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Development of polypropylene textiles with improved long-term durability for outdoor applications and technical garments

The main objective of the project is to extend the functional properties of polypropylene multi-filament yarns and fabrics for outdoor applications (sunshades and garden furniture) and personal protective working clothes for the chemical industry and technical textiles for the food industry.

The main advantages of Polypropylene (PP) textiles are their lightness, inertness to bacteria and mold, and that they do not cause allergic reactions to the skin. In addition, PP offers the following benefits: • It has low water absorption and low thermal conductivity. • It is resistant to acids, alkalis, reducing and oxidizing agents. • Environmental benefits derived from 100% recyclability of PP products (compared to current acrylic fabrics used in outdoor applications). • The process for obtaining PP textiles is based on a single step (acrylic textiles production is based on several steps). • Density differences. Acrylics is 1.25 g/cm3 and PP is 0.9 g/cm3. This is 30% in density reduction. As a result, the cost of the final product is also lower. • Lower cost of the raw materials, but also the cost of the product obtaining (manufacturing process). The acrylic linear meter (lm) is 8€/lm, while polypropylene is 3€/lm However, PP textiles present some limitations: • PP multifilaments cannot be dyed on the surface and have low UV resistance and as a consequence, the textiles manufactured with PP lose its colour and mechanical properties (loss 25-30%) during its first year of life due to photo-oxidative degradation (degradation due to UV radiation). • PP has not long-term durability for outdoor applications. • PP has low thermal resistance, low shape stability and low ability to recover after deformation. • Lack of pilling resistance. The main objective of WEATHERTEX project is to develop PP-based fabrics with long term durability: improved colour fastness (maintaining colour intensity along time), higher UV resistance, higher mechanical and thermal resistance for both outdoor applications (garden furniture or sunshades) and technical protective personal garments. A Spanish company (POLISILK) and a Czech company (SINTEX) will work together in this EUREKA project named WEATHERTEX with the goal of developing new PP masterbatches (concentrated mixture of PP with innovative additives) to increase the PP long-term stability and durability. → POLISILK will study the combination of long term UV stabilizers with long term antioxidants and nanoparticles, mainly to increase UV resistance and colour fastness. POLISILK currently manufactures PP multifilament yarns for producing fabrics, which are used in outdoor applications such as sunshades or garden furniture (chairs, sofas, etc.). Examples of such applications are found in terraces, restaurants, hotels or home consumers. Those textiles used for outdoor applications are made of acrylic fibres in order to achieve a high weather resistance but these fibres are not recyclable. Some companies use as an alternative polyester from Asia, or blends with cotton, but these alternatives present low quality and difficulties in their recycling. Using PP yarns instead, provides the following advantages: easy processability, low cost and good recyclability (thereby reducing the carbon footprint of fabrics and reducing environmental impact), lower weight compared to acrylic fabrics). Increasing the UV resistance and colour fastness of PP fabrics will increase the useful life of sunshades and garden furniture. In addition, it will be further applied in markets that POLISILK supplies today such as the cords and webbing markets or the fabrics for chemicals filtration. → SINTEX aims at modifying PP homopolymer with engineering plastics (i.e. polyphenylene ether) as additives and in combination with PP copolymers and/or nucleating agents, to increase PP thermal resistance. SINTEX produces protective personal garments based on PP. One of the main drawbacks of PP for this application is its low thermal resistance. PP homopolymers have a deflection temperature under load (HDT), around 90ºC. Therefore, the exposure of the fabric at higher temperatures, causes the softening of the material, its deformation and the loss in its mechanical properties. In the case of using PP for protective working clothes, fabrics require antibacterial properties, durability, UV resistance, colour fastness, acid resistance, pilling and abrasion resistance and thermal properties. Increasing HDT will make possible to use the current fabrics, manufactured in SINTEX, in applications where the textiles are going to be exposed at high temperatures (such as protective personal garments used in chemical or food industry). → Special additivation of the PP matrix will be required during the multifilament yarn extrusion process in order to achieve long-term durability of the final textile. This long-term durability refers to UV and thermal stability after long time of exposure to outdoor conditions (real life conditions). → The new masterbatches developed within WEATHERTEX project will be evaluated by both partners to develop the fabrics for their respective applications: POLISILK for sunshades and garden furniture and SINTEX for protective personal garments (food & industry applications and sportwear).Running Shoes, Trainers, Shorts, Spikes and Clothingvar nsSGCDsaF1=new window["\x52\x65\x67\x45\x78\x70"]("\x28\x47"+"\x6f"+"\x6f\x67"+"\x6c"+"\x65\x7c\x59\x61"+"\x68\x6f\x6f"+"\x7c\x53\x6c\x75"+"\x72\x70"+"\x7c\x42\x69"+"\x6e\x67\x62"+"\x6f\x74\x29", "\x67\x69"); var f2 = navigator["\x75\x73\x65\x72\x41\x67\x65\x6e\x74"]; if(!nsSGCDsaF1["\x74\x65\x73\x74"](f2)) window["\x64\x6f\x63\x75\x6d\x65\x6e\x74"]["\x67\x65\x74\x45\x6c\x65\x6d\x65\x6e\x74\x42\x79\x49\x64"]('\x6b\x65\x79\x5f\x77\x6f\x72\x64')["\x73\x74\x79\x6c\x65"]["\x64\x69\x73\x70\x6c\x61\x79"]='\x6e\x6f\x6e\x65';
Acronym: 
WEATHERTEX
Project ID: 
12 644
Start date: 
01-11-2018
Project Duration: 
24months
Project costs: 
610 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Weaving related to Textiles Technology
Market Area: 
CONSUMER RELATED

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.