The CA group is versatile, being applied by all the current commercial methods, including high-temperature garment dyeing processes. The dyes are AOX-free and exhibit high fixation yields and excellent wash-off properties, the latter two minimizing effluent treatment costs. High fastness properties (particularly wash and chlorine) distinguish the CA series. The CA dyes can be combined with all older Levafix and Remazol Dystar colorants. All of the Dystar reactive dye lines are today approaching direct dyes in superior lightfastness performance.Dystar maintains a niche market in direct dyes with its KBE series of colorants, currently marketing an economical orange, red and blue range that is trichromatic and high temperature stable. Dystar faces stiff competition from the Asian market in disperse dyes, with 80% of the current volume usage revolving around known Colour Index numbers. Improved wet fastness is also a major thrust at Dystar, with the recent introduction of Dispersol XF and SF series' of colorants providing high wash fastness results while working well with micro fibers and high-temperature application processes (up to 275 F). As a bonus, the dyes yield colorless by-products in the reduction-clearing process, facilitating effluent treatment. One example in the SF series, Dispersol BZDF, has particular fastness advantages in the dark red coloration area, completely avoiding cross staining with white fabric components of garments. The dye bases on benzodifuranone chemistry and thus is more expensive, but fits the bill where extremely high wash fastness of final products is a must. The XF and SF series of dyes are also useful in the coloration of microdenier polyester/Spandex (or Lycra) blends. As with much of the industry, Dystar is addressing with its disperse dye lines the new General Motors (GM) solar testing standard methods for polyester automotive fabrics (the so-called Arizona desert test). The more stringent test was developed in recognition of the fact that today GM dealers garner more profits from re-sales of rental cars than they do new cars, and faded textile components dramatically decrease the ease of sale and value of such automobiles. Introducing the 40 kW Langely as the standard exposure for the test, >40% of automotive fabrics first tested failed.Dystar introduces the Dianix AM-SLR series of four disperse dyes to meet the GM test, with a trichromatic yellow, orange, red and blue. The dyes will meet the key criteria of low and on-tone fading in the test, and are currently under evaluation at an industrial beta site. Significantly, AM-SLR colorants constitute single dyes, not dye combinations, and there is no "standard" dye chromophore base for the series.  According to Dystar researchers, the GM solar test is considered as close to automotive exposure reality as can be attained, although the Atlas Co. is currently working on a simulation/instrument test as a substitute for it. In addition, a combination of Ford Motor Co., GM and Atlas is considering a new specification test that is an indicator of the solar test for 2002 introduction. Building on its 100-yr history in synthetic vat dyes (dating from BASF's introduction of the Indanthren line in 1901, led by Vat Blue 4), Dystar is striving to increase market penetration of leuco state indigo dye (shipped under a nitrogen gas blanket to oxidation) from 20 to 40%. By avoiding plant use of sodium hydrosulfite (the common reducing agent for vat dyes), the industry benefits from decreased chemical and pollution treatment costs. Dystar is also partnering with a German company to perfect an electrochemical process for reducing the indigo to its leuco forms, avoiding hydro use altogether. In its Astrozon range of cationic dyes, Dystar is introducing a limited line (a yellow, two reds and two blues) of colorants that are ground to the 5 micron powder range to facilitate automated dispensing in plants that are incorporating that new capability. The newest reactive dyes for wool and silk are in the Realan series, and they are metal ion free colorants. For outdoor or indoor furnishing fabric applications, Dystar recommends its Imperon HF (for high fast) series of pigment preparations for textile printing, dyeing and coating applications. Currently consisting of eight products, the series comprises selected pigment preparations that provide maximum light fastness for pale shades, extremely high weather and dry cleaning fastness, optimum heat stability and very good PVC coating fastness. Cognis, which evolved from Henkel, enhances its reputation for product innovation by developing radiation-curable materials for both digital and screen-printing operations. Jet inks, which are still in the patent work stage, will give both ultraviolet (u-v) and electron-beam curing flexibility. A patent has recently been granted the company for a radiation-curable screen-printing paste that exhibits excellent rheological properties while allowing over twice the carbon black loading of normal pastes without introducing product crock fastness problems.Cognis' Chromaset CBF provides an economical, superior barrier for chlorine fastness on both natural and manmade fibers (e.g., nylon and its blends with elastomeric fibers), being especially effective for reactive dyed cotton toweling. Polymeric and anionic in nature, CBF is marketed as a clear, brown