IsraVision, Avoids Errors in the Production of Nonwoven

IsraVision has developed an application called Web-Monitoring. Thanks to the application, visual error detection can be done, users can obtain reliable information about the surface weight and uniformity of the material.

How uniform is the material distributed in the final product? The answer to this question helps manufacturers of nonwovens to do more than just optimize their use of resources. Mistakes occurring during production often show up as varying material thicknesses in the final product.

To ensure uniform weight for nonwoven materials, a new inspection solution now controls the material distribution within the web, thus increasing efficiency and yield of production lines.

The application, often called Web-Monitoring, extends an already proven system: in addition to visual error detection, users receive reliable information on surface weight and uniformity of the material. Beyond basic weight, the system also checks for “cloudiness”, i.e., fiber distribution within the material. This allows for quickly detecting exceedingly thin or thick spots. Even more complex faults such as craters that occur during coating can be reliably captured with the inspection expansion. As a result, goods with deficiencies will not be processed or delivered.

Higher quality for the entire production process Comprehensive inspection of surface and homogeneity not only reflects the quality of the product but also the quality of the manufacturing process. The inspection for example, makes deficiencies in the rolls’ functionality easily visible: both roller tracks on the material surface and uneven material distribution are decisive indications that a roller might be defective. Employees working along the line can thus be quickly alerted to faults in the process and take appropriate action to avoid producing rejects.

Versatile expansions contribute to multifaceted inspection for optimum production results

Extending existing inspection systems with additional features provides a cost-effective, fast and sustainable way to increase an inspection’s efficiency and thus the quality of the final product. A wide range of options is available for this purpose, including intelligent use of defect data while materials are being cut as well as so-called beyond inspection features. The latter utilizes defect data to enable of retroactively repairing and produced rolls thereby improving quality. Particularly interesting for nonwoven manufacturers among these extensions is the so-called embossing control. Intelligent LED along with software extension make a precise testing of embossed materials possible. Never has a modern inspection performance package been more versatile or powerful. Producing to the highest standards of quality thus becomes child’s play for manufacturers.

 

Searching for the Battleship Steel Version of Spider Silk

Biotech company AMSilk and Airbus are planning to use artificial spider silk to create an entirely new generation of composite material they believe could revolutionise aerospace design.

Spider silk is one of nature’s most astonishing materials. Stronger than steel, tougher than Kevlar and incredibly lightweight, a spider web made from fibres as thick as a pencil would be able to catch a fully loaded A350 weight around 200 tonnes. For decades, scientists have sought to recreate spider silk’s astonishing properties for industrial use. But those efforts have been unsuccessful – until now.AMSilk, based near Munich in Germany, is the world’s first industrial supplier of what it calls synthetic silk biopolymers – artificial spider silk. In 2016, AMSilk even made a prototype shoe with a major sports clothing label. But now, together with Airbus, it wants to transfer its technology to aerospace.

To do this, Airbus and AMSilk will work together on creating an entirely new area of composite materials. Leading the cooper- ation for Airbus is Detlev Konigorski, innovation manager for emerging technologies and concepts.

“Currently, AMSilk produces silk on a metric tons scale per annum, but this isn’t yet aerospace-ready,” he says. “You could compare it to steel – what you use to make cars isn’t the same as what you use to make battleships. We’re looking for the battleship steel version of spider silk.”

After first decoding spider DNA, AMSilk realised that by taking the animal’s specific genetic code for producing silk and introducing it to bacteria, they could artificially reproduce an identical material. The company now carries out this process in 60,000 litre tanks four storeys high, which are filled with water and heated to 37°C to grow the bacteria. The end result is a powder that can be formed into a fibre, film or gel.

The greater use of carbon fibre composites has helped reduce air- craft weight, and therefore fuel consumption, in recent years, but AMSilk’s Biosteel fibre has superior flexibility and shock resistance capabilities.It bends without losing strength, so it could be integrated on parts away from the fuselage that are prone to debris impact or bird strikes. It could help protect space equipment in a similar manner or be applied to defence products.

The silk also has remarkable antibacterial properties, so we might be able to integrate it inside an aircraft cabin as a more hygienic material. “Airbus and AMSilk aim to launch a prototype composite in 2019. The chance to work with an entirely new material opens up a wealth of exciting possibilities,” says Konigorski. Ultimately, this material could enable us to approach design and construction in an entirely new fashion.”

 

Rostec Produces Chameleon Helmet to Equip the “Soldier of the Future”

Rostec has presented a unique camouflage coating for military vehicles and soldiers’ equipment able to mimic the color of the environment at the Army 2018 forum. The company illustrated the possibilities of the material with a soldier’s helmet made for the advanced, third generation equipment Ratnik. The chameleon cover is on displayed at the corporation’s permanent exhibition in Patriot Park.

The specialized electrically-operated material covering the helmet prototype is able to change color depending on the camouflaged surface and environment. The material can display dynamic changes of color intensity and simulate complex images, for example, the motion of leaves in the wind. Within Rostec, the development is performed by Ruselectronics and TSNIITOCHMASH.

“Existing types of camouflage do not change their masking properties depending on changes in the back- ground. For example, soldiers will not be seen in a forest against greenery, but they will be visible against sand or snow. An innovative coating created by Ruselectronics provides unique op- portunities for masking. We are demonstrating how it works using one element of equipment, i.e., a helmet. However, its application is much broader. It can be used in clothing, weapons, and military  equipment,” said Industrial Director of the Armament Cluster of Rostec Sergey Abramov.

