Textile Technology section
ANDTEX 2020: largest nonwovens exhibition in Southeast Asia
The 2nd edition of the Southeast Asia Nonwovens and Hygiene Technology Exhibition & Conference, ANDTEX 2020, will be held on November 11-13, 2020 in Bangkok/Thailand. It is considered the largest and leading nonwovens exhibition platform in Southeast Asia. The complete nonwovens industrial chain, from raw materials, machinery to finished products, technology and services, covering applications in hygienic, medical, filtration, packaging, agriculture, automobile, geotextile sectors, is set to be present.
The 1st edition in May 2019 saw a total attendance of 3,797 visitors from 32 countries, and 197 exhibitors displaying their products and technology on 7,000 m² of show floor. ANDTEX 2020 is expected to host over 250 exhibitors and more than 5,000 visitors, with a top level conference and various activities dedicated to the nonwovens industry.
VTT: combination of wood fibers and spider silk could rival plastic
Achieving strength and extensibility at the same time has so far been a great challenge in material engineering: increasing strength has meant losing extensibility and vice versa. Now Aalto University, Aalto/Finland, and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo/Finland, have succeeded in overcoming this challenge.
The researchers created a truly new bio-based material by gluing together wood cellulose fibers and the silk protein found in spider web threads. Birch tree pulp was broken down to cellulose nanofibrils and aligned into a stiff scaffold. At the same time, the cellulosic network was infiltrated with a soft and energy dissipating spider silk adhesive matrix. The result is a very firm and resilient material which could be used in the future as a possible replacement for plastic, as part of bio-based composites and in medical applications, surgical fibers, the textile industry and packaging.
Silk is a natural protein which is excreted by animals like silkworms and also found in spider web threads. The spider web silk used by Aalto researchers, however, is not actually taken from spider webs but is instead produced by the researchers using bacteria with synthetic DNA.
In the future, it will be possible to manufacture similar composites with slightly different building blocks and achieve a different set of characteristics for other applications. Currently, work is being carried out on making new composite materials as implants, impact resistance objects and other products.
Clariant: recycling of carpets
Although the vast majority of carpets today are made of recyclable woven or tufted materials, most textile flooring still ends up in landfill or end-of-life incineration. This is largely due to the traditional use of a latex, water-based backing which cannot be removed from the pile fibers and creates a difficult-to-recycle material mix.
In a joint collaboration between the specialty chemicals company Clariant International Ltd., Muttenz/Switzerland, and the Fraunhofer Institute IVV, Freising/Germany, the recycling CreaSolv process has been developed achieving zero waste targets. Recyclable Licocene Performance Polymers (LPP) from Clariant deliver the benefits of a hot melt carpet backing. By replacing latex with a 100% solid content backing solution, water and the associated drying process can be fully avoided, adding up to energy savings of up to 80%, as shown in production trials with carpet manufacturers. As a result, no contaminated waste water occurs. The propylene based LPP can be recovered with at least 90% of its virgin quality for re-use via the CreaSolv recycling technology, ensuring a cradle-to-cradle approach. Now, flooring textiles can be recovered and integrated back into production or downcycled into other applications. The whole process provides the missing link for the industry to design fully recyclable carpets.
Andritz: wetlaid line for glass fiber mats to Czech Republic
The international technology group Andritz AG, Graz/Austria, has received an order from the manufacturer of technical textiles Saint-Gobain Adfors en Ltd., Litomyšl/Czech Republic, to supply a wetlaid line to be installed in their Litomyšl facility. Start-up of the line is scheduled for mid-2021.
The Andritz neXline wetlaid line for glass fibers is designed for high production capacities and includes units for stock preparation, wetlaid forming, and binder application. With this line, Saint-Gobain will produce high-quality glass fiber mats for several markets. The manifold, diffuser and former equipment ensure highly uniform fiber distribution with optimal structures during the laying process.
For Saint-Gobain Adfors, this is the 2nd production line for glass fiber mats at the Litomyšl facility. The company offers technical textiles to reinforce and surface products for both construction materials and industrial applications. They provide comfort, performance and safety, while addressing the challenges of sustainable construction.
Egypt: development plan for spinning and weaving industry
A plan has been announced by the government of Egypt to establish the world’s largest textile factory in the city of al-Mahalla al-Kobra/Egypt. This comes about as part of a plan to establish 4 new factories in addition to preparing for the establishment of 10 new cotton gins.
The Agriculture Ministry, Cairo/Egypt, has already brought a global initiative to oversee the cultivation of 20,000 acres of cotton, meaning that E£21 billion (€1.2 billion) will be available to develop the industry.
A comprehensive development plan for the spinning and weaving industry will be implemented over 3 years. The plan includes the development of cotton spinning companies through weaving, dyeing and processing.
ITA: AVK innovation prize for automated large-scale production
The Institute of Textile Technology of RWTH Aachen University (ITA), Aachen/Germany, is one of the AVK innovation prize winners 2019 in the category Research and Science.