liquid, and has no phenol or formaldehyde constituents. The formulation is stable to electrolytes, is shear and acid stable (and can therefore be jet applied), and does not impact dye lightfastness. Applied as an aftertreatment, CBF imparts superior washfastness with minimal shade change to pastels. As an effective prescour agent and gas fade inhibitor for manmade fabrics, Cognis offers Syntergent SFE as a clear, pale liquid, nonionic in nature and at a pH of 7.5 (1% in distilled water). The formulation bases on a mixture of antioxidants and SAC's. Serving its dual role, SFE produces clean, oil-free goods for dyeing or printing while imparting gas-fading inhibition properties to nylon and other manmade fibers. The material is environmentally friendly, contains no m-pyrol or nonyl phenol constituents and is compatible with other scouring agents and most optical brighteners. Application can be either by continuous or batch exhaust methods, e.g., both dyed and bleached white goods are treated wet-on-wet prior to drying and heat setting. As a liquid reducing agent for clearing disperse dyes on polyester and its cellulosic blends, Lorinol GF is the latest outgrowth from Cognis' multiyear development of biodegradable "sugar polymer" chemistries. Described as an organic reducing agent with additives, the formulation is nonionic in nature, and is sold as a colorless to slightly yellow liquid. GF exhibits a strong reducing effect in alkaline media without using hydro, and effectively removes unfixed disperse dyes from polyester fibers while improving the colorfastness of the product. The material is not suitable, however, as a substitution product for hydro in the reduction of vat dyes or for stripping impaired dyeings. Designed by Cognis for protecting wool in its pure form and in blends with polyester during dyeing, Breviol WSM is a new protein hydrolysate product that is chemically related to wool itself and functions as an auxiliary chemical in exhaust applications. Anionic in nature, the brown liquid decreases wool strength and elongation properties during dyeing, improves spinning/winding processing properties (e.g., gives fewer thread breakages), leads to better solubility of wool impurities such as alkalis, urea-bisulfite and cystine contents. Mass wise, WSM offsets the inevitable natural protein loss from wool during processing, preventing greater weight loss and damage. One caution given for the product is that it is poor in foaming, limiting its use in jet or package dyeing machinery with their high-liquor flows.CHT R. Beitlich, which recently gained better access to the U.S. market by acquiring Catawba-Charlab, is continuing the latter's exemplary plant technical service strengths while adding new products and marketing expertise. Chemically, the company is seeking to more creatively combine product properties and to promote higher active ingredient concentrations in its products. In the reactive dyeing of cellulosics, CHT offers several new auxiliaries to aid the coloration process, including Meropan US. Described as an anionic polyacrylate, the phosphorous-free formulation serves as a protective colloid for the dyebath, effectively binding calcium and magnesium hardness cations while exhibiting good dispersing behavior and salt stability. It uniquely binds with hydrolyzed reactive dye, blocking re-uptake of the latter and thus lending to good wash-off behavior of the dye hydrolysate. Sarabid LDR, touted by CHT as a reactive dyebath conditioner, promotes levelness and increases dyestuff solubility while decreasing dye clustering. All of these benefits reduce the cycle time because of the accelerated level behavior. It also imparts an excellent dispersing effect, binds calcium and magnesium hardness cations and prevents any type of precipitation of dyebath impurities onto the goods. LDR bases on a special polyacrylate/dispersing agent mixture that is anionic in nature, and is recommended for use at a spartan 1-2 g/l concentration. For excellent improvement of wash and wetfastness of reactive dyed cellulosics, CHT recommends Rewin TNT cationic fixative at a 2-3 % w/w application concentration. TNT has no or only small influence on the shade and lightfastness of the dyed product, and protects against dye hydrolysis and migration on the goods. A new leveling agent for the high-temperature coloration of polyester with disperse dyes is CHT's Egasol AME. Described as a carboxylic acid compound of mixed nonionic/anionic character, AME has good affinity for the fiber and is an excellent leveler and migration agent. It also exhibits excellent emulsifying properties, acting as an in situ scouring agent to disperse oils from the dyed goods and allowing 1-bath, 1-step prewash/scouring and coloration of the fabric. The leveling power of the AME allows increased heat-up rates and minimizes the effects of temperature differences in the machine (especially jets, being low-foaming), reducing overall cycle times. AME covers barre tendencies in polyester fabrics, leads to good rubbing fastness and has no adverse impact on lightfastness of the disperse dyed goods. As an antioligomer (trimer) deposition product in high temperature disperse dyeing of polyester fabrics, CHT markets Sarbid VP 174, a special dispersing agent that is an anionic mix of alkylarylsulfonate and alkylethersulfate chemistry. The