Textile Technology section
Sympatex: Dr. Rüdiger Fox awarded prize for planetary consciousness
At the end of June 2020, in the context of the “Summer of Purpose” in Munich/Germany the Club of Budapest honored Dr. Rüdiger Fox, Managing Director of the manufacturer of membranes and functional materials Sympatex Technologies GmbH, Unterföhring/Germany, with the Consciousness Price 2020. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic it took a largely digital form. Fox, also founder of the Gross Corporate Happiness Institute (GCH-Institute), Hamburg/Germany, has led a series of large and medium-sized companies to success through his employee and sustainability-centered leadership that builds on his academic research in the field of employee motivation and corporate happiness (as to be found in his book “The Business Case of Corporate Happiness”). His holistic “Gross Corporate Happiness” leadership approach aims at a consistent focus on a sustainable and meaningful purpose as well as on the well-being, empowerment and participation of all employees. The Prize which is also known as the “Nobel Prize for Planetary Action”, honors individuals who, in their sphere of personal and professional activity, have effectively exemplified and promoted the generally necessity of new consciousness in their personal and professional spheres of activity.
Rudolf: all-in-one, durable antibacterial and antiviral solution for textiles
As a consequence of Covid-19 global pandemic the demand for chemical auxiliaries with antimicrobial effect has boomed. The producer of textile auxiliaries Rudolf GmbH, Geretsried/Germany, has invested in the assessment of a new antiviral feature which is now added to one of their leading technologies. Such an effort returned the surprisingly fast and most comprehensive antibacterial and antiviral textile finishing Ruco-Bac AGP. The microstructures in Ruco-Bac AGP trigger their powerful antibacterial and antiviral effects based on 3 distinctive inhibiting mechanisms: 1. Blocking of oxygen-transporting enzymes therefore leading to impaired growth. 2. Crushing of disulfide bonds and therefore structure of sulfur-containing proteins. 3. Possible interference with Bacteria and virus surface protein in the membrane. Ruco-Bac AGP effectively protects any textile against bacteria (harmful and odor-causing) and its superior antiviral performance on textiles has been independently demonstrated. Assessments were carried out on enveloped coronaviridae families known to cause a broad spectrum of animal and human diseases. It is suitable for next-to-skin applications and cytotoxicity tests show that it has no influence on the natural microflora of the skin. Furthermore, because of the adhesion mechanism of its microstructures, Ruco-Bac AGP is only active in/on the textile and it is non-migrating.
FET: high number of enquiries for nonwovens meltblowing systems
Since the onset of the corona virus crisis, the supplier of extrusion technology Fibre Extrusion Technology Ltd. (FET), Leeds/UK, has received an unusually high number of enquiries about its nonwovens meltblowing systems. The company is currently running trials, preparing samples and defining specifications for companies in Germany and Italy, as well as the UK, and could already have sold the lab line they have many times over. The line primarily designed for R&D and pilot scale applications, but trials have proven it to be suitable for the low volume production of critical meltblown face mask materials. Meltblown polypropylene (PP) nonwovens are the critical component of the face masks needed for Covid-19 frontline workers and their scarcity on the open market has in part been the reason for the reported shortages around the world. Conventional meltblown and spunbonded systems are usually designed for high capacity systems and are not suitable for product development. They consume high quantities of materials and as a consequence are not suitable for development work with high value materials or for niche applications. They also rely on specially formulated low viscosity polymers which is a further limitation which does not apply to FET’s nonwovens meltblowing systems. In processing finer filaments, the company has achieved structures with average mean filament diameters of 1.68 µm and 58% of between 0.5-1.5 µm, in web thicknesses of 37 µm with bulk density of 98 mg/ml and porosity of around 92%. FET’s system is designed for the processing of pure polymer with no need for processing aids or additives. A wide range of structural and mechanical properties are obtainable, with numerous options for post-processing of the web, such as by calendering, point bonding or lamination. More effective and sustainable PPE solutions could well be achieved through further product development.
Edana: 20-fold increase in nonwoven face mask output by November
European Union (EU) production of face masks, essential for tackling the coronavirus crisis, is set to increase 20-fold by November 2020 compared to pre-crisis times. This means that EU-based producers will be able to make the equivalent of 1.5 billion 3-layer masks a month, according to figures released today by, the international association serving the nonwovens and related industries, Edana, Brussels/Belgium.
In contrast with the rest of the supply chain, where European players were no longer in a leadership position, the world’s most sophisticated technology platforms producing meltblown nonwovens belong to European machinery companies.
Over the last 3 months, Edana has been liaising with partner associations including MedTech Europe, ESF, and Euratex to ensure sufficient supplies of essential public health equipment. Edana has been recognized by the European Commission as the voice of industry on all issues relevant to the nonwovens-based face masks supply chain.
In June 2020, Edana convened a new sector group representing face mask converters, nonwovens suppliers, testing laboratories and equipment manufacturers to work together to develop an independent and self-sufficient supply chain for medical face masks and personal protective masks in the EU. The group will work to ensure adherence to applicable European Standards and to encourage responsible product stewardship throughout the life-cycle of face-masks from raw material sourcing to end-of-life solutions.
Karl Mayer/Stoll: merger transaction completed
The merger between the textile machinery manufacturer Karl Mayer Textilmaschinenfabrik GmbH, Obertshausen/Gerrmany, and the manufacturer of flat knitting machines H. Stoll AG & Co. KG, Reutlingen/Germany, was completed on July 1, 2020.
Karl Mayer is now the leading provider of solutions for the 2 most important stitch-forming processes, flat knitting and warp knitting. The company’s entire expertise in the fields of warp knitting and flat knitting, as well as technical textiles, warp preparation for weaving and digital solutions is now under one roof.