Sven Schöfer from the ITA won 3rd place with his work titled “Development of a textile-based material feed to increase the preform quality during stamp forming of reinforcing layers” at the Composite Europe trade fair in Stuttgart/Germany from September 10-12, 2019.
In fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) production, stamp forming is one of the most economical processes for automated large-scale production. However, the current processes are susceptible to draping errors and a high proportion of waste. The innovative process developed at the ITA can now significantly reduce the scrap rate and reduce the waste rate of high-priced reinforcing textiles, such as carbon fiber textiles, by up to 50%.
Dornbirn-GFC with GFC Startup Days
Circular Economy, digitalization, technical textiles, nonwovens and the 1st Startup days were the hot topics of the 58th Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress (Dornbirn GFC) in Dornbirn/Austria. With over 700 visitors from 30 countries, interest especially came from companies from Asia and Turkey.
Sustainable resource management has become a core element for our future. Plenary lecutres on the subject of sustainability were held by Robert van de Kerkhof (Lenzing AG) and Uday Gill (Indorama Ventures) from the perspective of the fiber industry.
How can software industry support sustainable industry? – This question was outlined by interesting examples from Robert Rosellen (Microsoft) and Stefan Achleitner (Palo Alto Networks).
From September 11-12, 2019 the 1st Dornbirn GFC Startup Days took place under the motto “Come and see where Startups meet Industry, Research and Brands”. Supported by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) about 20 international startups presented their innovations in the event tent. The 3 best projects were presented with the Startup Award.
Furthermore, there were over 100 expert lectures on the following subjects: fiber innovations, circular economy and sustainability, digitalization and smart textiles, surface modification and additives, sports and leisure wear, nonwovens and technical textiles.
Uster: mill optimization through Quality Management Platform
Improvements have once again been made in the Uster Tester 6 from the provider of textile testing and quality control solutions, Uster Technologies AG, Uster/Switzerland: the facility for measuring conductive yarn through the Frequent Occurrences (FO) feature, and the high-speed assessment of twist and twist variation as part of a single yarn testing routine. Uster Tester 6 hosts Uster Quality Expert, the digital solution for integrated data-based improvements throughout the spinning mill, connecting and interpreting information from a range of different instruments in the Quality Management Platform. For the first time, spinners have access to all the possibilities for total mill optimization.
Until now it has not been possible to measure the quality of conductive yarns, which have become more important in the past decade in fast-growing markets such as protective wear, fitness clothing, and healthcare. Sensor OM is now used to measure FO in these yarns. It analyzes neps, thin and thick places, yarn evenness, diameter, density and shape.
The twist level in a yarn is a critical quality parameter that affects both the look and performance of the finished product, as well as the productivity level. Now, this important parameter can be measured as a simple by-product of yarn testing for 100% cotton ring and compact yarn – providing information about all relevant parameters as part of one laboratory procedure. Uster Tester 6 offers the option to obtain Twist and Twist variation (Tu) data during yarn testing, at a speed of 800 m/min. This information helps to identify performance gaps such as low-speed spindles.
Measurement data from Uster Tester 6 correlates perfectly with Uster Statistics global benchmarks. It is available in an app for iOS, Android and Windows 10, and the new version 1.4 is now available with an enlarged database of the most popular yarn styles, 100% cotton, compact yarns for knitting applications, extended FAQs and enhanced readability.
Jumbo: more efficient and safer production
Digital transformation is a continuous process for the manufacturer of technical textiles Jumbo-Textil GmbH & Co. KG, Sprockhövel/Germany. In the production of its high-tech textiles, Jumbo has long relied on digital control technology: The ultra-modern braiding and weaving machines, like the liquid metering system in the finishing department, are already computer-controlled. Now the entire work process – from orders to delivery – has also been digitalized.
All work steps are precisely coordinated with each other: each incoming order is digitally entered, and uniquely identified by barcode. All deadlines in the initiated production process are automatically calculated and passed on to the departments involved. This means that the bobbins and warp beams are ready to be loaded when the braiding or weaving shop is ready to start. And when it comes to finishing the textiles afterwards, everything is ready for further processing.
Meanwhile, picking, packing and delivery are already being prepared. The entire production and delivery process is tracked using scanners.
In addition, the new system also times all quality checks of the products and prepares the results graphically. Any anomalies are automatically detected and reported to the appropriate teams.
In total, Jumbo-Textil is investing €220,000 this year in the digitalization of its business.
Rieter: building application for Rieter Campus
The textile machinery manufacturer Rieter Holding AG, Winterthur/Switzerland, completed the real estate sale in Ingolstadt/Germany to property developer Gerchgroup AG, Düsseldorf/Germany, on September 13, 2019. Rieter expects an extraordinary profit contribution after tax of around €60 million from this transaction.
The employees in Ingolstadt will move into a new building in the 2nd half (H2) of 2021. Rieter will thus create a modern working environment for innovative research and development work.
For the Rieter Campus project in Winterthur the decisions required for the building application have been made to be submitted in good time. The Rieter Campus will consolidate customer center, product and technology development and administration. Rieter expects to implement the project with a project volume of around CHF 80 million.
Approval of the building application is expected in spring of 2020.