Technical Textiles: An Overview By:Chidambaram Rameshkumar
Technical Textiles: An Overview By:Chidambaram Rameshkumar, Bannari Amman Institute of Technology, Sathyamangalam-638401 Dr.N.Anbumani PSG College of Technology Coimbatore-641004 email@example.com IntroductionTechnical textiles are textile material and products manufactured primarily for their performance and functionalproperties rather then aesthetic or decorative purpose. Aesthetic properties are not much important for the TechnicalTextiles. The performance and functional properties are in sense with the agri to aerospace application. Based on theend uses, fibre selection to the method of processing are the keys to new product development in the textile arena.Over all growth rates of Technical Textiles in the world are about 4.0%per annum but the apparel and home textilesare at the rate of 1.0%.2.0 Classification of technical textilesTechnical textiles application cycle is shown in the figure 1,it gives a vivid picture on the divisions of the technicaltextiles, which is a self-explanatory. Some of the major divisions are discussed below.2.1 Agro Textiles:Textiles used in Agriculture is termed as agro textiles. The essential properties required are Strength, elongation,stiffness, porosity, bio-degradation, resistance to sunlight and resistance to toxic environment. The applicationsincludes all activities concerned with the growth and harvesting of live products and foodstuffs, such as gardening andland scaping, agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and in fences.2.2 Conveyer belts:For Industrial applications and in power transmission technical textiles are used in Conveyer belts. Carcass is a fabricinside the conveyor belt, which is responsible for the strength and stretch properties of the belt. This carcass is madewith layers of woven fabrics bonded together. Skim an adhesive layer used between the plies and carcass to enhancethe bonding, which is made up of open weave fabric. High strength, shape retention, abrasion resistance and goodUV resistance are required properties for carcass and skim.2.3 Geo textiles:Woven and Nonwoen textile materials used by the civil engineering industry to provide support, stability, separationand drainage at or below ground level. The application areas include civil engineering, earth and road construction,dam engineering, dump construction, soil sealing and in drainage systems. Strength, extension, durability, lowmoisture absorption, puncture resistance, thickness, good hydraulic properties and transmission properties, biologicalheat and chemical resistance are the essential properties for the Geo textiles.
Fig1: Technical Textile cycle2.4 Protective clothing:Protection against heat, flame, water, and hazardous environment are obtained by suitable usage of the technicaltextiles with high performance fibres. Based in usage Chemical resistance, heat resistance, durability, moistureabsorption, comfort, cut resistance and impact resistance properties are required.
2.5 Mobiltech:The scopes of Mobiltech are plenty. Application areas include construction of automobiles, shipbuilding, aerospace,rail vehicles, motorcycles bikes, airbags, tyres. Each Car has to utilize at least 17 kgs of textile materials. Essentialproperties are good sound absorbency, UV resistance, strength retention, durability, formability, filtration efficiency,and abrasion resistance, bursting resistance and degradation resistance.2.6 Buildtech:Textile and composite materials used in the construction of buildings, dams, bridges, tunnels and roads. Theapplications are in form of membranes, lightweight solid constructions (awnings and canopies), civil and industrialengineering, temporary construction, interior construction, in and on earth, in water and traffic route construction.Glass, polypropylene and acrylic fibres are used to prevent cracking of the concrete, plastic and other buildingmaterials. Adhesive like epoxy resins also used in the textile reinforcement. An awning is an architectural projectionthat provides weather protection, is an identity or decorative and wholly supported by the building to which is attached.Canopy is also an architectural projection comprises of a rigid structure over which a covering is attached. Fabricsused for roofing needs some special quality like whether resistance, UV resistance .A range of Coated fabrics areused for roofing purpose. In Seol, Koria, Gieger engineers Inc. has engineered Teflon coated roof over a play groundwith a capacity of 64000 seats stadium is one of the example for new technocrats vision.2.7 Hometech:Textile and composites used in the furniture, upholstery and interior furnishing, carpets, floor coverings. Depends onthe environment and place, the selection of the fibre and fabric has to be made.2.8 Medical textiles:The applications are in health, hygiene and rescue services. It is commonly used as Sutures and bandages. Theproperties required are bio-degradability, fungal and