Managing contamination by fibrous product systems

The aim is to focus on and study contamination control mechanisms and technologies of fibrous engineered textile products and to develop new types of fibrous products, active finishings, their processing and new business service activities.

The project will focus on studying contamination control mechanisms and technologies of fibrous engineered textile products and developing new types of fibrous products, active finishings, their processing and service business activity for managing contamination based on new innovative and multifunctional fibrous material structures, surface functionality and service-rendering laundry businesses. The project focuses on the contaminants mainly based on particles, micro-organisms and electrostatic charge. The problem to be solved will be based on engineering fibrous and fabric structures, finishing technologies, barrier mechanisms and suitable end-product solutions. The aim is to produce reliable new fibrous based end-products in terms of safety and hygienic aspects. The consortium consists of a group of 11 organisations from four different EUREKA countries of which all are experienced in industry or research, the global business market, research and technology projects and/or standardisation. Seven organisations are small and medium sized enterprises, one is a research centre and one a research based institute. Worldwide, globalisation and efficiency is intensifying competition among different fibrous based industries, such as textile, clothing and engineered industrial material industries. The largest companies are expected to expand by consolidation as they globalise. Small companies will rely on niche markets and high technology applications where value added innovations will offer them new business possibilities and sectors enhancing European small and medium sized enterprise competitiveness. More sophisticated business service activities and service solutions will provide small enterprises with new possibilities to increase business in niche markets. During the last two decades, the overall concept of contamination control has gained greater interest and found increasing use within several branches of industry not forgetting hedging against unexpected events such as terrorism which has become a bigger issue worldwide. The major purpose of contamination control is to control different and especially critical contaminants in order to prevent them negatively influencing products, processes and people. The microelectronics industry and the pharmaceutical industry use the total concept of contamination control, whereas for example the food and beverage industry focuses on ensuring control of bio-contaminants in sensitive processes. However the future focus would look more towards controlled process management. Contamination of materials can be from particles, micro-organisms, chemicals, electrostatic charge or molecular outgassing. In bio-clean rooms of the type used in the healthcare and food industries, micro-organisms are contaminants. In semiconductor industry chemicals both on the surface and outgassed and particles in the air may be deposited onto the surface of a semiconductor and represent a problem. Materials that are unable to continually conduct away any electrostatic charge may cause difficulties in some controlled environments if the charge builds up and discharges onto an electrically sensitive product. A static charge may also attract particles to the material, and these can cause contamination problems. Biological agents such as plant cells, pollen, algae, protozoa, bacteria, yeast, mould spores and viruses originating from natural habitats can be found in the air. There are a number of ways in which biological and microbiological material may be made airborne. Almost every human and animal activity can create bio-aerosols. For example sneezing and coughing cause bacteria to become airborne. Humans shedding skin, bacteria in the air and normal clothes wearing do little to stop the process. An aerosol can be defined as a suspension of microscopic solid or liquid particles in the air or gas, such as smoke, fog or mist. People disperse fragments from skin and the airborne dispersion will vary from person to person and from time to time. The prime function of clothing is to act as a filter protecting the products and processes from airborne contamination. Clothing systems should be designed to envelope a person and not allow significant amounts of contaminants to be dispersed into the environment. The fabric itself should disperse a minimum amount of particles and be resistant to breakdown and tearing. However the effectiveness of clothing will deteriorate due to factors such as aging, wear, washing, drying and sterilisation. In terms of particle removal efficiency and barrier properties, a fibrous material or product is usually at its best when new. As it gets older the fibrous material or product will open up and allow more particles and contaminants to be pumped through. Keywords: barrier product, medical textile, filter.
Project ID: 
3 778
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
2 130 000.00€
Technological Area: 
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.