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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. 

A collaborative research project in Germany is exploring the possibilities for nonwovens made from recycled carbon fibre as reinforcements for composites. Already the team has developed a novel production process and made unique materials that have potential as heating elements. Claus Lütke explains what the team has learned so far and what they will do next.

While presenting the Society of Chemical Industry’s prestigious Ivan Levinstein Memorial Lecture, Richard Horrocks surveyed the development and use of textiles in fire protection. Ian Holme listened to what he had to say and reports for Technical Textiles International.

On behalf of Technical Textiles International, John McCurry conducted an exclusive interview with Kraig Biocraft, a company exploiting genetic engineering in its bid to produce spider silk on a full-scale commercial basis.

Skip Gehring, the third generation to preside over his family’s textile company, talked exclusively to John McCurry about the reasons for its ongoing success. Hard work, an ability to adapt to change, continual investment, and a research and development (R&D) programme that is stimulating growth in sales were among the topics discussed.

Industrialists joined with researchers at a two-day event to discuss the latest technologies and issues relating to the digital printing and finishing of textiles. Ian Holme joined them to report for Technical Textiles International.

A survey of recent patents related to nanofibres and filtration allows Adrian Wilson to share some insights into research trends among major US and European manufacturers aiming to create improved filter media.