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Features

Lively debates on topics of importance to the industry, together with many examples of the latest commercial innovations, held the attention of several hundred attendees of one of the sector’s most important annual conferences. Adrian Wilson reports for Technical Textiles International

The establishment of Dornier Composite Systems and the Dornier CS Technology Center reflect the growth in opportunities Lindauer Dornier and others see for advanced weaving technology in the composites market, reports Adrian Wilson.

Associate Patent Attorney Deborah Maxwell believes that many businesses undervalue their intellectual property and makes a case for why they should pay more attention to protecting these most valuable assets.

The commercialization of automated tape laying (ATL) and automated fibre placement (AFP) processes is growing rapidly, and these technologies are eclipsing what can be achieved with conventional three-dimensional (3D) weaving or multiaxial knitting, says Adrian Wilson.

Stäubli is best known for its weaving machinery, but sophisticated mechatronic technologies are at the heart of many of the Swiss company's latest developments, reports Adrian Wilson.

Measured in terms of use and production, the global fibres market in 2016 reached 100 Mt for the first time. However, at a meeting announcing these landmark figures, senior industry observers focused on the challenges facing fibre manufacturers, particularly those in Europe. Adrian Wilson reports.

By 2021, the composites industry could be generating 32 kt of carbon fibre waste a year, and re-using this material is both an environmental and an economic necessity.  When UK-based carbon fibre recycler ELG Carbon Fibre (ELG-CF) opened the doors to its factory in Coseley in June 2017, James Bakewell went along to find out how textile technologies are being used to make this happen. 

The development of a superabsorbent fibre has already created many market opportunities for Technical Absorbents Ltd, but the company continues to innovate and, at a recent conference, Product Development Specialist James Docherty revealed the latest innovation—washable fabrics.

John McCurry reports that demand for fabrics providing cooling effects has led to the foundation of a great many companies in the USA eager to fulfil the market’s needs. Together with some longer-term players, they have an abundance of new technologies to choose from and commercialize in order to provide such functionality.

From a bicycle lock made from textiles to an intelligent knee brace, the breadth of innovation on display at Techtextil was staggering. Editor Nick Butler focuses on eight of the innovations, each of which won special recognition at the event held on 9–12 May 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany.

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