microbial resistance and suitability to human body. Bio textiles isa term used in the medical textile applications, these are textile elements used in specific biological environments.This performance depends on the interaction with the cells and biological fluids in terms of bio-stability andbiocompatibility. These bio textiles classified in to following main classes.1.Grafts, 2.Implants, 3.Prostheses, 4.Sutures& wound dressings and 5.Slow release drug delivery systems.Grafts are the structure placed inside the body to correct the damages or malformations. Grafts are made from varietyof materials ranging from silk protein to modern synthetic polymers. Examples of grafts are vascular grafts and stentgrafts. Implants are the textile structures used for tissue reconstructions and growth. It is used in hernia repair andpelvic injury repair this are made from woven, knitted and braided structures. Prostheses used to replace damagedbody parts such as teeth, limbs or eyes. Sutures and wound dressing used for a very long times .it passed throughwide revolutionary stage from silk to synthetic fibres. Slow drug delivery systems are gradually gaining importanceover the conventional dosing systems. Hollow fibres with nano particle based system used for the delivery of drug to aspecific part of a body to prevent over dosage.3.0 Progress of Technical textiles in Global MarketPresent market opportunities and in free quota regime, the prospects for the technical textiles increasing to cater theneeds of the requirements. Table 1 shows %age of technical textile materials in the world during 2005. Out of whichFilter clothing, furniture, hygiene medicals, building & construction materials growth rates are very significant. Technical textiles % of share in 2005 Automobiles 3 Filter clothing 17 Furniture and upholstery 16 Hygiene and medicals 12 Buildings and construction 12 Agri and forestry 7 Technical components and clothing 6 Packaging 5 Geo textiles 4 Sports wear 3 Environment protection 2 Personal &protection 1 Others 12 Table1: Expected consumption rate of Technical textiles
With keep in mind the over all growth rate of technical textiles (4.0%).There are plenty of opportunity for newentrepreneurs to step in to this market to gain their share.3.1 Growth of textile materialIn general the technical textiles are made in to fabric form from conventional weaving to composite layers. It isinteresting to note down that the Nonwoen and composite production methods has considerable market share, whichis shown in the Table 2. This is due to relative high production rates and suitability to the end uses. Rate of Growth per Material US Billion $ annum Year 2000 2005 %age Woven 26.71 29.8 2.2 Nonwoen 14.64 19.25 6.0 Composites 6.69 9.16 6.0 Other textiles 11.95 4.06 3.3 All textiles 60.6 72.34 3.7 Table2: Rate of Growth of Textile materials in %age4.0 Fibres for Technical TextilesThe usages of fibres in the technical textile area are not only the high functional fibres alone, but also the natural (dueto bio-degradability and compatibility) and common man-made fibres occupied considerable share, which is shown intable 3. Fibres used in Technical Textiles % age of Usage Regular fibres 69 High Tenacity Fibres 28 High performance Fibres 2 Special Performance fibres 1 Total 100 Table 3: Fibres for Technical Textiles4.1 Domestic fibres:Cotton, silk polyester, polyamide are used in medical applications. PP and Polyester are used in geo textiles anddry/liquid filtration due to its compatibility. Jute and coir (Ligno-Cellulosic) used in biodegradable products and inpackaging industry. Nylon is been used in the anti- ballistic, Cord, protection and filtration applications.4.2 High functional fibres:High functional fibres are having high technical properties based on the end uses. The properties are high tensilestrength, high modulus, good chemical resistance, high dimensional stability, cut resistance and low thermalshrinkage.4.2.1 Kevlar:It is Para-Aramide fibre based on terephthalic acid and p-phynelene diamine. It is highly oriented and high crystalline(90%) fibre. It is having good fibre tenacity (about 25gfpd),and high thermal resistance and low thermal shrinkage.This fibre is used for anti ballistic apparel, helmet, industrial protective clothing, gloves, in hot gas filtration, structuralcomposite for air crafts, optical fibre cable sheath, high pressure and automatic hoses, sail cloths and as special tyrescords.4.2.2 Carbon:It is produced by extruding precursor of acrylics, pitch or specially purified viscose rayon in to filaments, thencarbonized to get carbon. After carbonization the fibre processing is a difficult one, hence the precursor fibre may beconverted in to fabric, there after it is carbonized to get the required product. Final carbon content could be around92% by weight. High stiffness to weight ratio (for aero space structure applications), softness, high thermal resistanceare the special properties of the carbon fibres.
