Textile Technology section
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.
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.
Invista: stretch fabrics with high dimensional stability
Good chemical resistance and dimensional stability is offered in the new collection MoveX Cordura Nyco stretch fabrics from Sapphire Finishing Mills Ltd. Lahore/India. It is manufactured with an innovative fabric technology from the Cordura brand by fiber producer Invista S.à.r.l., Wichita, KS/USA.
Extensive testing and trials have shown that the MoveX range offers the comfort of cotton, the durability of polyamide and very good stretch and stretch-recovery properties. It also shows very good resistance to higher temperature washing. This makes it a suitable solution for the creation of flexible, comfortable, hard-wearing garments (e.g. workwear) that need to be washed at high temperatures.
The new fabrics will be presented at the A+A trade fair in Düsseldorf/Germany from November 5-8, 2019.
Saertex: acquisition of TK Industries
Further expanding its range of heavy-tow carbon fiber multiaxial fabrics, the manufacturer of technical textiles Saertex GmbH & Co. KG, Saerbeck/Germany, has acquired 100% of shares in TK Industries GmbH, Selbitz/Germany.
TK Industries is a highly specialized, medium-sized fabric manufacturer. At its production site, the company processes carbon fibers with the latest multiaxial production technology. The manufacturing technology is optimized for the use of cost-efficient 24k and 50k rovings and according to this, the products manufactured by TK Industries well complement the Saertex range of high-quality multiaxial fabrics. Customers can be found in the industrial and transport sectors, especially in the boat building and automotive industry. Other areas of application include wind energy and infrastructure.
Lenzing: presentation of blockchain pilot project
With the introduction of blockchain technology, the producer of cellulosic fibers, Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, is striving for a new level of transparency and traceability in the textile industry. At the Fashion Summit on September 5/6, 2019 in Hong Kong/China, the first pilot was presented. This pioneering pilot project was conducted in cooperation with the technology company TextileGenesis, Hong Kong, the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), Gland/Switzerland, and the brand Chicks, Hong Kong.
The blockchain technology enables brands and consumers to identify lyocell Tencel branded fibers across each production and distribution step from fiber-to-retail of the finished garment or home textiles. The technology also allows consumers to verify the garment composition and the underlying textile supply chain at the point of sale, simply by scanning the barcode with a mobile device.
PFNonwovens: stable consolidated sales for H1/2019
Based on unaudited results, the nonwovens producer PFNonwovens a.s. (previously Pegas Nonwovens a.s.), Znojmo /Czech Republic, recorded consolidated sales of almost CZK 3.16 billion (approx. €122 million) in the 1st half (H1) of 2019, which is comparable with the same period 2018 (CZK 3.16 billion). EBIT in H1/2019 amounted to CZK 353.2 million (€13.7 million), down by 18% over H1/2018. Net profit in H1/2019 amounted to CZK 246.8 million (€9.56 million) down by 11.8%. In the 2nd quarter (Q2) of 2019, the company achieved a net profit of CZK 44.6 million (Q2/2018: CZK 171.7 million).
The main reason for the year-on-year decline was lower production volume, declining by almost 1,300 tons relative to the comparable period last year, caused primarily by a very low level of inventories of finished products, which prevented effective production. The polymer price pass-through mechanism, likewise, had a negative effect on a year-on-year basis.
Teijin: acquisition of Benet Automotive complete
The producer of advanced fibers and composites, Teijin Ltd., Tokyo/Japan, has completed the acquisition of Benet Automotive s.r.o., Mlada Boleslav/Czech Republic, a leading automotive composite and component supplier in the Czech Republic, from Jet Investment, a.s., Brno/Czech Republic. The acquisition was completed on August 30, 2019.
