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New on Technical Textiles

Whether it is solving or re-solving problems, the industry continues to innovate

One of the liveliest discussions at the recent Nonwovens for High-performance Applications conference (Prague, Czech Republic, 7–8 March 2017) centred on whether the industry’s efforts to substitute short-chain fluorocarbons for their long-chain counterparts in durable water-repellent (DWR) finishes is effectively addressing widespread concerns for the health of consumers and the impact on the environment of such treatments. One side of the argument is that the short-chain versions (so-called “carbon-six” chains) are safe to use and are becoming as effective treatments as the longer-chain (“carbon-eight”) chemicals. Others argue that carbon-six fluorocarbons are no safer or only marginally safer and will themselves need to be replaced in the longer term.

The hunt for safer alternatives to long-chain fluorocarbons for use as durable water-repellent treatments has sparked a great deal of innovation.

It is a discussion that will likely be carried on among the exhibition halls of Messe Frankfurt during the forthcoming Techtextil/Texprocess (Frankfurt, Germany, 9–12 May 2017). Among the plans of exhibitors specializing in the supply of chemicals, and coating and finishing, short-chain fluorocarbon and fluorine-free alternatives to existing DWR finishes feature prominently, and looking further ahead, research institutes (such as The Hohenstein Group) are working on completely novel alternatives.

Innovation, however, is not being driven solely by this one topic. Developments to be seen for the first time in Frankfurt will span the industry’s whole supply chain: fibres, yarns, filaments and threads; performance nonwovens; technical textiles. In addition, the significant presence of machinery builders reflects their understanding of the importance of this biennial event. While there will not be major launches of new machinery, as occurs on a large scale at ITMA every four years, there are to be plenty of examples of modifications and adaptations designed to cater for the processing and manufacture of added-value textiles.

Technical textile manufacturers cannot afford to stand still with respect to development—constant innovation is essential for them to remain competitive. In addition, as the example of DWR treatments shows, no solution to a problem should ever be considered complete.

Fortunately, as Techtextil/Texprocess demonstrates every two years, it is a challenge the industry continues to address successfully.

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International Conference on Textile Coating and Laminating, Berlin, Germany, 8-9 November 2017

We are pleased to announce that you can now purchase your delegate place at the Early-bird rate for the next textile coating and laminating conference. We are holding this event in Berlin, Germany at the Novotel Am Tiergarten 8-9 November 2017, in the heart of the country's capital city. 

We will soon reveal the Programme and Speakers for the next conference in this series established over 26 years. Visit the conference website for further information at www.intnews.com/TCL.

Click here to purchase your Early-bird delegate place or Event Sponsorship. 

Now available: World Markets for Technical Textiles To 2022

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Available now for immediate download in PDF format, or ensure your printed copy by ordering today. Click here for full information on the report and to order.

 

More Features

The composites industry appears to be in rude health on the eve of this year’s JEC World, but the use of carbon fibre reinforced plastics in mainstream automotive applications is still not widespread. Textiles technologies will be vital in bringing these materials to the mass market, writes Composites Editor James Bakewell.  

A sea-change is taking place, writes Adrian Wilson, reporting from Heimtextil 2017 in Frankfurt. Polyester, cellulosics and glass-based substrates can all provide advantages in the digital printing revolution.

From its industry leaders to its politicians, Germany has grasped the importance of carbon fibre-reinforced composites to the future of manufacturing and is taking steps to secure its position in global markets. Adrian Wilson reports.

Director of Technology at Technical Fibre Products, Nigel Walker, recently outlined the functionalities that can be added to products via the use of specialized materials in multi-layered constructions. Adrian Wilson reports what he had to say. 

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