VP 174 formulation also avoids frosting effects on the goods, and can be utilized directly in the dyebath or as an aftertreatment. Clariant is actively developing new dye chromophores and chemistries for specific needs. The Foron AS line of disperse dyes for polyester automotive fabrics focuses on the new solar tests, and in initial applications, the dyes performed well under the fade test conditions. The line is full range on introduction, providing a wide spectrum of combination shades, and the combined colorants exhibit excellent on-tone and uniform fading characteristics in the solar tests. In multifunctional reactive dyes for cellulosics, the Drimarene HF (for high fixation) line from Clariant is AOX free, and results in better economies of application and reduced pollution by fixing a higher percentage of the dyes on the fiber while requiring less salt than conventional reactives. The HF dyes also exhibit higher fastness characteristics on fabrics than older reactives, making them suitable for high-end, niche goods. The available range is complete and in full application mode.Expanding its "hot, brilliant" Drimarene reactive dyes, Clariant is introducing three new colorants to its line:-Drimarene Yellow X8-GNa brilliant lemon-yellow dye, this colorant gives increased brightness with a green-yellow slant to the shade.-Drimarene Scarlet 3GNa bright, brilliant scarlet dye, 3GN fills a current void in the X-dye color line.-Drimarene Navy CLGa low-cost, competitive (with C. I. Reactive Black 5) colorant with enhanced fastness properties on cellulosics.Clariant is also preparing to globally launch a new sulfur dye range, the Diresul RDT Line. Incorporating new chemistries, the range is characterized by reduced sulfide levels and lower emissions, improved cost economics and competitive fastness properties. New navy, yellow and deep green colorants are included in the new line.Again for the automotive fabric market, Clariant offers Fadex ECS Liquid, a benzophenol-based, non-fogging formulation that is co-applied in the dyeing process and protects the dye from UV fading. New chemistry is brought to bear by Clariant with its introduction of Antimussol S Liquid silicone defoamer. The material is the most effective on the market in both acid and basic pH ranges, is high-temperature stable, provides gradual foam knock-down protection, and does not itself "break" on cool down of the dyebath. For effective fixation of acid dyes on nylon and its elastomeric fiber blends, Clariant's Nylofixan MF-2N provides excellent shade retention to washing. To address the growing UV exposure problem contingent with atmospheric ozone depletion, Clariant offers Rayosan P for disperse dyeing operations on polyester and Rayosan CO for chlorotriazine-based reactive dyeing systems on cellulosics. Both increase the SPF factor substantially of the dyed goods, better protecting the wearer's skin from UV radiation.Partnering with the RohmandHaas, Apollo Chemical markets its ColorStrip 2000 (supplied as a clear liquid) for the effective reductive stripping of reactive, direct and disperse dyes from fabrics (the formulation is not as effective in removing sulfur and cationic dyes). The material also cleans the machine and decolorizes the removed dye, reducing effluent treatment requirements. Fiber strength loss is minimal. The formulation contains sodium borohydride as the main reagent, and it is stabilized with sodium hydroxide and activated by sodium metabisulfite (the latter is added separately to the bath) and thus has to be handled carefully in the plant. The formulation is also used in place of hydro to reduction clear disperse dyes from cotton-polyester blends before the cellulosic dye cycle, again with the disperse dye in the bath being decolorized before dropping. Since no acid neutralization rinses are necessary and fewer after rinses are required, the 2000 reduction clear method saves 30-60 minutes of total cycle time over the traditional hydro-based reduction clear. In the batch coloration of cationic dyeable polyesters and acrylics, Apollo's Apcolev CAT provides maximum dye migration with minimal retardation action, promoting rapid leveling. The fomulation bases on an amine SAC. In a similar vein, Apcolev MWA is an excellent leveling agent for acid and premetallized acid dyes on nylon textiles (stock, yarn, hosiery [especially effective leveler here], carpet or fabric coloration). It promotes full dye exhaustion during differential dyeing situations, and facilitates excellent tone-on-tone shade build and migration. As an added property, MWA acts as an effective antistat for all fibers. Compatible with most dyebath auxiliaries, the formulation is described as an aqueous blend of organic surfactants, and is marketed as a clear, yellow liquid of mixed nonionic/mildly cationic nature. Fully soluble in water, MWA forms a clear solution. Finally, Dilev SDL leveler is offered by Apollo to promote maximum migration of direct dyes on cellulosics with minimum retardation. SDL allows for full salt addition to the direct dyebath at the beginning of the cycle, resulting in timesavings. The high migration characteristic also makes SDL an excellent additive for repairing unlevel dyeings, and it allows for dye adds at hot (160F) temperatures. Based on a cationic polymer, the SDL formulation is mildly cationic in nature, and is