Teijin will benefit from Benet’s automotive composite technologies and its well-proven supply record; these will serve as a solid foundation on which to further strengthen its solution development capabilities as a component supply partner of automotive OEM customers in Europe. Teijin will leverage Benet’s involvement in existing development projects with material and molding technologies, and technical team members of Teijin, Continental Structural Plastics Inc., Auburn Hills, MI/USA, a leader in automotive composites based in North America which Teijin acquired in 2017, and Inapal Plásticos SA, Leça do Balio/Portugal a leading automotive-composite supplier which Teijin acquired in 2018.
Lenzing: fully biodegradable fibers
The producer of cellulosic fibers, Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, has received confirmation of the full biodegradability of its fibers in fresh water by the independent research laboratory Organic Waste Systems (OWS), Ghent/Belgium. The new and existing international certifications conducted by OWS and issued by TÜV Austria, Vienna/Austria, verify that Lenzing Viscose fibers, Lenzing Modal fibers and Lenzing Lyocell fibers are biodegradable in all natural and industrial environments: in the soil and compost as well as in fresh and in marine water.
The biodegradability of cellulosic products and the synthetic fiber polyester was tested in fresh water at OWS according to valid international standards, e.g. ISO 14851. At the end of the trial period, Lenzing wood-based cellulosic fibers, cotton and paper pulp were shown to be fully biodegradable in fresh water in contrast to synthetic polyester fibers.
Teijin: infinite possibilities for wearable solutions
The producer of advanced fibers and composites, Teijin Ltd., Tokyo/Japan, promotes the development of wearable devices by integrating highly functional materials and sensing technologies.
Coaching wear provides image data by visualizing the difference between the actual motion of wearers and their ideal motions. It is a combination of motion sensing technology and Teijin’s ultra-fine polyester nanofiber Nanofront, which has highly slip resistant property and strong compression. Vital sensing wear facilitates sustainable and highly accurate sensing of the heart's electrical activity, heart rates and activity levels. It combines Nanofront fiber with vital-sign sensing technology.
Soft and flexible piezoelectric braided cords enable the sensors to be fashioned in a wide variety of thicknesses, lengths and shapes. A sensor detects user’s motions, e.g. contact area of football boots or a tennis racquet with the ball. The wearable electrode textiles enable rapid, accurate 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements. The wearable ECG-textile follows the guidelines on the strip e-textile to the patient’s chest (size S, M, L and LL) to wrap around without adjustment for electrode.
This smart device and mobile app 2breathe relieves pre-sleep tension and nighttime wake up issues. The vertical movement of abdomen is detected by this small device which sends the data to smartphone via Bluetooth, and the app converts to the sound. It helps to reduce the neural sympathetic activity by relaxing mind and body when breath is synchronized to the sounds.
The smart firefighter’s uniform predicts risk of heatstroke by estimating deep body temperature. The device installed in this uniform monitors the temperature and precise position of firefighters and transmits the resulting data in real time to management systems at the scenes of fires and to firefighting headquarters, where it can be analyzed to accurately estimate deep body temperature and thereby ensuring safety. The uniform is made by heat-resistant, flame-retardant Teijinconex meta-aramid fiber and high-tenacity Technora para-aramid fiber. The card case-sized sensing device was developed by Teijin’s IT business, using impact-resistant polycarbonate resin Panlite.
Trevira: “Systematic Safety” seal of approval
On August 5, 2019, the manufacturer of polyester fibers Trevira GmbH, Bobingen/Germany, received the “Systematic Safety” seal of approval from the German Social Accident Insurance Institution for the Raw Materials and Chemical Industry (Berufsgenossenschaft Rohstoffe und chemische Industrie, BG RCI), Heidelberg/Germany. The award confirms that Trevira meets the requirements for systematic and effective occupational health and safety management through the company’s occupational health and safety management system, which helps optimize production workflows and demonstrates the value that Trevira GmbH places on the health and safety of its employees. The “Systematic Safety” award, valid for 3 years, also certifies that Trevira fully meets the requirements of industry standard ISO 45001:2018. The award was handed over to Trevira CEO Klaus Holz together with management representative Stefan Rauterkus.