How do you remove PU or Silicone type coatings from fabrics?
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just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
How do you remove PU or Silicone type coatings from fabrics? on 02/15/2013 22:51:04 MST Print View

I suspect that my previously super light Nike windshirt possibly uses Silnylon--if not, it's extremely hard to blow or suck through in a breathe test. I also have another older wind jacket that i know as a PU coating, which makes it extremely non breathable. Since neither are rain jackets, i want to remove at least some of the coating.

I've thought about just soaking them in fairly hot, soapy water, and going over them with the scrubby side of a sponge. I don't need to get all the coating off, just trying to increase the breathability to some extent.

Would the above work, or do i need more arcane chemical methods? If so, anybody know anything cheap, effective, and easy to do?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: How do you remove PU or Silicone type coatings from fabrics? on 02/16/2013 13:26:37 MST Print View

> Re: How do you remove PU or Silicone type coatings from fabrics?
You don't.
(Which means it is largely not possible.)

Cheers

Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Coating on 02/16/2013 13:35:38 MST Print View

I've removed urethane coatings from nylon fabrics with dichloromethane, which is available at many hardware stores as a paint stripper. This is a big project, though (even for a small piece of fabric), and it involves using and disposing of noxious and toxic chemicals with flammable vapors.

The dichloromethane usually comes as a gel, and you need to thoroughly rinse the fabric afterward with acetone (or some other organic solvent) to get it off. Disposal of this rinse mixture can be problematic, and you should do some reading about how to do it properly if you plan to attempt this. Do not dump it down the drain, onto the ground, or into a gutter.

Silicone coatings are much more difficult to remove using chemicals. I haven't found anything that works.

I only mention chemical methods because they leave the underlying fabric essentially unscathed (if it is nylon or polyester), unlike mechanical scraping, which abrades the fabric.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: How do you remove PU or Silicone type coatings from fabrics? on 02/16/2013 14:22:40 MST Print View

poke a bunch of holes in it

steven franchuk
(Surf) - M
Re: How do you remove PU or Silicone type coatings from fabrics? on 02/16/2013 23:07:53 MST Print View

I have a stuff sack which had PU coating on it. Over time the PU degraded and turned very sticky making it impossable to close. I soaked it in rubbing alcohol for about a day and that removed most of the PU coating. But that was with degraded PU coating. I don't know if that would work on PU coating in good condition.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Re: How do you remove PU or Silicone type coatings from fabrics? on 02/17/2013 01:23:30 MST Print View

Not sure what coating is used in 70's era external frame jansport packs, but I just washed one in a front loader, and the lining was completely decimated!
May have just been do to age?

steven franchuk
(Surf) - M
Re: Re: How do you remove PU or Silicone type coatings from fabrics? on 02/17/2013 11:11:08 MST Print View

Your 70's era jansport just had PU coated nylon. I believe silnylon was not available at the time. The only other laminate fabric out there at the time was the very new / very expensive Gortex fabric.

PU does eventually degrade or delaminate . Its happened to me on 2 REI backpacks, one rain jacket, and 2 stuff sacks. All were over 15 years of age or older. I have a couple of itens that are even older that are still in good shape.

Edited by Surf on 02/17/2013 11:16:49 MST.

Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Hydrolysis + UV on 02/17/2013 11:36:00 MST Print View

I've had this happen, too. PU, in general, is sensitive to hydrolysis and UV radiation. Some urethanes are more hydrolysis-resistant than others, and some have additives that inhibit UV damage, but, as a rule of thumb, PU will eventually be destroyed if it remains wet or gets left in the sun. Silicones are basically unaffected by water and UV radiation.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Thank you on 03/03/2013 00:54:22 MST Print View

Thank you everyone for the info and suggestions.