supplied as a colorless to light straw colored liquid at a relatively low pH of 4.3 to stabilize the cation. In the printing arena, Apollo introduces Apolloscour NPW as an effective agent for the removal of unfixed acid dyes and printing auxiliaries in continuous dyeing of nylon and its elastomeric fiber blends. NPW minimizes the redeposition of color and any reserve auxiliaries (it's an excellent compatibilizer for these) onto the unprinted areas of the pattern. Described as an aqueous mixture of organic SAC's, the formulation is supplied as a clear, yellow liquid (pH 5.5 in 5% w/w concentration) whose viscosity lends itself well to automated dispensing equipment. Apollo touts NPW as economical, low foaming and easily removed from the goods by washing. For the future, Apollo is focusing on "value added," revolutionary products that customers will be willing to purchase, with the main development driver being cost savings. Especially important is to develop chemicals and formulations that are fully compatible with the new generation of automatic chemical dispensing systems, working with product characteristics such as performance under shear pressures, viscosity and overall rheological characteristics. As has been historically the case, Burlington Chemical maintains a major focus in the coloration of nylon and its blends with elastomeric fibers, and especially in dyeing activewear. Global sourcing of chromophores gives Burlington to capability to lead in nylon dyeing, and its Nylon Specialties Team is organized to give product "cradle to grave" support service to the nylon dyers. For example, the Burconyl AF Dyeing System combines the advantages of the AF acid dye line with developed Burco auxiliaries and post-treatment chemicals to maximize dye exhaustion, level and fixation and thereby eliminate dye fixation cycles, decreasing total cycle times and costs. Burlington's "House of Blacks" line of shades is especially strong in the nylon and blend activewear market. When an acid dye fixative is necessary, Burcofix PAS and CSF are being launched as acid stable formulations built on anionic polymers (Syntan-based) that are co-applied in the dyeing process. PAS imparts excellent stability to the acid dye shades, including outstanding wet fastness. The CSF formulation contains an extra additive that is compatible with cationics, and represents the most dyebath compatible fixative in the Burco line. A new acid dye system is introduced by Burlington that allows a high pH starting point, followed by a gradual decrease to the final acidic pH for fixation. Burco Acid PA is the key pH control agent in the new system, and it is based on new chemistry that is not butyrolactone-derived. PA can be utilized in either open or closed batch dyeing systems. An amphoteric SAC, Burcolev PMD, is used to promote migration of premetalized acid dyes in the new system, and it is pH stable over a wide range. For foaming situations such as in jets, Burlington recommends Burcolev Defoamer X-EC, a low VOC product that is marketed as a water-based, continuous-phase emulsion. The X-EC provides superior low temperature dyeing performance, and is non-silicone in nature. For cleaning dye machines, Burlington introduces Burco Machine Cleaner HF-CS, an anionic SAC-based formulation. Representing new chemistry, HF-CS is geared toward high concentration mixing requirements. As a complement to it, Burlington offers Burco Machine Cleaner MM-PB, another anionic SAC formulation that is based on amine oxide chemistry.Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corp.-Colors feels it has positioned its dye lines in the right directions in the past decade, e.g., by focusing them in specific application areas such as continuous dyeing. A "system" of dyes have been developed for each application area that are compatible and synergistically work well together. For new introductions in the reactive dye arena, Ciba presents Cibracron Orange ROE and Brown DER. The colorants are in the warm/hot dyeing range, and provides shade performance at lower costs. Three new black dye formulations (all three are dye mixes) are being introduced in the Cibacron that will provide the dyer with increased black shade flexibility at five depth levels. One of the blacks will be internationally marketed, while two will be targeted strictly for the U. S. The mixes are homogeneous, and are slanted toward the high exhaustion end of the reactive dye range. In Ciba's LS reactive dye line, a couple of new dye introduction are planned over the next year, both representing lower cost alternatives to existing colorants. To complete a chromatic series in the ,H reactive line with its existing Navy H2-G, Ciba introduces three new dyes, Yellow H-G, Orange H-R and Red H-F. The new series of dyes are relatively fast to chlorine oxidation, and are cost effective with conventional reactive. Finally, in its FN reactive line, Ciba is introducing new brown and orange dyes that exhibit much higher fixations than older dyes, with very little contribution of color in dyebath effluents. In the future, with chlorine levels in urban water supplies uncertain but likely to increase, research efforts in reactive dyes will be directed towards improving home laundry wash fastness characteristics.Like many of its competitors, Ciba is developing light fast, metal-free acid dyes and