4.2.3 P-phenylene-2.6-benzobisoxazole (PBO):It is having very high strength (42gfpd) and tensile modulus of 1300-2000gfpd, which is greater then the any knownfibre. Good flame resistance and heat resistance (68%-LOI) and high decomposition temperature (600° C). It is usedin the anti ballistic vests, protective apparel for fire fighters, lightweight armor for vehicle and for personal.4.2.4 Ultra high molecular weight poly-ethylene (UHMWPE):It is having high molecular weight (10 6), produced by Gel spinning technique. It is having Low (0.97) specific gravity,high Chemical & abrasion resistances and high strength comparable to Kevlar. It is used in anti ballistic protection,floatable ropes, and nets.4.2.5 Glass:t is an inorganic and isotropic fibre. High strength, chemical resistance, electrical, resilience, flame resistances andlow elongation at break are the salient features of glass. It has a high specific gravity (2.5-2.7), it is used in industrialapplications including fire proof, filtration, insulation and in reinforcement.4.2.6 Alumina silica:Ceramic fibres reported with a very high temperature resistance, used for furnace insulation and hot air filtration.4.2.7 Melamine:These fibres having 50% by weight of melamine cross-linked polymer (specific gravity about 1.44).It is havingoutstanding heat blocking properties with low thermal conductivity and good elongation at break (about 18%).4.2.8 Basalt:It is produced from the basaltoid rocks. Basalt derived from minerals of Plagiocene and pyroxene. This is used for theproduction of high temperature resistance and chemical resistance products.4.2.9 Noviloid:This fibre produced with 65% of cross linked novolac, it posses excellent flame retardant properties andrecommended to use up to 150°C in the presence of air and in absence of air it can be used up to 250°C . This canwith stand up to 1000°C in short period exposure to flame.4.2.10 Fiber composites for chemical protection:Acetate, PET, PVC and ploy carbonate sheets used to get clear vision in face shield and goggles. Rubber, PVA,Teflon composite materials used in gloves as a protection layers. TYVAK (spun bonded Ploy ethylene) used in coatsand jackets as barrier to chemicals.5.0 Technical yarns:Technical yarns are replacing the traditional usage of textiles in critical applications. The manufacturing of sewingthreads, interlinings, and wadding and insulation materials with high functional fibres plays a critical role in medicaland industrial application.6.0 Electronics in Textiles:The electronics may soon be integrated in to the textiles in all areas. These Interactive electronic textiles (IET) mayfind useful in many traditional, fashion and industrial textile applications in form of communication, entertainment,health and safety. A wearable computing is a new form of human computer interaction. This wearable computer is justmore then a wristwatch or regular eye glasses. Prerequisites of wearable computers are constancy, augmentation andmediation. New developments of wearable computers are made with merging IC s seamlessly in fabric to developfabric keyboards. Interactive touch voice and body heat activation are being developed. To develop more appealingwearable electronics, conductive materials are being used to transform traditional textiles and apparel products intolight weight wireless wearable computing devices. Materials such as metallic, optical fibres, conductive threads, fabriccoatings, and inks are being used to supply conductivity and create wire less textile circuitry. Additional componentsincluding input and out put devices, sensors and power supply are necessary to create IET. DETECT (registered trademark), USA, has been developing single and multiple layer sensory fabrics. Piezoelectric materials, MEMS (Microelectro mechanical systems) used in sensors for receive and respond to stimuli enabling the electronic functionsrelated to the user. The development of the market for electronics in textiles cannot be accurately mapped out. Ofcourse, smart cloths are likely to reach the shops in and around two to three years. The price of the electronics as awhole should not exceed 10 to 20 percent of the total costs of the cloths for capturing good market. Research to
