Quantitative NMR monitoring of liquid ingress into repellent heterogeneous layered fabrics

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Bencsik, Martin ; Adriaensen, Hans ; Brewer, Stuart ; McHale, Glen (2008)

Fabrics which are water repellent and repellent to other liquids are often constructed using multiple layers of material. Such a construction is preferable to a single layer of a liquid-repellent textile because, under the action of an applied pressure, ingress of a liquid through the first layer can be halted by the second or subsequent layers. In the quantitative investigation of this problem, current techniques provide limited information on the progress and distribution of the liquid as it ingresses into a fabric. Moreover, many techniques require that the material is delaminated prior to analysis, and cannot be conducted in real time to measure the progress of a liquid through the textile substrate. In this work we demonstrate that unilateral NMR, which allows signal to be collected from a volume of interest in a material residing above the instrument, can be a powerful tool to quantitatively monitor the ingress of a liquid through a layered sample exhibiting pronounced heterogeneities in repellency. A known volume of oil was placed on the top of a model textile sample composed of three 80 μm thick layers. Spatially resolved one dimensional vertical NMR profiles of the system were acquired as a function of the pressure vertically applied to the top of the sample. These profiles show that the absolute liquid volume present in each layer of textile can routinely be measured within 4 min with a spatial resolution of 15 μm. If each individual layer exhibits different repellency to the test liquid, the complexity of the dynamics of the ingress can be investigated in great detail. An elegant application of the unilateral instrument was obtained in which the sensitive volume matched the region of interest of the individual layers of the textile under investigation.
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