Textile Technology section
ITA: platform for sourcing protective masks
In recent days the request for medical masks and protective wear across Europe has risen due to the spread of corona virus.
The Institute of Textile Technology at RWTH Aachen University (ITA), Aachen/Germany, wants to help in providing a connection between demand and supply of protective wear, especially face masks. The ITA has created the NeedMask platform, a non-profit registry for sourcing protective masks in Europe. The aim is to connect those producing masks to those needing them. The ITA is still looking for support from IT partners who want to scale-up the operation of the platform. Please contact Dr. David Schmelzeisen, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need or produce protective masks? For further information: https://www.need-mask.com
Oerlikon: new thrust pad contacting device for the Baltic crimper
Technological changes have been made to the Baltic crimper thrust pad contacting device from Oerlikon Neumag, a brand of the Manmade Fibers segment of Oerlikon Management AG, Pfäffikon/Switzerland, have resulted in considerably reduced friction in the crimper rolls. This means less wear and fewer metal particles contaminating the crimped staple fibers.
Thrust pads close the gap between the crimper rolls on either side. Normally, these thrust pads are continually pressed – under high pressure – against the sides of the crimper rolls. Wear and metal debris on the thrust pads is the result of this constant contact. The metal debris can contaminate the fibers, something that is particularly undesirable in hygiene applications.
With the new system, the thrust pads are pressed against the rolls with less pressure and then fixed into place. This prevents fibers from being caught and the frictional force between the pressure disk thrust pad and the crimper roll is minimized. Pilot applications have demonstrated that metal debris from the pressure disks thrust pads is dramatically reduced, making them between 3-7 times more durable.
Texon: responsibility for sustainability and zero waste to newly appointed director
The supplier of high-performance material solutions Texon International Group Ltd., Hong Kong/China, has strengthened its commitment to becoming a zero waste organization by 2025 by raising responsibility for sustainability to director level. Boyd Mulder, who recently joined the Texon Management Team as Group Director for New Product Development & Innovation (NPDI), is now in charge of driving sustainability throughout the entire organization. In his new role, Mulder will have the task of seamlessly embedding sustainability throughout Texon’s value chain and its entire portfolio of material solutions.
Over the next 5 years, Texon will attempt to reduce its carbon footprint by 50%; cut the use of virgin materials by 50%; ensure that 90% of waste is recyclable or reusable; and reduce water usage and waste by 20%. To help deliver these goals, Mulder will lead the global execution of the company’s strategic roadmap for its product and marketing organization. As such, he will work across all Texon locations worldwide but will spend most of his time at the company’s manufacturing facility in Skelton/UK.
Previously, Mulder worked at electronics giant Philips NV, Amsterdam/Netherlands, in senior executive roles for global and regional businesses across 3 continents – before running his own business management consultancy in Hong Kong.
Devan: antiviral solutions for textiles in fight against corona
Over the past few weeks, the supplier of special chemicals Devan Chemicals NV, Ronse/Belgium, has received a lot of enquiries regarding an antiviral solution for textiles against Sars-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (corona virus).
The company studied enveloped viruses (e.g. H1N1, Corona-types etc.) as well as naked viruses (e.g. Rotavirus). For both virus families BI-OME AV showed very good activity in wet state.
In the first instance, the company wants to focus on professionals who need to stay working such as policemen, logistics workers, shop employees, day-care workers, etc.
A common complication of respiratory viral disease can be a secondary bacterial infection. Devan has solutions which withstand washing while keeping its performance. BI-OME as a liquid product is EU Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR), Turkish BPR and US EPA registered. Depending on the region, commercializing treated articles is subject to additional local registration procedures.
Over 30 tons of chemicals are ready to be shipped throughout the world. Moreover, most distributors have a local inventory standing for immediate use.
Reifenhäuser: meltblown test lines converted for up to 1 million face masks daily
The machinery and components manufacturer Reifenhäuser Reicofil GmbH & Co. KG, Troisdorf/Germany, has temporarily converted 2 of its test plants due to the corona pandemic. The lines installed in the nonwovens technology center, which are otherwise exclusively used for research and development as well as customer trials, have been producing meltblown material for the production of face masks for one week. This is the company’s response to the current emergency in the supply of medical protective material.
Until further notice, the meltblown lines will be operated in 4-shift operation 24/7. The daily output is sufficient for up to 1 million face masks. Trial operations will be almost completely suspended during this period.
The meltblown material from the nonwovens technology center is already sold out for the next 5 weeks. As no German or European producer for further processing could be found so far, the nonwovens fabric is going to a Vietnamese manufacturer of face masks. However, Reifenhäuser continues to look for opportunities to strengthen the local supply during this crisis. The company is in close contact with associations, authorities and other companies.