support IET development is being conducted in many universities. Growing consumer interest in mobile, electronicdevises will initiate the demand for IET products.7.0 Intelligent TextilesTextile products, which are, respond to the external stimuli for specific purpose are called Intelligent Textiles. Theseare classified as7.1Textiles incorporating Phase change materials (PCM)These are materials used in clothing as encapsulated form to change from its phase from solid to liquid and vice versato maintain a comfortable body temperature in severe conditions. The energy stored or released by the phase changematerials (eg. paraffin) depending on the activity of the wearer. This may be used in the car seat covers, gloves bootsand hats. It is used to prevent the body from over heating or over cooling.7.2 Textiles incorporating Shape memory polymers (SMP)Shape memory materials are those, which can revert from the current shape to a previously held shape, usually dueto the heat. These shape memory polymers poses different properties below and above its standard temperature.These materials are used in medical applications, for maintenance of body temperature.7.3 Textiles incorporating chromic materialsMaterials, which are changing color reversibly according to the external environment conditions. These are photochromic and thermo chromic materials. Photo chromicsm is a chemical process in which a compound under goes areversible changes between two states having separate absorption spectra. Thermo chromic system heat changes thecolor of chromophore. On removal of heat source the color reverses to its thermally more stable state. Photo chromicand thermo chromic materials are used for fashion and military clothing.7.4 Textiles incorporating conductive materials.The conductive fibres are of two types . 1. Electrical conductive fibres. 2. Optical conductive fibres.The electrical conductive fibres integrate the latest wicking finishes with high metallic content in textiles that still retainthe comfort required for clothing. With addition of nickel, metallic coatings of varying thickness, these fibres provide aversatile combination of physical and electrical properties for a verity of demanding applications, such as thousand-fold increase in thermal conductivity.The optical conductive fibres use per floro polymers, which are most transparent in the near infrared region.Conductive fibres used for the development of military clothing, motion capturing and in tracking of objects. Thesefibres can be woven in to fabrics to form radiation shields, optical filters and bar codes.8.0 SummaryThe Technical Textiles development in the present period is seems to be aggressive and real benefits will be realizedsoon. The integration of the application of the textiles in and with other fields like chemical, electronics, medical andenvironment shows the path for progress.9.0 References:“Hand book of Technical textiles,” edited by A.R.Hrrocks and S.C.Annand, Textile Institute Publications-2000 edition.“Industrial Textiles”, by Sabit Adanur, Wellington seris-1995 edition.“Textile terms and Definition”, textiles institute publications –1994 edition.“Manufactured Fibre Technology”, V.B.Guptha and V.K.Kothari, Chapman hall, London-1997edition.“www. technicaltextiles.com”
About the author: Chidambaram Rameshkumar Senior Lecturer, Department of Textile Technology, Bannari Amman Institute of Technology, Sathyamangalam-638401 Erode District, India firstname.lastname@example.org ,email@example.com Tel: 04295-221289 ,Fax- 04295-223775Regarding my Research worksCurrently I am doing my PhD in the Protective Fabrics. As a part of my study, I have planed to develop a cutresistance tester and cut resistance fabrics. The total estimated cost for this project is about Rs.15 lacks (IndianRupees). In this connection I am looking for grant or suitable sponsors for my project work. If I get financial assistancethrough fibre 2 fashion.com business stars, it will be a timely help and booster for my research.Area of Interest : Spinning, Technical Textiles, Fibres Characterization, Textile Mechanics, Process control inspinning and Textile marketingTo read more articles on Textile, Fashion, Apparel, Technology, Retail and General please visitwww.fibre2fashion.com/industry-article/To promote your company, product and services via promotional article, follow this link:http://www.fibre2fashion.com/services/featrued-article/featured_article.asp