Novel process to make fabrics and paper hydrophobic

An Austrian company has developed a novel converting facility to make fabrics and paper hydrophobic. The innovative technology enables the molecular modification of fibers in order that paper and fabrics become hydrophobic. Thanks to the new method, the material retains its original properties and is environmentally friendly. The company is looking for partners under technical cooperation agreement or commercial agreement with technical assistance to explore new application fields.
Main application fields for hydrophobic papers are food packaging, filtration, writing paper for outdoor use, maps, plans, etc. Conventionally, for the hydrophobic treatment process, papers are coated with wax or polyethylene (PE). As a result the paper is no longer recyclable or compostable. In addition, the basic properties of the paper, such as air permeability, weight, etc. change. The Austrian company has developed a facility with patented procedure to convert fabrics and paper. With the novel method papers and fabrics can be modified to become hydrophobic (water repellent) avoiding the negative environmental impact. The innovative technology enables the molecular modification of fibers, that the fabrics and papers become hydrophobic. The hydrophobicity is obtained by a covalent bonding of fatty acids with the fibres. The technology is applicable on all surfaces which contain hydroxy (OH) groups, which means every paper grade and natural fabrics such as cotton can be converted. The treatment is done on dry material in a converting step on a tailor made plant. For coated papers, a one-side treatment is feasible. It is also possible to produce a two sided substrate with two different properties, e.g. hydrophilic and hydrophobic. Main technical characteristics of the treated material: - The treated substrate shows a temporary resistance to water depending on the base paper. - The Cobb 60 (Determination of water absorptiveness) value can be reduced by up to 90% and achieve values from 2 to 15 g/m², always depending on the base substrate. - Water repellency: The contact angle ( 2µL / 30s) can be increased up to values of 120° and above, always depending on the base substrate. - The water repellent agent is resistant to abrasion The Austrian company is searching new fields of application for hydrophobic fabrics or paper. Therefore they are seeking partners from industry and academia for two types of cooperation’s: 1. Commercial agreement with technical assistance. Integration of the novel converting facility/procedure in the customer’s application and assisting them in the adaptation. 2. Technical cooperation agreements. Modifying or developing the facility/procedure to fit the customer’s application and specification. The company is open to any other cooperation agreement suitable for the partner.
Type (e.g. company, R&D institution…), field of industry and Role of Partner Sought: 
Type of partner: industry or academia Role of partner: Commercial agreement with technical assistance: Integrating the technology into existing or novel solutions and applications. Technical cooperation: Jointly developing or modifing the facility/procedure for innovative applications with adaptation to the specific needs of the clients.
Stage of Development: 
Prototype available for demonstration
IPR Status: 
Granted patent or patent application essential
Comments Regarding IPR Status: 
Patent pending in the following areas: EU, USA, some countries in Asia including China.
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