Textile Technology section
Teijin Aramid: Peter ter Horst appointed CEO
The high-performance fiber producer Teijin Aramid BV, Arnhem/Netherlands, has appointed Peter ter Horst as the company’s new President and CEO effective April 1, 2020. ter Horst succeeds Gert Frederiks, who will continue in an advisory role before retiring one year later.
Peter ter Horst joined Teijin Aramid in 2006 and brings relevant experience to his new role as CEO. He has held the position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the company since 2011, having previously held strategy and controller positions.
Gert Frederiks and Peter ter Horst have worked closely together since the early 2010’s, focusing on cost leadership and investments in new technologies, products and capacity. As a result, Teijin recently announced production capacity increase in Delfzijl and Emmen/Netherlands, contributing to 25% targeted capacity increase from 2017 until 2022.
ITA: anti-NOX textile facade enables nitrogen oxide reduction
On February 5, 2020, the Senator of Finance of Hamburg, Dr. Andreas Dressel, inaugurated the first anti-NOX textile facade on an office building of the company ECE Europa Bau- und Projektmanagement GmbH, Hamburg/Germany. The innovative facade system is a light and transparent textile facade developed by the RWTH Aachen University, Aachen/Germany, in cooperation with ECE and the renovation company Inok GmbH, Willich/Germany.
The researchers achieved the reduction of harmful nitrogen oxides (NO and NO2) by means of an innovative facade coating. The coating acts as a catalyst and binds the harmful nitrogen oxides from the city air directly to the facade surface under UV light. Oxidation processes convert the pollutants into small quantities of harmless salts.
When it rains, rainfall removes the salt residues from the facade surface. The water can seep away or be used as fertilizer for plants. In the project, samples are taken in order to scientifically prove the environmental compatibility.
Furthermore, the building envelope can reduce the solar cooling load of buildings in summer verifiably by up to 78%. The new materials are 100% recyclable.
The project is accompanied by the Institute of Textile Technology of RWTH Aachen University (ITA).
Lenzing: 2nd pilot plant completed for Tencel Luxe filament yarn
The producer of cellulosic fibers, Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, has completed the 2nd pilot production plant announced in May 2018 for its innovative lyocell filament yarn Tencel Luxe. Construction of the facility at the Lenzing site involving investments of €30 million could be concluded on schedule and within budget after 20 months of intensive work. The new pilot production line, which was put into operation in the middle of December 2019, gives Lenzing sufficient capacity for commercial programs and further application development.
The properties of the Tencel Luxe fine filament yarn can be compared to those of silk due to its airy feeling on the skin and the matte finish. At the same time, it also stands out because of its extensive strength and high level of environmental compatibility. It is very well suited for very fine fabrics and in blends with silk, cashmere and wool.
The pilot plant developed by Lenzing and the know-how acquired during the construction phase will comprise the basis for the company’s further expansion in the field of sustainable filament yarns. This will also comprise the starting point for the planned construction of a large commercial production plant at the Lenzing site.
Dynamic Modifiers: new coating with high flame retardancy
A new non-halogenated FR compound is being introduced by Dynamic Modifiers LLC, Atlanta, GA/USA, a specialty compounder for custom polyolefin compounds and concentrates. Named PAL VersaChar, it can achieve a high level of flame retardant performance as a coating for nonwovens and technical textiles.
PAL VersaChar has been tested to 1,950°C and is shown to prevent all flaming drips of polymer. Char bodies form on the compound surface, protecting against flame creation and delaying heat transfer. Rapid self-extinguishing burn behavior protects any underlying substrate to which it is adhered.
In addition, the compound is light weight and 100% non-toxic, being free from heavy metals, halogens and VOCs. Other properties include very good cold crack performance, hydrophobicity, printability, high chemical resistance and the ability to be custom tailored for specific needs such as UV or antimicrobial performance as required. It has passed ASTM E84 (Class A) with a 15/10 rating, which includes ‘clean’ smoke generation of only 2.3% of the allowable ASTM smoke limits.
In addition to its use as a coating, the compound can be produced as a flexible film or sheet and molded to shape or over-molded to most materials, including metal for corrosion resistance. As a polymeric compound it can be cast or calendered.
A separate adhesive has also been created which bonds to many surfaces.
Oerlikon Nonwoven: new meltblown and spunbond technology at the Filtxpo 2020
Experts of the Nonwoven business unit of the Manmade Fibers segment of Oerlikon Management AG, Pfäffikon/Switzerland, will be presenting solutions for filtration tasks to an international trade audience at the trade fair for filtration Filtxpo 2020 in Chicago, IL/USA, which takes place on February 26-28, 2020.
Meltblown technology is a method for producing fine, separating filter media made from manmade fibers. It is characterized by its constant melt pressure distribution and consistent dwell time across the entire width of the spinning beam. Furthermore, the novel guidance and distribution of the process air outside the coat-hanger distributor offered by the Oerlikon Nonwoven technology prevents so-called hotspots, which overall ensures homogeneous nonwovens properties and basis weights even in the case of delicate raw materials.
The filter efficiency can be increased by means of so-called electro-charging – where the nonwovens are electrostatically charged. Users can choose from a number of variation possibilities and set the appropriate charging method depending on the filter application, allowing the Oerlikon Nonwoven charging unit to also be used for the manufacture of EPA and HEPA class filter media.
