Royal DSM announces the introduction by Toyota Tsusho of a new generation of high performance membranes for clothing made from its Arnitel VT, a very flexible thermoplastic polyester-based elastomer. The new membranes contain no perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), and are 100% recyclable, waterproof in all circumstances despite being only a few microns thick, and highly breathable.
Toyota Tsusho is a leading global supplier of high-tech functional materials for clothing and footwear. It will launch the new membranes - the latest addition to its Gelanots product range - at the Outdoor Retailer show, which takes place in Salt Lake City on August 6-9.
All around the world, established brands in outdoor clothing are looking for ways to make garments that offer the right performance and bring comfort to the wearer. At the same time, they want to use materials and processes that have the lowest possible impact on the environment. The spotlight is currently focused on avoiding the use of PFCs, which are found, for example, in PTFE-based membranes.
With Arnitel VT, moisture vapour can pass from the inside to the outside of the garment, but the membranes are 100% waterproof under all circumstances, so they keep the wearer comfortable and dry. Unlike competing products, Arnitel VT does not rely on perforations to make it breathable. Perforated membranes can have their waterproofness compromised when they are washed or come into contact with liquids such as alcohols or fuels. Perforations also reduce the strength of the membrane, making it easier to rip. Perforations can get clogged too, causing the membrane to lose its breathability.
Arnitel VT has been used for many years in membranes for clothing. Because it is not perforated, it acts as a barrier not only to liquids, but also to bacteria and viruses. For this reason, Arnitel VT is used in surgical gowns with the highest level of protection.
The collaboration between DSM and Toyota Tsusho has led to a drastic reduction of the carbon footprint in the production chain compared to that for PTFE-based membranes.
"DSM has been a very reliable partner for us in our quest to develop membrane technologies which do not need PFCs and which still meet all the demanding requirements of the outdoor industry," says Masato Hashi, General Manager Textile Trade at Toyota Tsusho. Sales Director Marie Cangialosi adds: "Incorporating Arnitel in our laminates enables us to offer a high performance product without compromise which is PFC free fully polyester based thus 100% recyclable."
PFC-free membranes in outdoor clothing