Organic–inorganic hybrid (ceramer) coatings were synthesized and deposited on the polyester nonwoven fabrics through the sol–gel process. This promoted the formation of an insulating barrier that was able to enhance the thermal stability and the hydrophobicity of fabrics. The hybrid phase is made of an organic network arising from different alkoxysilane precursors (trimethoxymethylalkoxysilane (TMEOS), 3-aminopropyl-trimethoxyalkoxysilane (APTMS), and tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS)) and inorganic phase made of titanium dioxide TiO2
nanoparticles (NPs) and, in some cases, coated by P-based compound. The characterization of hybrid phase at liquid (size distribution and zeta potential of dispersed nanoparticles), dried state (crystalline phase, thermogravimetric (TGA), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic (FTIR) analyses), and on deposited coatings (contact angle, burn-out tests) aimed to find a correlation between the physicochemical properties of ceramer and functional performances of coated fabrics (thermal stability and hydrophobicity). The results showed that all ceramer formulations were able to improve the char formation after burn-out, in particular the highest thermal stability was obtained in the presence of TMEOS precursor and TiO2
NPs coated by P-based compound, which also provided the highest hydrophobicity. In conclusion, we presented an environmentally friendly and easily scalable process for the preparation of ceramer formulations capable of being formed into transparent, thermal-resistant, and hydrophobic fabric coatings, whose functions are extremely challenging for the textile market.
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