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Features

Greater use of high-performance man-made fibres in China depends on two critical factors: finding ways to make the fibres more cheaply at the same time as reducing the harmful impacts of their manufacture on the environment. Jason Chen reports from the 25th China International Man-made Fibre Conference (CIMFC).

The fibre, nonwoven and technical textile industries continue to show their propensity for innovation, despite currently operating within a gloomy economic environment. Adrian Wilson reports on the latest developments from the annual Global Fiber Congress (GFC), held most recently on 11–13 September 2019 in Dornbirn, Austria.

The terms “Industry 4.0” and “digitisation” were heard routinely throughout the last staging of ITMA, but the terms can have different meanings for different developers, even among Germany’s machine builders, who arguably lead the drive to exploit such concepts to create the manufacturing plants of the future. Adrian Wilson takes a closer look.

There has been a flurry of activity in the past decade as carmakers and composites specialists have sought to develop technologies that would enable the widescale use of carbon fibre-reinforced plastics in the automotive industry. As Ford Motor Co has found in pioneering work, however, these lightweight materials might best be employed as part of a multimaterial approach to part production. Composites Editor James Bakewell takes-up the story.

During Index 20, a Swiss company will launch a calcium carbonate powder it has developed specifically as an additive for polypropylene (PP) formulations used to make spunmelt and drylaid nonwovens. Omya International AG of Oftringen will tell visitors that the inclusion of Omyafiber 800 will save manufacturers substantial sums of money and help them to produce high-quality fibres and fabrics. Martin Brunner, Technical Service Manager—Technical Polymer Applications, Christophe Roux, Head of Market Development and Innovation, and Michael Knerr, Head of Polyolefin Applications, provide visitors to the exhibition (to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 31 March–3 April) with a preview of what they can learn about the mineral modifier by visiting stand 4321.

Strategies adopted by the Belarus government and the plans of some of the country’s leading manufacturers of technical textiles reveal a determination to increase production capacity and develop innovative products in order to boost exports, reports Eugene Gerden.

Following the political and financial turbulence of recent times, Ukraine’s new government wants to create an economic climate fit to revive its technical textiles industry and attract investment from Western businesses, reports Eugene Gerden.

Textiles remain at the forefront of the ongoing global race to protect military personnel from existing and emerging threats, particularly smart textiles, and particularly in the USA, according to Sarah Gibbons.

Once again, ITMA (held most recently in Barcelona, Spain, on 20–26 June 2019) revealed the key trends among machinery builders—the use of advanced sensors and robotics, machines designed to make composite reinforcements and lines to process recycled textile waste will now shape the future of the textile manufacturing industry, according to Adrian Wilson.

Carrington Textiles specialises in the development of fabrics and finishes that provide protection and comfort in demanding workplaces. Quality Assurance Manager Sean Moore describes the company’s approach to making sure its products are fit for purpose.

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