Textile Technology section
Fraunhofer WKI: car made of plant fibers on the road soon?
Biomaterials are an important element in the implementation of a bio-economy strategy. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), Bonn/Germany, has been promoting the development of a car body with a high proportion of renewable raw materials since October 2020. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut (WKI), Braunschweig/Germany, and Hobum Oleochemicals GmbH, Hamburg/Germany, aim to develop a bio-composite material made of plant fibers and vegetable oil-based resin systems that can be processed industrially into car body components. Using the Bioconcept-Car as a test module, the technical performance of the components will be optimized until they are ready for series production road approval.
BioResinProcess is a seamless continuation of the funded project "Sustainable biohybrid lightweight construction for future-oriented mobility", which was completed in summer 2020. This is the first successful series production of a body component made of natural fiber-reinforced materials. In the follow-up project, the bio-content of the components is to be increased to at least 85% and their processing optimized using the RTM (resin transfer molding) process.
(Photo: FNR/Norbert Breuer)
Oerlikon: more ergonomic yarn suction devices
Hand injectors as yarn suction devices are standard components of all spinning positions. The AS H 32- and AS H 38-series of high-performance hand injectors of the Manmade Fibers Segment of technology group Oerlikon Management AG, Pfäffikon/Switzerland, are expedient as a result of their lower compressed air consumption for the same yarn tension. This is made possible due to the higher yarn suction forces, particularly in the case of the AS H 38 series.
In addition to this, string-up without ‘ramp-up’ is possible in certain applications. Also new is a smoother, more ergonomic compressed-air valve, which makes deploying the yarn suction devices more comfortable for users. Furthermore, the required yarn suction force can be adjusted more finely.
The new ‘high-performance devices’ have been designed for applications that require a particularly high suction performance. For several months now, they have been successfully operating in pilot projects within the context of a BCF yarn application in Europe and a tape yarn system located in the US.
Performance Days: Performance Awards for innovative, sustainable fabrics
At the next edition of the functional fabric fair Performance Days on December 9-10, 2020, the new fabric innovations for the 2022/23 fall/winter season will be presented as part of the Digital Fair. In addition, in line with this year's Focus Topic "Nothing to waste - Closing the loop", an overview of sustainable materials, which the Performance Forum jury has selected, will be given.
2 awards will be presented for the best fabrics and materials:
The Performance Award goes to Merryson Corp., New Taipei City/Taiwan, for a fabric made of 6% cotton, 15% polyester (PET) and 79% recycled PET for the workwear sector. The recycled PET fiber is even biodegraded. The new 3D weaving technology is innovative, trend-setting and optimally suited for the workwear sector due to its robust, resistant weaving technique. As required, this construction can also be used for outdoor applications in various color variations.
The Eco Performance Award honors the sustainable climate management of Optimer Performance Fibers Inc., Wilmington, DE/USA. In the production of the 100% organic cotton fiber (weight: 315 g), Optimer focuses on the wearing comfort of cotton combined with the function of synthetic fibers. The Optimer Adapt technology ensures enhanced, more balanced climate management due to the natural phase change material. Its unique and bio-based microencapsulated material – verified by Ecocert - reacts to changes in body temperature to maintain balanced comfort. In warmer temperatures, a cooling of the body temperature is guaranteed, and in colder climate, the material returns heat to the body. The fabric dries faster, has a soft, natural feel, is pilling-resistant and colorfast.
The Lycra Company: Steve Stewart new CIO
For the newly created role as Chief Innovation Officer, Steve Stewart has been appointed by the provider of fiber and technology solutions The Lycra Company, Wilmington, DE/USA. He will be responsible for the leadership of the integrated Technology and Strategic Marketing teams and tasked with accelerating the pace and impact of innovative products and platforms for brands and retailers.
Prior to this role, Stewart served as Apparel Vice President-Asia, responsible for business and operations for Asia, including China, Singapore, Japan, Korea, India, and other Asian countries. Based in Shanghai/China since 2014, he was previously Commercial Director, North Asia, and Global Marketing Director for Intimate Apparel, Swimwear, and Active Outdoor.
DSM/Moncler: ultra-light, ultra-strong skiwear
Fusing form and function the Dyneema Composite Fabrics by Royal DSM NV, Heerlen/Netherlands, are used by Moncler SpA, Milan/Italy, for high-performance skiwear.
The ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fiber Dyneema is 15 times stronger than steel yet light enough to float on water. In fabric form, Dyneema is available in composites, denim, knits, woven materials and hybrids for composite reinforcements. These fabrics provide high strength, low weight, waterproof and breathable properties – allowing designers to fuse the technical performance of ultra-light products with aesthetic design.
Moncler identified the Dyneema fabric as an innovative fabric with good performance, incorporating the material into the new collection as a departure from the conventional use of cotton and polyester.
In May 2020 the first bio-based UHMWPE fiber was introduced. Bio-based Dyneema boasts the same performance as conventional Dyneema with a carbon footprint that is 90% lower than generic HMPE.
