Belfasun – a nanotechnology-based UV protection system for cotton fabrics – was introduced by Cognis at the first International Active Textiles Symposium earlier this week (April 18-19).
This dermatologically-tested product is said to deliver reliable protection against UVA and UVB radiation, even when the fabric is wet or stretched.
The new technology, which is invisible to the naked eye, is based on tiny nanoparticles of zinc oxide. These are securely bonded to the fibres of the fabric, where they absorb 100% of UVB and 70% UVA of radiation, and effectively scatter the remaining 30% of UVA. Fabrics treated with Belfasun have an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) up to 40, depending on the construction and weight of the fabric.
The level of protection has been tested in accordance with the German UV Standard 801 of the Hohenstein Institute, indicating that the protective properties remain intact even when the fabric is stretched, rubbed or wet. The treatment also keeps the colours of textiles clear and bright, and the protective effect is guaranteed for up to 40 machine washes. Belfasun has been designed especially to treat cotton fabrics used in sportswear and general apparel, and also for all cotton utility fabrics used in summer items such as parasols, marquees and awnings.
In the Belfasun treatment, they are permanently attached to the textile by a specially developed bonding system, which is applied to the fabric during the finishing process by a padding technique.