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Magneto-spumar particles for residue-free cleaning of textile floor coverings

IGF 20214 N

Due to their advantages (e.g. cosy atmosphere, walking comfort, slip resistance, noise insulation), textile floor coverings are increasingly used in the object area (e.g. hotels and restaurants, offices, residential areas of nursing homes). Cleaning and care of textile floor coverings in the object area therefore represents an economically important market for the cleaning service sector.

To increase the service life and to maintain the visual appearance of textile floor coverings, a frequent basic cleaning (usually annually) is necessary. High concentrations of cleaning chemicals are introduced into wear layer of textile floor coverings, which then have to be removed together with detached soil using large amounts of water.

However, residues of surfactants contained in the cleaning agents cannot be avoided. Since surfactant residues increase soil adhesion, rapid resoiling occurs. As large amounts of water are introduced into the wear layer during basic cleaning, textile floor covering must dry for a long time (at least 12 h) before it can be walked on again.

An innovative process for the residue-free cleaning of textile floor coverings while reducing the residual moisture content was therefore developed on the basis of foams made of magneto-spumar particles. Magneto-spumar particles are magnetic particles to which amphiphilic polymer chains are bound.

The foams consist of small air bubbles separated by lamellae of magneto-spumar particles and water. Due to the high desorption energy, magneto-spumar particles are not mobile in the foam but firmly adsorbed on interfaces. As a result, the foam of magneto-spumar particles has a very high structural stability.

A dispersion of magneto-spumar particles is introduced into the wear layer of a textile floor covering and foamed in the cleaning process. Foam completely penetrates the wear layer of the textile floor covering, resulting in intensive contact between the magneto-spumar particles and soil present on pile fibres. Due to the amphiphilic polymer chains bound to the surface, the magneto-spumar particles detach hydrophobic and hydrophilic soiling from the pile fibres. Detached soil is embedded in the foam structure.

Foam can then be removed together with included soil using a special magnetic brush vacuum cleaner due to high structural foam stability and magnetic properties of the magneto-spumar particles. After cleaning, only a small amount of water remains in the wear layer of the textile floor covering.

Investigations on soil removal using magneto-spumar particles show a cleaning performance comparable to or even better than that of conventional basic cleaners

The research report is available on request from FRT.

The IGF-pro­ject 20214 N of the re­search as­so­ci­a­tions Europäische Forschungs­ge­mein­schaft Reini­gungs- und Hy­gien­etech­nolo­gie e.V., Cam­pus Ficht­en­hain 11, 47807 Krefeld, was sup­port­ed via the AiF with­in the fund­ing pro­gram „In­dus­trielle Gemein­schafts­forschung und -en­twick­lung (IGF)“ by the Fed­er­al Min­istry of Eco­nom­ic Af­fairs and En­er­gy (BMWi) due to a de­ci­sion of the Ger­man Par­lia­ment.