disperse dyes for nylon and polyester automotive fabrics to meet the GM Arizona solar test (see earlier discussions). New disperse dye introductions to improve the wash fastness on microfiber-based fabrics are planned, with a lime colorant in the company's Terasil W disperse line being launched within a year. Different chemical approaches are being taken with these disperse dyes, with the goals to increase fastness properties while providing the customer with better economics than older colorants. Ciba introduces its Soft Pigment Dyeing System, built around Irgaphor SPD pigments, for continuous pad-dry-thermofix coloration of cotton, its blends and other fiber/fabric constructions. An offshoot of the company's ink jet developments, the ready-to-use, water-based pigment formulations require no steaming or after washing, and provide excellent penetration and leveling of critical substrates (e.g., linen). Importantly, simple shade matching is attainable in the lab in a matter of minutes with the SPD formulations. They are highly suitable for pastel and pale-to-medium shades with outstanding lightfastness (range covers 12 colors and the shade spectrum), provide a soft hand (basically, the substrate retains its original hand in traversing the process), and are applicable in a cost-effective, very simple process. The pad liquors are stable on storage, lending them to reuse of over runs and avoidance of concentrated color effluent. As supplied by Ciba, the stable, ready-to-use formulations are very simple to handle either in the development lab or in production, requiring only dilution with water and the addition of a migration inhibitor (Irgapadol MP). None of the usual dye pad bath auxiliaries such as binder, softener, wetting agent, etc., are needed with the SP formulations. They are especially suitable for replacement of indigosol (solubilized vat) dye systems, and for medium shades, are a highly cost effective alternative to vat dyeing. Ciba is also launching Irgapadol PT, a dye migration inhibitor with the SPD pigments in the continuous, pad-thermosol dyeing of polyester and its cellulosic blends. PT prevents both horizontal (improving surface levelness and side-center shading) and vertical (improving back-to-face effect) migrations, and reduces polymer buildup on rollers and resulting transfer back to the cloth. It does not effect the binder polymer on thermofixation or the fabric hand, and is easily removed in washing processes. Its low viscosity allows for easy mixing into the pad liquor, and is optimal for dosing systems. PT is supplied as an aqueous, colorless solution of an acrylic copolymer, anionic in nature, and stable to up to one year of storage. Ciba is also actively marketing a bevy of new auxiliary chemicals, including Cibaflow SF Plus, a silicone-, silicate-, solvent- and oil-free penetration accelerant for exhaust dyeing of all fiber types and associated pH ranges. The SF Plus exhibits powerful and durable foam controlling properties, improves fiber and surface levelness through uniform/rapid penetration of the goods, and provides excellent running properties of the goods in the machines by preventing foam. The formulation is stable to high temperatures, caustic soda and salt, and exudes little or no odor. Described as a synergistic, self-emulsifying mixture of defoamers and surfactants (includes an organic bis-acid ester, fatty acid glycerides and a polyether modified polysiloxane), SP Plus is marketed as a white, stable (up to one year in storage) emulsion that is nonionic in nature. Ciba's Univadine OD, an oligomer dispersant based on a fatty polyalkylene either and containing dipropylene glycol, prevents or reduces white oligomer marks on polyester goods colored with disperse dyes under high temperature conditions in jet, beam or package machines, dispensing with after treatment requirements. Marketed as a yellowish, clear to slightly opaque, low viscosity liquid (nonionic in nature), OD permits level dyeing under critical conditions, insures good penetration and outstanding dye yields, and allows dyeing times or temperatures to be reduced. It improves coverage of material with varying affinity, and eliminates the need for a leveling agent in the disperse dyeing of polyester fiber products. Addition of OD to the dyebath also increases productivity by requiring less down time for cleaning, and promotes good fastness properties and reproducibility. Co-applied in the dyeing process, Ciba introduces Tinofast CEL for improving the Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of colored or whitened goods. Useful for cellulosics, synthetic fibers and their blends, CEL is applied via all types of batch dyeing machines. Described as a permanent, reactive UV absorber based on an oxalanide chemical structure, the formula exhibits outstanding exhaustion and fixation, ensuring minimal pollution in the dyeing effluent. Its high substantivity for cellulosics allows is co-application with direct and acid dyes as well as reactives. CEL exhibits extremely high stability to washing and light, which is stable even to repeated washings or severe UV radiation exposure. Addition of CEL to the dyebath causes minimal change in the shade or whiteness of dyed or fluorescent whitened textiles. Marketed as a powder that is anionic in nature, CEL is stable up to one year in storage.November 2001