For many antibacterial polymer fibres, especially for those with natural functional additives, the antibacterial response might not last over time. Moreover, the mechanical performance of polymeric fibres degrades significantly during the intended operation, such as usage in textile and industrial filter applications. The degradation process and overall ageing can lead to emitted volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This work focused on the usage of pine rosin as natural antibacterial chemical and analysed the weathering of melt-spun polyethylene (PE) and poly lactic acid (PLA) polyfilaments. A selected copolymer surfactant, as an additional chemical, was studied to better integrate rosin with the molecular structure of the plastics. The results reveal that a high 20 w-% of rosin content can be obtained by surfactant addition in non-oriented PE and PLA melt-spun polyfilaments. According to the VOC analysis, interestingly, the total emissions from the melt-spun PE and PLA fibres were lower for rosin-modified (10 w-%) fibres and when analysed below 60 ℃. The PE fibres of the polyfilaments were found to be clearly more durable in terms of the entire weathering study, i.e., five weeks of ultraviolet radiation, thermal ageing and standard washing. The antibacterial response against Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus by the rosin-containing fibres was determined to be at the same level (decrease of 3-5 logs cfu/mL) as when using 1.0 w-% of commercial silver-containing antimicrobial. For the PE polyfilaments with rosin (10 w-%), full killing response (decrease of 3-5 logs cfu/mL) remained after four weeks of accelerated ageing at 60 ℃.
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