Textile Technology section
TU Munich: innovative materials with carbon fibers made from algae
In combination with granite or other types of hard rock, carbon fibers make possible all-new construction and building materials. If the carbon fibers are produced from algae oil, production of the innovative materials extracts more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it sets free. A research project spearheaded by the Technical University of Munich/Germany (TUM), Munich/Germany, is to further advance these technologies.
The objective of the project “Green Carbon” started on July 1, 2019 is to develop manufacturing processes for polymers and carbon-based light-weight construction materials based on algae which may be utilized e.g. in the aviation and automotive industry.
The development of the various processes is accompanied by technological, economical and sustainability analyses. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF), Berlin/Germany, has dedicated funds amounting to around €6.5 million to fund the research at the TU Munich.
Due to their fast growth, microalgae can actively store the greenhouse gas CO2 in the form of biomass. CO2 is mainly bound in sugars and algae oil. These can be used in chemical and biotechnological processes to produce precursors for a variety of industrial processes.
For example, oil-forming yeasts produce yeast oil from the algae sugars, which is a feedstock for sustainable plastics. Furthermore, enzymes can split the yeast oil into glycerin and free fatty acids. The free fatty acids are precursors for products like high-quality additives for lubricants, among others; the glycerin can be turned into carbon fibers.
In the further course of the project, the plastics will be combined with the carbon fibers to produce corresponding composite materials. According to Thomas Brück, professor for synthetic biotechnology at TU Munich, the carbon fibers produced from algae are absolutely identical to the fibers currently in use in the industry. Therefore, they can be used for all standard processes in aviation and automotive production.
Furthermore, carbon fibers and hard rock can be used in a process of the industrial partner TechnoCarbonTechnologies GbR, Munich, to produce novel construction materials. Not only do they have a negative CO2 balance, they are also lighter than aluminum and stronger than steel.
The photo shows a step of an e-scooter made from a composite material integrating granite and carbon fibers from algae.
Photo: A. Battenberg / TUM
Levi Strauss: partnership with IFC
When apparel manufacturer Levi Strauss & Co. (Levi) San Francisco, CA/USA, met its first set of climate goals 2 years ahead of schedule, the company decided to set even more ambitious, science-based targets. By 2025, the company is committed to achieving a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 100% renewable energy in its owned-and-operated facilities, and a 40% reduction in GHG emissions across its entire global supply chain.
As part of its efforts to reach that goal, Levi has signed a US$2.3 million cooperation agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Washington DC/USA, a member of the World Bank Group, to help the company meet its corporate sustainability objectives to reduce GHG emissions and water use in its supply chain.
Under this agreement, which follows the IFC’s Partnership for Cleaner Textiles (PaCT) approach, the IFC will work with 42 designated Levi suppliers and mills to reduce GHG emissions by helping suppliers identify and implement appropriate renewable energy and water saving interventions across 10 countries – Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Mexico, Lesotho, Colombia, Turkey, Egypt and Vietnam. The project follows the success of a 2017 pilot cooperation between the 2 organizations that helped 6 Levi suppliers in 4 countries reduce their emissions by 20% and decreased their operating costs by more than $1 million, collectively.
CHT Group breaks the €500 million sales mark in 2018
With a turnover of €513 million, the producer of specialty chemicals CHT Group, Tübingen/Germany, achieved a 12% increase in sales in 2018.
The clear commitment to sustainability not only pays off in the form of awards and prizes, but also scores points in daily business life. With its sustainable core range and efficient and resource-saving process control, the group is a pioneer in the industry, particularly in the traditional textile chemicals sector.
Presently, the development focus is clearly on the circular economy. Together with industrial partners, the group has developed a biodegradable textile printing system which will soon be sold at the Lidl discount store. In the field of PET plastic recycling, concepts and products were developed that support the process from PET bottle to baby diaper.
In addition, the business development with textile dyes in 2018 made an unexpectedly strong contribution to sales, as the CHT Group was able to supply dye classes that were affected by a shortage of raw materials due a very good sourcing strategies.
The investment in silicone specialties in 2017, through the acquisition of the ICM Silicones Group, also paid off in 2018 in an extremely difficult market environment, even though the shortage of silicone raw materials on the world market led to extreme price increases while the demand remained high.
In terms of the result, the CHT Group was unable to meet expectations in 2018, in particular due to the raw material cost problems. For some raw material groups, massive cost increases of over 80% were recorded by mid-2018.
For 2019, because of political and economic risks, a rather moderate growth in sales is expected. Due to increasing trade conflicts, especially between the USA and China, the market development has not become easier.
The group is focusing on the strategic realignment of the Southeast Asia region which is now benefiting from the trade conflict.
In financial terms, the CHT Group has set itself the goal of continuing to grow profitably in 2019, and thus significantly increasing its result compared with the previous year.
Goller: new Knit Merc for better dyeing results
At the ITMA 2019 from June 20-26, 2019, in Barcelona/Spain Goller Textilmaschinen GmbH, Schwäbisch Hall/Germany, a part of Fong’s Europe, Schwäbisch Hall/Germany, introduced the new Knit Merc for achieving high quality mercerization of knitted fabrics at the lowe tension and with under 3% variation in dimensional stability with high grade fabrics, for very good dyeing results every time.
Mercerization is an essential textile finishing step for all cotton and cellulosic fiber-based fabrics in order to improve dye uptake and tear strength while reducing fabric shrinkage and imparting a silk-like luster to the materials. The Knit Merc is the result of intensive R&D developments at Goller and follows the introduction to the market of the company’s Sintensa Cyclone drum washing compartments for achieving very high washing efficiency at low tension.
bluesign: free access to verified chemical products
bluesign technologies ag, St. Gallen/Switzerland, will offer free access to its web-based bluesign Finder, a comprehensive chemical products positive list.
