Textile Technology section
Mahlo: transparency in process control for technical textiles
High-performance technical textiles have to fulfill their task to 100% in order to prevent damage and danger. The final product has to fully strictly meet requirements and gray areas are unacceptable. The processes have to be transparent, so that the user can recognize discrepancies at any time and can react to them.
A prerequisite for a working product, independent of further treatment, is a straight web.
The automatic weft straightener Orthopac RVMC-15 from the manufacturer of measuring, control and automation systems Mahlo GmbH & Co. KG, Saal a.d. Donau/Germany, detects and straightens 97% of all known webs. For s-shaped distortions and non-detectable fabric, the pin wheel straighteners only work only for non-elastic products, however.
This is different with the Orthomax RFMB-15, a fusion of pin wheel and roller straightener. Thanks to combining both technologies, the system minimizes distortions in web as well as elastic knitting. Many textiles made of elastic raschel knitted fabrics already benefit from these advantages.
The next step is monitoring the further processing. With the help of scanners and sensors, the quality control system Qualiscan QMS-12 makes important parameters visible and therefore controllable. By measuring basis weight before and after the coating, one can determine the weight of the single layers.
Lenzing: award for sustainable nonwovens technology
The Austrian State Prize for Innovation is awarded annually by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs, Vienna/Austria, to the most innovative Austrian company. On October 20, 2020, the producer of cellulosic fibers, Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, was awarded the prize as recognition for its innovative achievements concerning sustainable nonwovens technology.
With the Lenzing web technology the company has developed a patented technology for a promising solution for eco-friendly products that counteracts the pollution of the environment by plastics.
Sustainable and eco-friendly nonwovens are produced from the renewable raw material wood. These are not only plastic-free, they also score points for their environmental friendliness.
The pollution of the environment by plastics is an important problem of our time. Every day, worldwide millions of hygiene products and wipes end up in garbage and sewage. Most of them consist of up to 80% polyester or other fossil, non-biodegradable materials which remain in the environment as pollution.
Oerlikon/Procter & Gamble: exclusive collaboration for high-class wipes
In a global marketplace, collaboration is just as important as competition. This is what motivated Procter & Gamble Corp., Cincinnati, OH/USA, and Oerlikon Nonwoven, Neumünster/Germany – Teknoweb Materials srl., Palazzo Pignano/Italy, to agree on an exclusive license agreement to market and sell the Phantom platform worldwide.
Oerlikon already entered into a strategic partnership with Teknoweb in 2017 aimed at extending the nonwovens production systems portfolio.
The patented process for hybrid nonwovens combines the best of both airlaid and spunmelt technologies to deliver new, flexible ways of creating wet and dry wipes. The Phantom technology offers additional benefits by reducing resources and cost, while increasing overall performance. The exclusive license gives Oerlikon Nonwoven – Teknoweb Materials total access to the patents, know-how, and pilot lines developed by Procter & Gamble. The research and development team at Procter & Gamble continues to support Oerlikon Nonwoven – Teknoweb Materials distribute this technology worldwide. In addition, Oerlikon Nonwoven – Teknoweb Materials have further refined the process into their own Levra technology – an entry-level option which offers tailored production volumes with lower investment costs but is still suitable to be upgraded to the premium Phantom model in the future.
Essentially, Phantom technology was developed to produce hybrid substrates. The spunmelt and airlaid processes are merged into one step to combine cellulose fibers, long fibers such as cotton, or even powders with polymer fibers in unprecedented ways. This technology has clear advantages in terms of resources, performance and cost compared to the previous processes on the market. By removing hydroentanglement, it is no longer necessary to dry the material. Adjusting the process can optimize relevant product characteristics such as softness, strength, dirt absorption, and liquid absorption. In the end, this even increases the quality of the product itself.
Performance Days: digital fair replaces exhibition halls
Due to the increasing number of infections, further international travel bans and company-internal travel restrictions are now threatening.
Since the functional fabric fair Performance Days lives from its international audience, the event from December 9-10, 2020 will not take place at the Messe München, but as a Digital Fair.
Already back in April 2020, Performance Days launched its Digital Fair with various solutions, such as the online sourcing of materials and digitalized trends and colors.
The Performance Forum Jury will again convene for the December 2020 Forum and curate the most innovative and sustainable fabrics and ingredients.
Those wishing to participate can register at www.performancedays.com and gain access to e.g. exclusive trend topics. By logging in to the Digital Fair, visitors can state their preferences and so receive focused match-making to the appropriate exhibitors/suppliers.
Teijin Frontier: oil absorbents to support recovery from Mauritius oil spill
To deal with the heavy oil spill caused by the running aground of the cargo ship Wakashio off the shore of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, the fiber-product converting company Teijin Frontier Co., Ltd., Tokyo/Japan, will donate its high-performance oil adsorbent sheet to the Government of the Republic of Mauritius. Through Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd., Minato/Japan, 500 kg of this oil adsorbent sheet will be provided, an amount which will allow approx. 10 tons of oil to be adsorbed.
Made of polypropylene fiber nonwovens, Teijin Frontier’s high-performance oil adsorbent sheet can adsorb up to around 20 times its own weight in oil. It is hard to tear and can also be used for wiping off oil deposits.
