Chemicals manufacturer Huntsman Textile Effects has developed what it says is a next-generation diffusion accelerant to help mills achieve high-performance dyeing of polyester, microfibres and blends in an environment-friendly way.

The demand for polyester and man-made fibres is booming as sports and athleisure apparel markets expand rapidly around the world. At the same time, big-name brands that set trends in the sector continue to increase  focus on sustainability and performance. As such, this is putting pressure on mills since the current industry standard involves chemically active diffusion accelerants that contain unwanted chemicals and require additional levelling agents and anti-foaming products that may be hazardous to people and the environment.

Developed by Huntsman to specifically meet these challenges, Univadine E3-3D diffusion accelerant is low-odour, free of benzyl benzoate and other hazardous substances. Part of Huntsman's range of dyEvolution dyeing auxiliaries, it uses Huntsman's Active Diffusion Technology to enable high-speed dyeing with best-in-class levelling, retarding and migration properties. It also complies with current and anticipated industry sustainability standards.

"Univadine E3-3D diffusion accelerant delivers across three key dimensions – diffusion, levelling, and migration – for exceptional performance and environmental and economic sustainability. Its environmental credentials offer mills greater processing flexibility and an optimum price-performance ratio," says Kerim Oner, global marketing manager for dyeing auxiliaries at Huntsman Textile Effects. "We expect this latest offering to change the way that the industry dyes polyester and blends while meeting stringent environmental standards."

Univadine E3-3D diffusion accelerant has a high affinity to polyester, causing the fibre to swell and increasing the diffusion of the disperse dye, even at lower temperatures. Multiple leveling mechanisms then slow down the exhaustion rate to ensure safe, defect-free dyeing. Finally, as the dye bath heats up, the product's strong support for disperse dye migration ensures the dye molecules are evenly absorbed.

As a result of this diffusion technology, Univadine E3-3D can be used to dye polyester fibres in tightly wound or high-density yarn/beam dyeing and is suitable for jet applications without the need for anti-foaming products. Reducing exposure to high heat, its Active Diffusion Technology minimises the potential to damage the elastane in polyester-elastane blends and provides for on-tone dyeing of microfibres. The superior migration support of Univadine E3-3D diffusion accelerant also increases reproducibility, allowing mills to dispense with additional leveling agents.

Polyester, microfibres, and blends treated with Univadine E3-3D diffusion accelerant comply with the requirements of Bluesign, in addition to being suitable for Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX and an approved input dyeing auxiliary chemical for GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified textile products.