The bluesign Finder includes over 12,000 third-party verified commercially available textile dyes and auxiliaries out of more than 25,000 evaluated chemical products. It shows the latest data on chemical products from more than 170 chemical suppliers, all following a responsible care approach with very good knowledge of product stewardship and demonstrating exceptional environmental and occupational health and safety performance.
All chemicals registered in the bluesign Finder have passed the bluesign Chemical Assessment. They comply with the bluesign System Black Limits (BSBL) limits, and meet the highest requirements for product stewardship including on-site assessment of the chemical supplier.
Andritz: maintenance and service contract for Arauco in Chile
International technology group Andritz AG, Graz/Austria, has been chosen as the maintenance and service partner for the MAPA project of Arauco, Santiago de Chile/Chile. The long-term Andritz Synergy service agreement covers the entire mill, including all pre-engineering, commissioning, start-up and integral maintenance there, as well as supply of spare and wear parts and after-sales service. The service agreement, which will start in September 2019 and will run for more than 9 years through to February 2029, will be managed locally by Andritz Chile.
It is the largest maintenance and service contract Andritz has ever been awarded. This order follows the announcement by Andritz in October 2018 that it would be supplying major woodyard equipment, fiber line, white liquor plant and evaporation technologies and equipment for the MAPA project.
Completion of the MAPA project will make the Chilean company the third largest supplier of eucalyptus pulp globally. The modernization and expansion project is due to start up in the 1st quarter of 2021 and will see the mill producing 2.1 million tons of pulp annually.
Cevotec: Fiber Patch Placement wins Industry of the Future Award
The experts in patch-based manufacturing, Cevotec GmbH, Taufkirchen/Germany, received the SKF Award Processes of the Future at the Industry of the Future Challenge on June 6, 2019 in Vernon/France.
Fiber Patch Placement, a solution for the automated production of complex composite parts, convinced the jury. The additive fiber layup technology enables the automated production of complex fiber composites, and therefore extends the industrial application of composite lightweight technology to more and more components.
The 2019 edition of Industry of the Future Challenge was organized by ArianeGroup, Issy-les-Moulineaux/France, Atos SE, Bezons/France, and SKF, Gothenburg/Sweden, in partnership with Techniques de l'Ingénieur magazine. The challenge was set up to promote industry 4.0 solutions that make tomorrow’s industrial production smarter, the materials used more sustainable, and thus increase the potential of tomorrow’s industrial facilities.
Monforts: new system for multi-color yarn dyeing
At the ITMA 2019 from June 20-26, 2019, in Barcelona/Spain, the manufacturer of textile machinery A. Monforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG, Mönchengladbach/Germany, introduced a new system for yarn dyeing based on the Econtrol dyeing system for fabrics. This CYD denim processing technology integrates new functions and processes into the weaving preparatory processes – spinning, direct beaming, warping and assembly beaming, followed by sizing and dyeing – in order to increase quality, ﬂexibility, economic viability and productivity.
Econtrol is a pad-dry process employed in Monforts continuous dyeing in which the reactive dyestuff is fixed to the cellulose fibers during drying and the CYD multi-color yarn dyeing system introduces a number of new concepts based on it, including the unique Eco Bleach process. This is the first bleaching system for yarn treatment available on the market and will be of particular interest to denim manufacturers.
The Eco Bleach system is combined with the washing units and the fabric is then dyed immediately, resulting in considerable savings in waste water and chemicals. The most effective dyeing process for fabrics is now being applied for yarn dyeing and it is possible to process short batches of between 5-10,000 m of yarn in order to produce 2-300 m of fabrics in a single continuous process.
Kaeser: 100th anniversary
Kaeser Kompressoren GmbH, Coburg/Germany, is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Established in 1919 as a machine workshop in Coburg by Carl Kaeser Sr., the company has developed into a compressor manufacturer and provider of compressed air system solutions with a global presence. Kaeser has a global presence. Its customers range in size from craftsman's establishments to large-scale industry.
Today Kaeser Kompressoren employs over 6,000 staff around the world. Kaeser Kompressoren is present with its own subsidiaries and exclusive sales partners in over 100 countries.
Xetma Vollenweider: machine systems for the finishing of textile surfaces
The manufacturer of surface finishing machinery, Xetma Vollenweider GmbH, Aue/Germany, exhibited their machine systems for the finishing of all types of textile surfaces at the ITMA 2019 from June 20-26, 2019, in Barcelona/Spain.
With the X-Treme XEB, Xetma Vollenweider offers a Soft Touch finishing machine with unique versatility. Besides the classic brush-sueding and emerizing technologies, the X-Treme XEB also enables deployment for combined brushing and emerizing as well as combined raising and emerizing. Not only the rapid changeover between the individual technologies, but also the high production speeds, make the X-Treme XEB a soft touch system with a high level of efficiency.
The new X-Cept XB, a new brush-sueding machine of Xetma Vollenweider with alternatively 3 or 4 sueding brushes in vertical design, is also ranged in the field of Soft Touch finishing. By minimum lengths of fabric runs and independent setting parameters of the individual brush rollers regarding sense of rotation, speed and contact angle the X-Cept XB can be optimum configured for each fabric to be processed.
The new warp thread cutting machine X-Cite XF by Xetma Vollenweider reliably cuts all types of floating warp threads on woven fabrics and warp knit articles. By means of the innovative cutting system, the versatile setting options and the perfected fabric tension control system, the X-Cite XF is capable of reliably clipping Jacquard woven fabrics and even warp floats on the utmost fine, bi-elastic raschel lace. As opposed to conventional systems, the X-Cite XF can also open diagonally running clip threads.