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DSM’s Arnitel VT provides PFC-free alternative for breathable membranes in outdoor clothing

News International-French

8 Jan 2013

Outdoor clothing can be made waterproof and highly breathable with ultrathin membranes made from Arnitel VT from DSM.

Arnitel VT is a very flexible thermoplastic elastomer that, when made into membranes just a few microns thick, is 100% waterproof but also highly breathable and comfortable. The material contains no PFCs (perfluorinated chemicals) and is 100% recyclable.



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 in for example 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, 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.


Because Arnitel VT 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.


Arnitel VT has already been used for many years in membranes for clothing. “Several companies that share DSM’s commitment to a better environment are working with us on the incorporation of Arnitel VT into their products,” says Paul Habets, Global Segment Manager Specialty Extrusion at DSM.


Guaranteed Green – The Sympatex recyclable membrane

One of DSM’s partners is Sympatex Technologies in Germany, a leading global supplier of high tech functional materials for clothing, footwear, accessories and technical applications.


Based on special genuine Sympatex recipes DSM is exclusively producing the Sympatex copolymer (polyetherester). The collaboration between DSM and Sympatex led to a drastic reduction of the carbon footprint in the polymer production process compared to PTFE based membranes. “DSM has been a very reliable partner for us in our quest to develop technologies and processes based on the principle of ecological responsibility and sustainability,” says Michael Kamm, CEO of Sympatex. “Our brand is thus the right choice for sustainable and ecological market cooperations”, Mr Kamm adds.