Gerber: supporting companies transitioning to PPE manufacturing
Based on a successful initiative in China, the supplier of integrated software solutions Gerber Technology, Tolland, CT/USA, announced the creation of the Gerber PPE Task Force and Resource Team to support their global customers and partners as they work to increase their production or transition to manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE). More than 300 manufacturers, including major global companies, rely on Gerber’s advanced software, hardware solutions and expertise to produce masks and other PPE. Over the last few months, Gerber has helped several customers transition into producing protective masks and other much needed medical supplies including Taglio Marchesini, Bologna/Italy, and Shanghai Challenge Textile Co., Ltd., Shanghai/China.
The Gerber PPE Resource Team is available to support PPE manufacturing including:
• implementing pre-defined patterns and markers or defining fabric/sewing requirements ,
• helping with the setup of cutter parameters specific to the selected fabrics,
• providing training, software, equipment and service technicians to ramp up production ,
• changing over current production lines to the production of PPE,
• connecting supply and demand for PPE via our global ecosystem of customers and partners,
• introducing existing PPE manufacturers to those converting to PPE production.
Lenzing: suspension of 2020 guidance due to COVID-19 crisis
As a result of the global corona crisis, the producer of cellulosic fibers, Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, expects, based on recent developments, a negative impact on its textile sales volume. The potential impact cannot yet be reliably estimated, as it strongly depends on the duration of the crisis as well as its further effects on the global economy and textile markets. Consequently, Lenzing suspends its result forecast for 2020 as disclosed on March 12, 2020, when it expected the result for 2020 to be below the level of 2019. In order to mitigate a potentially stronger than expected decline in earnings, Lenzing has already started to implement cost saving measures across its sites globally.
Oerlikon Neumag: optimized tangle unit for BCF yarns
Oerlikon Neumag, a brand of the Manmade Fibers segment of Oerlikon Management AG, Pfäffikon/Switzerland, presents further developments to the RoTac³ tangle unit.
The tangent nozzle has been flow-optimized, so that the air pressure can be reduced by approx. 10% compared to the previous version with the same knot strength. Furthermore the nozzle bearings have been improved. The tangling unit saves up to 50% of the energy required for compressed air generation and at the same time leads to even more efficient BCF yarn tangling. As a result, either even higher speeds, or nozzle rings with a higher number of holes can be used, resulting in even more knots in the yarn.
Oerlikon Neumag has equipped various new and old machines with the RoTac3 since its market launch in 2015. For the newer BCF S8, the RoTac³ is part of the standard scope of delivery. The tangle unit is optional for the single-end Sytec One system as well as for the 3-end S+ system.
Texas Tech: decontamination wipe could help corona virus cleanup efforts
A decontamination wipe from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX/USA, to clean up toxic agents also could clean up bodily fluids contaminated with the corona virus. FiberTect is a 3-layer, nonwoven wipe that features an activated carbon core sandwiched between absorbent top and bottom layers.
The wipe's structure is effective in containing bodily fluids – like saliva and mucus – through which viruses could be transmitted. Its activated carbon also can absorb particles transmitted in vapor phase through the air. It is widely used as the primary dry decontamination method in hospitals and ambulances in the USA. Hospitals use it in bulk and in rolls, and ambulances use it in a kit called the FastGrab to do immediate decontamination of patients contaminated with a wide variety of substances.
As a wipe or mitt, FiberTect holds great potential for cleaning in settings where transmission of the corona virus is a main concern. Highly porous carbon in the structure can trap the vapors and aerosols in which microbes are contained. The wipe structure is flexible and can take the shape of the objects to be cleaned. The 3-ply structure without glue helps this effective cleaning.
FiberTect has previously been used successfully by the US military to decontaminate both personnel and equipment, for oil spill cleanup during the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and by emergency response teams across the USA in dealing with highly dangerous chemical substances, including Fentanyl.
Cinte Techtextil: Opportunities for the technical textiles and nonwovens sector in 2020
Cinte Techtextil China, taking place form September 2-4, 2020 in Shanghai/China, intends to confront the given state of flux in the global economy as well as the textiles sector.
Several international economists did predict a contraction in the general economy in Q1 2020 because of the corona virus. However, they remain optimistic that the economy would bounce back in Q2 2020. China’s technical textiles and nonwovens sector has shown considerable and steady growth in 2019. Annual output of nonwoven fabrics of large-scale Chinese companies last year reached 5.03 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 9.9%.
The corona virus is expected to present special opportunities for the personal hygiene and protective wear sectors. Since there is a supply shortage of one key raw material for surgical mask production, new industrial solutions for meltblown equipment and nonwovens in general are now needed more than ever. Therefor the need for events like Cinte Techtextil China is imminent as well.
Cinte Techtextil China is organized by of Messe Frankfurt (Hk) Ltd., Hong Kong/China, the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, the Sub-Council of Textile Industry (CCPIT), Beijing/China, and the China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA), Beijing/China. The 2018 edition saw 485 exhibitors take part, nearly 40% of which were international brands, while the fair recorded 13,203 visits from 55 countries. Product categories cover 12 application areas, spanning the entire industry, from upstream equipment and raw materials providers to finished fabrics, chemicals and other solutions.