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Multifunctional woven and knitted textile materials for future high performance barrier work clothing

To research, develop, construct and manufacture new types of multifunctional warp knitted and woven textile materials and clothing applying the latest and upcoming fabric innovatons for workwear.

Globalization and increased efficiency is intensifying the competition between the textile and clothing industries. In the future, textile and clothing companies will need to find partners to help develop and market new business opportunities in particular with regards to developing specialist products and services. The aim of this proposal is to bring European companies together, in particular small firms, to take on a leading role in the innovation and performance of multifunctional barrier materials and clothing based on textiles and coatings. Multifunctional barrier textiles in terms of added value and growth potential have a strong positioning. A barrier effect covers a wide range of applications, for example protection against charge accumulation, electrostatic discharge, dry and wet particles, liquid, blood, bacteria, viruses, radiation, fire, heat, biological agents, noise, etc. The target applications for the products, emcompass the security of people and goods, health and transportation. In this project the latest and upcoming innovations in technical fibres, fibre blends, fabric structures, sophisticated coatings, laminates and membranes will be studied in order to develop higher grade future products for protective clothing, for hospitals, healthcare and filter media. Materials and end products that will be developed will be highly functional, which means they will have barrier, antistatic, breathability, clean, non-linting, filtering and antibacterial properties. Research and development will be carried out on the new technologies available for (multi) functional textile production - special finishing methods, namely for protective and technical textiles. Particular emphasis will be put on finding combinations of cleaner production principles and higher value added processing technologies, which will lead to an enrichment of clean room and special use textiles by new durable functional treatments (anti-electrostatic, electromagnetic shielding, etc). The high level of functionality and protection should also be balanced with increased user comfort and easy care. Garments that protect people from electrical discharge should have low propensity for tribo-electric charging, low resistance so that charge accumulation is avoided by the fast dissipation, high resistance to slow down the charge decay and to limit the energy transfer in a discharge. Protection against electrostatic discharge in textile fabrics will be formed by new types of conductive fibres, such as core conductive or dissipative microfibres, by functional finishing agents or coatings. In anticipation of demand for clean room textiles (criteria), studies will be carried out on possibilities of hydrophilisation and permanent antielectrostatic - by surface filmless enzymatic modification methods of fibre polymer. The aim will be to minimise basic substrate construction changes (i.e. without now usually reduced fabric weight and density under the conditions of alkaline treatment of PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)) and high mechanical resistance, strength and protective properties guaranteed. Furthermore, comfort will be increased through a combination of the improvements of the user parameter of blended (synthetic/cellulose fibre) textiles and with the use of progressive, environmentally friendly methods. The composition of the project team will enable research on the links between the composition and construction of special textile substrates, its special finishing and tailoring of new protective or special technical textiles properties. By applying chemicals such as bio-chemicals to improve the ecology and economy of finishing processes, knitted fabrics made from PES (Polyethersulphones) fibres with constant hydrophylity will be produced, for improved use and with better physiological and antistatic properties. In this project new types of surface finishing will be studied in order to improve hydrophylity and electrostatic properties of synthetic fibres and coating fabrics with vapour permeable membranes, which will be barriers against harmful environmental influences. These knitted fabrics will be applied in the production of multifunctional and multilayer materials. The dissemination of these multi-disciplinary research activities and the extension of new speciality textiles to new end users will enhance the position of the textiles sector in Europe. This is urgently needed, given that these high quality, new value added textiles are the only alternative to the massive standard quality production of developing countries in Asia. Keywords: multifunctional, fabric, workwear.
Acronym: 
MULFUNC
Project ID: 
3 191
Start date: 
01-01-2004
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
1 890 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Woven technical textiles for industrial applications
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.