Stoll will continue its activities within the Karl Mayer Group as an autonomous business unit. The brand will be carried on independently. The previous CEO, Andreas Schellhammer, will become President of the Stoll business unit within the Karl Mayer Group.
In the area of machine development, it is possible to use completely new technological principles. One of the most common aims in production is to increase the added value for more know-how protection, flexibility and rapid delivery. Components from in-house production will be used group-wide, if possible, and the manufacture of the Stoll machines in China will be integrated into Karl Mayer’s location in Changzhou. The Chinese customers can rely on the resources and organization of Karl Mayer (China) in the fields of service and spare parts.
In terms of digitalization, the know-how merger raises expectations for innovations with advantages for customers
nova-Institute: 2nd International Conference on Cellulose Fibres call for papers
The 2nd International Conference on Cellulose Fibres, hosted by the nova-Institute, Hürth/Germany, will take place from February 2-3, 2021 in Cologne/Germany. Submission of abstracts and innovations, as well as requests for sponsorship are now possible.
The 1st edition of the conference, which took place in February 2020, had 210 participants and 15 exhibitors from 26 different countries. Building on this success, the 2nd International Conference on Cellulose Fibres will again cover the entire value chain from the lignocellulosic feedstock over dissolving pulp, cellulose fibers – such as rayon, viscose, modal and lyocell and new developments – to a wide range of applications like woven textiles (clothing) and nonwovens (wipes and technical applications). All these sectors have gained significant momentum over the last few years.
The innovation award “Cellulose Fibre Innovation of the Year 2021” will be presented to the innovative cellulose fiber industry for the development of new technologies and applications. All producers and inventors along the entire value chain from feedstock to final product are invited to enter the competition. An expert jury will select a total of 6 new materials and products from all entries for the award. After short presentations of the 6 candidates at the conference, the 3 winners will be elected by the participants of the conference and honored with the innovation award at a festive gala dinner.
Call for abstracts, innovation and sponsors are open now.
For further information: www.cellulose-fibres.eu
Teijin Frontier: hybrid fiber made with plant-derived and recycled materials
An eco-friendly plant-derived polymer with a chemically recycled polyester polymer, each featuring different heat-shrinkage characteristics to enable the formation of coiled crimp yarn has been introduced by the fiber-product converting company Teijin Frontier Co., Ltd., Tokyo/Japan.
The new Solotex Eco-Hybrid high-stretch side-by-side (S/S) conjugated fiber represents a new line in Teijin Frontier’s polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT) fiber Solotex family. Solotex Eco-Hybrid filament yarns feature extra stretchability achieved with new technology for conjugating PTT polymer and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) polymer made with chemically recycled raw material, which are then processed to create a crimp structure. Crimp structure is equivalent to that of petroleum-derived raw materials, and dyeability is achieved with optimized yarn-making conditions.
Solotex Eco-Hybrid has the same features as conventional S/S conjugated fiber made with petroleum-derived raw materials. PTT polymer is partly made with plant-derived raw materials and PET polymer is made with chemical recycled raw materials such as used PET fibers. A wide range of fineness, from 33-330 dtex, and filament yarn processing is possible. Yarns made with the new fiber are stretchable and dyeable, equivalent to those of petroleum-derived materials, and soft texture.
BST eltromat: Jörg Westphal new Managing DirectorAs of June 1, 2020, Jörg Westphal has joined the management team of the engineering company BST eltromat International GmbH, Bielefeld/Germany. He will manage the businesses of the BST Group together with Dr. Jürgen Dillmann, who has been responsible for the company’s Technology field since June 1, 2018. Westphal has many years of comprehensive experience in the management of small and medium-sized companies and their international sales organizations. Most recently, he was a member of the management team at EAE Engineering Automation Electronics GmbH, Ahrensburg/Germany. On July, 2019, Westphal came to BST eltromat in the role of Manager of Service. As Managing Director, he also takes on responsibility for Sales and Marketing at the Group. Kristian Jünke, who has managed the business of BST eltromat together with Dillmann in recent years, is leaving the Group to take on other responsibilities.
Dornbirn GFC: 59th conference to take place in webinar form
Due to the corona virus pandemic, this year’s Dornbirn Global Fibers Congress (GFC) will be held digitally in the form of a webinar week. From September 16-18, 2020 the webinar week will present lectures and discussions on trending topics in the global fibers industry.
Opening with keynotes on “Green Deal-Implications for the Textile Industry” and other current topics, the event will also see the awarding of the annual Paul Schlack/Wilhelm Albrecht Prize.
Lectures and discussion will cover topics such as leading polymer recycling technologies, smart, integrated, digital textile production chain, EPR schemes for textiles - lessons learned from packaging and PPE production – a challenge for the industry in Europe.
The webinar will be available free of charge.
Next year the Dornbirn-GFC will take place from September 15-17, 2021 in Dornbirn/Austria.
For further information: www.dornbirn-gfc.com
Berry Global: support of British Government’s mask manufacturing mandate
On June 25, 2020, the producer of nonwovens Berry Global Group, Inc., Evansville, IN/USA, announced its collaboration with the Medicom Group to design the manufacturing solution and guarantee the supply of nonwovens intended for use in producing hundreds of millions of face masks annually as part of Medicom’s agreement with the British Government. Medicom is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of medical and respiratory masks. To do so, Berry is investing in a new state-of-the-art meltblown nonwovens line, to be outfitted with its proprietary charging technology, at one of its UK-based facilities to increase capacity of material necessary in the production of European-standard Type IIR and N99-equivalent FFP3 masks. The masks will be manufactured and sold under Medicom’s European Kolmi brand. The British Government has enabled these investments through a long-term contractual commitment. The agreement confirmed support for Medicom’s new UK-based production facility, which is scheduled to open later this summer.