Regarding spunbonds, the company is presenting its segmented spin packs, which guarantee even melt distribution and polymer dwell time. The new forming section ensures improved formation evenness across the entire width, even in the case of high spinning speeds, special polymers and polymer combinations. In addition to this, the newly-designed system also ensures that nonwovens only require minimal edge trimming at the end of the production process. The newly-developed mixed fiber technology enables the combining of various filament cross-sections and polymers, in order to set ideal filtering and pleating performances, for example.
Textile Exchange: revamped Material Change Index launched
The international non-profit organization Textile Exchange, O’Donnell, TX/USA, has announced the launch of its annual Material Change Index (MCI).
With 170 companies participating, the MCI is the largest voluntary peer-to-peer comparison initiative in the textile industry. It tracks the apparel, footwear and home textile sector's progress toward more sustainable materials sourcing, as well as alignment with global efforts like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the transition to a circular economy.
The Material Change Index is a key component of Textile Exchange's Corporate Fiber & Materials Benchmark (CFMB) program, which enables participating companies to measure, manage and integrate a preferred fiber and materials strategy into their business. By participating in the CFMB, companies demonstrate a commitment to transparency and continuous improvement around their materials sourcing strategy.
The MCI family of indices tracks progress across the following categories: cotton, polyester, polyamide, manmade cellulosics, down, wool, material circularity, and the SDGs. Companies that complete the full CFMB survey are eligible to be recognized on the overall MCI Leaderboard. In 2019, there were 74 companies eligible for the MCI.
James Heal: advanced imaging system to track wicking
The textile testing equipment manufacturer James H. Heal & Co. Ltd., Halifax/UK, has launched WickView, a state-of-the-art instrument that uses an advanced imaging system to track and record the transfer of moisture through fabric and other materials.
A key feature of WickView is its ability to perform both vertical and horizontal wicking testing. Being able to rotate the instrument allows testing to occur in different orientations. Whether for example that fabric is used in elite sportswear (predominantly vertical), or nonwovens or linens deployed on a hospital bed (predominantly horizontal). This is a huge advantage over current market solutions and offers better insight into performance.
WickView’s water delivery system introduces moisture to specimens in an accurate, controlled way. High definition cameras are positioned on either side of the material specimen to record the movement of the moisture. These cameras give full visibility of the test, and use ultraviolet and infrared light to give a good view of the test process, regardless of specimen color or pattern.
WickView is fully supported with a new version of James Heal’s intuitive TestWise software and shows the wicking process in detail. TestWise can calculate a range of 9 metrics including maximum wetted area, area boundary, y axis of spread and wicking speed. Outcomes can be presented visually or in graph format. Analysis of results is easy. Previous tests can be reloaded in to the software and viewed again.
Brückner: increase in production capacity and lower energy costs
A machine extension by another 4 dryer compartments by the textile machine manufacturer Brückner Textile Technologies GmbH & Co. KG, Leonberg/Germany, were installed at the turn of the year 2018/2019 at the specialist for sealing and insulation products Hanno Werk GmbH & Co. KG, Laatzen/Germany. With this depending on the product, the production speed could be increased by 65-100%; the specific gas consumption/m2 of transfer adhesive was reduced by 30%.
In order to increase the energy efficiency of the line, a Brückner Eco-Heat PE 15 air/air heat-recovery system was ordered in addition to the machine extension. The heat-recovery unit uses the exhaust air heat to heat up fresh air. The heated fresh air is fed to the dryer, thus reducing the heating requirement of the dryer.
An inspection of the cross-flow heat exchangers of the heat-recovery system after 12 months of operation has shown that there is no caking of pollutants. Therefore no special cleaning is necessary. Only the outside air filter needs to be cleaned from time to time to prevent pollen and dust from the outside air from entering the production building.
The energy saving concept was checked and supervised by an energy consultant EnergiePunkt UG, Hildesheim/Germany. The confirmation by an accredited energy consultant is required in order to receive a subsidy from the KfW Bank for the total costs of the heat-recovery system. This ensures that only sensible heat-recovery concepts benefit from EU subsidies for CO2 avoidance.
ACIMIT: Italian textile machinery orders index closes in decline for 2019
The orders index for Italian textile machinery, drawn up by the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT), Milan/Italy, for the period from October-December (Q4) 2019, showed an 8% decline compared to the same period for 2018.
Orders compiled by Italian machinery manufacturers were in negative figures both abroad and on domestic markets in Italy. An 8% slide was recorded abroad, while the drop in order collection on the domestic market stood at 7%, compared to the Q4/2018.
After a difficult year, the Italian textile machinery sector is looking to 2020 with some degree of concern. There are many unknown factors, both at an economic and political level, that do not appear in the short term to point to a recovery in demand for textile machinery in the major markets of China, Turkey and India.
RadiciGroup: investments in sustainability with recycled polyamide
With Renycle, the manufacturer of synthetic fibers and yarns, RadiciGroup, Grandino/Italy, introduced a range of yarns obtained from recycled polyamide at the Domotex in Hannover/Germany, on January 10-13, 2020. The company also announced the acquisition of the material recovery company Zeta Polimeri, Buronzo/Italy, with 30 years’ experience in the recovery of synthetic fiber and thermoplastics.
Also at the Domotex, RadiciGroup exhibited a number of solutions for the recovered fibers sector, targeted at fashion fabrics, furnishings and automotive applications. These new products are the result of the company’s vertically integrated polyamide production and the synergies among its various business areas, from chemicals to engineering polymers and synthetic yarns.
Renycle offers the capability to produce yarn for the segments of textile flooring, rugs and fitted carpets, as well as fashionwear. Renycle reduces the need for new raw materials of fossil origin and is 100% recyclable at the end of its life.