DSM and Moncler’s continued partnership will not only provide high performance, lightweight garments for outdoor use, but also environmentally sustainable alternatives that contribute to a more circular economy.
Euratex: final call to reach an agreement on EU-UK negotiations
The EU textile and clothing industry, with around 160,000 companies employing 1.5 million workers, is an essential pillar of the local economy across many EU regions. With over € 61 billion of exports, the industry is a global player successfully commercializing high added value products on growing markets around the world.
A new study, commissioned by the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex), Brussels/Belgium, reveals that a “no deal” Brexit would have a detrimental impact on the textile and clothing industry (T&C) with job losses over 100,000 for the EU with its 27 members and over 27,000 for the UK. Output losses for the UK would be 41.8% of its value added in T&C production, while the EU-27 as a whole would lose about 9.7%.
Negotiators are making a final effort, but a “no deal” can still occur if there is no timely ratification of the withdrawal agreement, or if the withdrawal agreement is ratified but no agreement on the EU-UK future relationship is struck before the end of the transition period.
A soft Brexit scenario would minimize the damage, but it would still disrupt European value chains and lead to heavy job losses. A soft Brexit would still be significant with, for the UK, almost 5,000 jobs lost and an output loss of 7.3% of its value added; while for the EU-27, 17,786 jobs will be lost and there would be output losses of 1.7 % of its value added.
The Fabric year 2020
In the last 15 years, the proportions of the various textile fabrics produced have changed considerably worldwide. Knitwear and also nonwovens production has increased significantly, whereas the share of weaving has decreased.
Asia is still the world's largest producer of fabrics. 91% of all weaving technologies and 86% of all knitting technologies are in Asia. Moreover, China is also the world's largest producer of nonwovens.
In 2019 in Asia the share of knitted fabric was 54% (2005: 46%), weaving is only 38% (2005: 50%) and nonwoven fabrics increased visibly from 4% in 2005 to 8% in 2019.
The most important Asian producers of knitted fabrics are China (69%), India (6%) and Bangladesh (5%). For woven fabrics China (59%), India (23%) and Pakistan (3%) are the biggest manufacturers in Asia.
ACIMIT: new Technology Training Center in Pakistan
On November 16, 2020 the Italy-Pakistan Textile Technology Center (IPTTC) was inaugurated in Faisalabad/Pakistan at the National Textile University (NTU). The training center is the 1st of its kind for Italian textile machinery technology in Pakistan. Financed by the Italian Government and organized by the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT), Milan/Italy, the project intends to support the development of the local textile industry, by equipping the technology center with Italian machinery that will allow the local denim industry to improve the quality of the products, through ongoing research and innovation.
In 2019, the Pakistani market was the 6th largest destination for Italian exports (totaling € 80 million), and in the 1st half of 2020, Pakistan was the 3rd foreign market for Italian machinery manufacturers in the sector, just behind Turkey and China.
Südwolle: merino base-layer clothing for medical personnel
In hospitals where Covid-19 patients are treated, medical staff must wear protective clothing. Under this protective clothing, the skin sweats easily, is in discomfort, itches, and possible skin irritation and rashes can develop. For this reason, the manufacturer of worsted products Südwolle Group, Nuremberg/Germany, supports the medical staff in hospitals in Romania and China with high-performance base-layer clothing worn underneath protective clothing.
Conventional base-layer garments, which were primarily made of synthetic fibers, showed poor performance in moisture management and thermal regulation in these compromised conditions. Südwolle Group produced base-layer clothing that were initially intended for sports, outdoor or technical end-uses at their spinning mill Silvania Worsted Spinning (SWS) in Simleu Slivaniei/Romania.
They also joined forces with the producer of cellulosic fibers, Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, and the Rainbow Company to produce base-layer garments from merino-lyocell blends to supply the medical team at the hospitals in Wuhan/China.
With their good thermo- and moisture-regulating properties, merino wool and Tencel lyocell are convenient natural fibers to be worn under such protective clothing to offer exceptional comfort.
HeiQ: Swiss Technology Award 2020 for Viroblock
The leading technology prize in Switzerland, Swiss Technology Award, announced the 2020 prizes, and among all the notable finalist innovations of the year, the supplier of finishing technology, HeiQ Materials AG, Zurich/Switzerland, was bestowed the highest honor as 1st prize winner for its breakthrough antiviral textile technology HeiQ Viroblock. This is the most notable recognition for the company’s innovative spirit and technologies as well as its contribution to stemming the spread of the global pandemic.
Developed in record time and launched after the Swiss authorities announced the lockdown in March 2020, HeiQ Viroblock has had a major impact on the global textile industry and is being unprecedently adopted by mills around the world. HeiQ Viroblock is a very efficient and effective antiviral/antimicrobial technology and has been applied by more than 150 brands worldwide to over 1 billion products from face masks, apparels to home textiles, mattresses and curtains to date.
It is among the first textile technologies in the world to be proven effective against Covid-19. HeiQ Viroblock consists of a combination of HeiQ’s patent-pending vesicle and silver technologies. The 2 mechanisms of attack result in an over 99.9% destruction of viruses in 5 minutes.