Textile search up close
When research institutes come to Techtextil they often only show an excerpt of what they do. For this reason we have hit the road for you to experience textile research up close – at the STFI Saxon Textile Research Institute. For two hours we marched from one technical highlight to the next.
In fact this STFI innovation day was focussed exclusively on ‘new technologies and processes’, giving us the opportunity to concentrate on the latest innovations. Spunbonding was on display, and in addition to the Meltblown machine, was the latest update of the Reicofil®-4 machine, featuring an AcquaJet unit. This provides water-jet bonding as another potential processing stage in addition to the non-woven bonding by means of calendering and needle-punching. The STFI also has the possibility to manufacture non-wovens or stick-bonded fabrics of the types Maliwatt, Mailvlies, Kunit and Multiknit. As to carbon technology, we are allowed a glimpse into a highly topical area of research: research and trialling of the manufacture and processing of recycled carbon fibres to make fibre-based non-wovens. In the future, according to the researchers at the STFI, the recycling of these valuable fibres (see the last two blog posts), will become increasingly important.
The next highlight: fibre composite technology. Here we discovered more about the manufacturing of composites using vacuum injection and hydraulic press technology in addition to the possibilities of further processing. On the subject of testing textiles, the STFI presented not only procedures to test the human and ecological safety of clothing and textiles for the house and home but also what the STFI says is the only test station for safety nets in the world. The nets can be tested to a load of up to 24 metric tonnes.
Another new investment is the QUANTA FEG 250 scanning electron microscope that was commissioned this year. A particular highlight of the tour was also the circular loom on which, thanks to a machine modification, it is possible to produce fabrics with variable diameter. Where have you heard of this before? From the Techtextil Innovation Prize of course, for which the STFI received an ‘honourable mention’. This machine is capable, amongst other things, of manufacturing cone-shaped circular woven fabric from aramid; these were processed into composite components by means of composite fibre technology. Aircraft manufacture is an example of a potential application area.
Here are a few more impressions:
We would like to take the opportunity to again offer our heartfelt thanks to the STFI for the tour and their support!