By means of this donation the Teijin Group will contribute to the area’s recovery from marine pollution and will continue to tackle a range of environmental challenges.
Nova-Institute: call for paper for “Cellulose Fibre Innovation of the year” award
For the first time the innovation award “Cellulose fibre Innovation of the Year” will be granted at the “2nd International Conference on Cellulose Fibres” on February 2-3, 2021 in Cologne/Germany. The hybrid event is organized by the nova-Institute GmbH, Hürth/Germany.
The innovation award “Cellulose Fibre Innovation of the Year” will be granted to the innovative cellulose fiber industry for the development of new technologies and applications.
All producers and inventors along the entire value chain form feedstock to the final product are invited to join the competition. Deadline for submission is November 30, 2020.
Among the applicants, 6 candidates will be nominated for the innovation award by an independent expert jury. Their application documents will be made available for download at the conference website. The nominees will then get the opportunity to hold a 10-minute presentation at the conference or online.
After the presentations, the participants of the conference will elect the final winners of the innovation award “Cellulose Fibre Innovation of the Year 2021”.
Applying to the award is free of charge.
For further information: www.cellulose-fibres.eu/award-application.
Cetex: cooperation for the further development of hybrid rovings
On October 2, 2020, the Cetex Institut gGmbH, Chemnitz/Germany, thermoPre Engineering GmbH, Chemnitz/Germany, and the spinning-mills for high tenacity filament yarns The FilamentFactory GmbH, Bad Hersfeld/Germany, signed a cooperation agreement concerning the development, production and marketing of novel hybrid materials.
In the last 3 years the Cetex institute has developed a plant technology for the production of hybrid rovings. By means of the patented process, different material combinations can be produced according to customer specifications. Material combinations of reinforcing fibers, (glass, basalt, carbon, aramid or high-strength polymer fibers) can be combined with matrix fibers (PP, PET, PA, PPS, PEEK), but also special combinations of different reinforcing fibers or the combination of reinforcing fibers with metal fibers.
Advantages of the new hybrid roving are the torsion-free and completely stretched fiber layer and the associated optimal utilization of the properties of the reinforcing fibers, as well as a good homogeneity.
Under the agreement, the process is jointly developed further by the project partners and transferred to series production.
Edana: discussion on a circular economy for nonwovens
Edana: discussion on a circular economy for nonwovens
With over 100 delegates in attendance, the 1st edition of the new Circular Nonwovens Forum, held on October 13, 2020, successfully created a new platform for discussion on sustainability and circularity within the nonwovens sector.
Hosted as an online event by the association serving the nonwovens and related industries, Edana, Brussels/Belgium, the forum opened with a keynote speech from Paola Migliorini, the Deputy Head of Unit for Sustainable Production, Products & Consumption on the European Commission’s new Circular Economy Action plan. It was followed by a range of insightful presentations and discussions covering initiatives to address the circularity of AHP plastic waste, the biodegradability and compostability of nonwovens, material innovations, and developments in renewable polypropylene. The presentations were followed by well attended breakout sessions allowing for participants to engage with the speakers.
This forum is planned to be held annually with the next edition scheduled to be held in Brussels in September 2021.
A&E: investment in US manufacturing platform
The manufacturer of sewing and embroidery threads and technical textiles, American & Efrid LLC (A&E), Mt. Holly, NC/USA, a division of the provider of advanced textile solutions, Elevate Textiles Inc., Greensboro, NC/USA, has announced its continued investment in the company’s extensive US manufacturing platform.
A&E currently operates 5 manufacturing facilities and its division offices in Gaston County, NC/USA, which comprise the vast majority of the US platform and are a critical part of A&E’s overall global manufacturing footprint.
The company’s manufacturing capabilities are completely vertical from raw cotton and other fibers through the spinning, winding, dyeing and finishing of its threads and specialty yarns. It provides superior dyeing capabilities, color matching and high-performance sustainable products.
In further US investment, A&E completed the purchase of the Charles Craft high performance yarn business, which included the assets of the Charles Craft manufacturing operation in Hamer, SC/USA. This acquisition broadens A&E’s product offering related to thermal protection, cut resistant and flame retardant yarns and expands the company’s US platform and manufacturing capabilities.
ACIMIT: conference confirms industry downturn
The world that awaits us in this post Covid-19 era was the dominant theme discussed at the conference of the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT), Milan/Italy, held in Milan on October 6, 2020.
In 2019, Italy’s production output of textile machinery dropped by 11% compared to 2018, while exports fell 12%. The sharp decline in manufacturing activity in 2019 was common to both foreign and domestic markets in Italy. This widespread lessened demand in the main Asian and European markets has weighed heavily on machinery sales abroad, also affecting the USA and South America. A similar scenario was observed in Italy, where both imports of machinery of foreign origin and deliveries by Italian manufacturers decreased significantly.
This precarious economic situation then suffered from the strong impact brought on by the pandemic. The repercussions are highlighted by a severe scaling back in orders for Italian producers. The order index for the first 6 months of 2020 dropped 39% compared to the same period for January to June 2019; a recessionary picture that remains confirmed for the whole of 2020. A recovery towards export levels resembling those of the period prior to Covid-19 can only be expected in 2021.
The experience of recent months has brought to light the urgency of accelerating the digital transformation of businesses. ACIMIT has continued to support its associates in this development process.