Polyamide 6.6 is one of the most widely used polymers in the textile industry due to its durability; however, it has rather limited modification potential. In this work, the controlled surface modification of polyamide 6.6 fibres using the solvent system CaCl2/H2O/EtOH was studied. The effects of solvent composition (relative proportions of the three components) and treatment time on fibre properties were studied both in situ (with fibres in solvent) and ex situ (after the solvent was washed off). The fibres swell and/or dissolve in the solvent depending on its composition and the treatment time. We believe that the fibre–solvent interaction is through complex formation between the fibre carbonyl groups and the CaCl2. On washing, there is decomplexation and precipitation of the polymer. The treated fibres exhibit greater diameters and surface roughness, structural difference between an outer shell and an inner core is observable, and water retention is higher. The solvent system is more benign than current alternatives, and through suitable tailoring of the treatment conditions, e.g., composition and time, it may be used in the design of advanced materials for storage and release of active substances.
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