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Woven and knitted fabrics to protect against weather conditions and solar uvr

Investigation of the production parameters (fibres, yarns, weaving, knitting, dyeing and finishing) for woven and knitted fabrics of high upf (ultraviolet protection factor) and optimum resistance to weather conditions.

This project will help SMEs in the T/C Industry to produce tents, awnings, protective caps or hoods, umbrella covers and hats, T-shirts, sportswear and leisure wear and technical textiles made of special products with high UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) and good resistance to weather conditions. These more effective new products will protect people from the dangerous effects of solar ultraviolet radiation (S-UVR). It has been estimated that a decrease of 1% in the ozone layer would lead to an increase in the S-UVR at the Earth's surface and may eventually lead to a 2,3% increase in skin cancer. According to the results of recent research, there is a close and precise relationship between UV-Index (for geographical areas or countries) and the recommended UPF of clothes that should be used. The formula is: UPF=15 x UV-Index In the majority of Mediterranean countries the UV Index is more than 10. Therefore, the recommended UPF should be at least 150. It is well known that the majority of clothing items have a UPF in the range 10-30. The most appropriate clothing items for high temperatures (30 degrees C - 40 degrees C) are clothes made from knitted or woven fabrics using cotton fibres in pale and bright colours (mainly white). These fabrics have high porosity and consequently low UPF (less than 15). The goal of SUNPROTEX is to derive new knitted and woven fabrics with the following properties: * Higher UPF * Longer life span * Lower consumption of raw materials * Improved wearing properties * Lower overall costs * Good behaviour in both high temperatures and high exposure to solar UVR * Special ability to absorb UV-B radiation * New design for efficient protection * Meet aesthetic requirements * Guarantee adequate wear comfort for the respective end uses. All the above-mentioned characteristics will be implemented in the new products with a high effective protection against solar UVR and weather conditions. The most important aim of this research project is to combine the UV-Index of each area and outdoor place with the design and the appropriate UPF for the proposed sunshade constructions, umbrella covers, hats, knitted and woven fabrics. In this context, the levels of UVR and UVB in the atmosphere will be determined at each location, resulting in the appropriate and thus effective design of protective constructions with the new woven fabrics. 1. Description of the place: Outdoor, marine places without protection (GREECE, July, Noon). UV-Index: 10. UPF of T/C Products: 1 000 min at least. So the detailed correspondence of UV-Index, UPF of T/C products and any useful and relevant information could be made available to the people. Each municipality, community, organized beach, private marine, cluster country residents, schools, outdoors archaeological areas, etc. will be informed about the abilities and standards, the construction cost, the benefits from the creation and continuous use of these increased protection places against solar UVR and weather conditions. It should be noted that resting in these specially designed places for short periods of time would allow great relief and would also decrease the harmful effects of solar UVR and weather conditions. Partial exposure to the sun with breaks is less dangerous than continuous (without breaks) and long (many hours) exposure to solar UVR. These places, therefore, would be particularly useful and should be used by sensitive groups of people who otherwise face serious health problems. Especially for umbrella covers, this research will investigate three serious problems: 1. Sodium chloride (sea salt) can rapidly destroy the woven fabric of umbrellas. Fastness to seawater is therefore an important quality of the new woven fabrics. 2. Another serious problem is crumple flexing. The tearing of woven fabrics on umbrella covers and tents is a common quality problem. Water can easily go inside the destroyed region of woven fabrics and after a few days the waterproof coating cover is fully removed. A woven fabric without this protective layer against rain and seawater is no longer useful. 3. In outdoor places and beaches of the Mediterranean Sea the weather conditions are severe. Strong winds of 6-10 Beaufort scale are common. These strong winds produce fabric vibrations and very soon the tensile strength (and the weaving) is destroyed. The simultaneous action of the above three factors - seawater, coating removal and strong winds - minimise the life span of the woven fabrics of umbrella covers. The most important innovations for new technology T\C products with better protection against UVR and weather conditions are the composition, the weaving, the dyeing and the finishing. The existing UV-Absorbers (from CLARIANT and CIBA) will be studied and the following issues will be studied: 1. The increase of UPF index 2. The compatibility with ecological criteria of Ecological Trademarks ECO - LABEL and OEKO - TEX Standard 100 3. Their effect on the specifications of the final products. The conclusions from this study will be useful for the research and production of new, special UV-B Absorbers for the absorption of dangerous UV-B radiation. The new technology T/C products of SUNPROTEX and of appropriate design special protection constructions for maximizing the protective properties against Solar UVR and weather conditions will be examined. An important and useful examination within the SUNPROTEX project will be the precise determination of UVB content in solar UVR. Measurements will be conducted using Prof. C. Zerefos's mobile measurement unit in order to obtain all the necessary figures concerning the UVR and especially the UVB in the atmosphere of a variety of places such as gardens, roads, beaches, unprotected and protected public places, etc. So, the levels of UVR and UVB in the atmosphere will be determined at each location, resulting in the appropriate and thus effective design of protective constructions with the new woven fabrics. Keywords: UV (Ultraviolet) rays, sun protection, textiles.
Acronym: 
SUNPROTEX
Project ID: 
3 145
Start date: 
01-01-2004
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
3 380 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Textiles Technology
Market Area: 
Textiles (synthetic and natural)

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.