This technology can be used to create clothing that changes color and pattern depending on a person’s modd

The coating is applied to the base, like ordinary paint, and does not require great accuracy in terms of thickness and uniformity. In particular, this means that repairs can be carried out in the field. The power consumption in continuous adaptation mode is no greater than that of an energy saving lamp. The mass of the coating is just a few hundred grams per square meter.

In the future, the technology could be applied in civilian sectors as well. For example, in the textile industry, it can be used to create clothing that changes color and pattern depending on a person’s mood.

 

Lenzing Offers New Option For Flushable Wipes with Eco Disperse Technology

Lenzing has announced the launch of a new VEOCEL™ Lyocell fibre with Eco Disperse technology, which, with enhanced biological disintegration performance, is designed for use in flushable wipes.

The new VEOCEL™ variant is said to offer improved wet strength, optimized flushability and, says Lenzing, represents the most advanced fibre under the VEOCEL™ brand portfolio.

With botanic origin, all VEOCEL™ Lyocell fibres with Eco Disperse technology feature strong wet strength, biodegradability and effective liquid management. These cellulosic fibers come in cut lengths of 8 mm to 12 mm, and are versatile for blending ratios of 20 per cent – 40 per cent in most wetlaid processing technologies. Nonwoven products featuring a blend containing any of the VEOCEL™ Lyocell fibers with Eco Disperse technology and wood pulp have been certified as “fully flushable” according to INDA/EDANA Guidelines for Assessing the Flushability of Disposable Nonwoven Products issued in May 2018, after passing seven rigorous industrial tests.

While non-biodegradable synthetic fibres such as polyester are the most common blending fibres in today’s nonwoven fabrics for wipes applications, Wolfgang Plasser, vice president of Global Business Management Nonwovens, Lenzing, notes that the versatility of VE- OCEL™ fibers offer a sustainable and botanic alternative to synthetic materials. When added to nonwoven products, VEOCEL™ Lyocell fibers offers valueadded benefits of enhanced absorbency, natural smoothness, and most importantly, biodegradability.

“We take a proactive approach and lay the foundation for flushable wet wipes that combine convenience with environmental responsibility, so that we can bring optimal quality and performance to flushable nonwoven products, as well as other nonwoven segments,” he said.

Enabled by Eco Disperse technology, wipes made from the new VEOCEL™ Lyocell fibers have high wet strength usability and can disintegrate within a shorter period of time. For instance, nonwoven fabrics with 20 per cent of the new VEOCEL™ Lyocell fibers and 80 per cent of wood pulp reach more than 90 per cent disintegration within 30 minutes, which is faster than the passing benchmark of the Disintegration Test FG502 in INDA/EDANA Guidelines for Assessing the Flushability of Disposable Nonwoven Products issued in May 2018.

Hexcel’s Acousti-Cap® Technology Helping to Reduce Aircraft Noise in NASA-Boeing Flight Test

Because aircraft engine noise contributes to environmental noise around airports and populated cities, the aerospace industry has been working on new aircraft designs that will emit less noise so they can meet the ever-increasing requirements imposed on the industry to reduce noise pollution.

Shielding and absorbing aircraft engine noise at the source represents one of the most effective ways to address this issue. Hexcel, a global leader in advanced composite technology, has been at the forefront of acoustic technology development with its Acoustiap® broadband sound-reducing honeycomb, which enables engine designers to reduce the noise from takeoffs and landings yet without adding significant weight to the aircraft.

“Hexcel has continued investing in the evolution of Acousti-Cap® product technology to improve performance and reduce cost,” said Imad Atallah, Group Product Manager for Honeycomb at Hexcel. “Collaboration with industry leaders, including NASA and Boeing, has been key to that development,” he added.

The 2DOF (Two Degrees of Freedom) honeycomb core acoustic liner was introduced in 2008 and was subsequently adopted and installed on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner inlet, the Boeing 747-8 inlet and transcowl, and more recently on the Boeing 737 MAX inlet. This success enabled continued technology development and evolution in MDOF (Multi-Degrees of Freedom) where the acoustic septum is inserted in the honeycomb cell at differ- ent heights, as well as having two septums in honeycomb chambers. This type of technology allows for improved acoustic attenuation at a broader frequency range, as well as increased absorption.

Hexcel’s latest Acousti-Cap® technology was recently tested in a joint NASA-Boeing flight test on a B737 MAX test platform, and the results beat expectations as reported by Aviation Week. Collaboration between Hexcel and NASA over several years on the development of MDOF technology led to the successful test results on this latest flight test. The ability to attenuate a broader noise frequency range and increase acoustic absorption with the Hexcel liner has allowed an optimized design of the overall inlet that reduces drag and improves noise attenuation.

Transforming Old Jeans Into Artificial Cartilage

Denim jeans could be transformed into artificial cartilage for joint reconstruction thanks to advanced textile recycling methods pioneered by researchers at Deakin University.

Deakin scientists Dr Nolene Byrne and PhD candidate Beini Zeng have discovered how to dissolve denim and manipulate the remains into an aerogel – a low density material with a range of uses including cartilage bioscaffolding, water filtration and use as a separator in advanced battery technology. Dr Byrne, who completed the work in a joint project with Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) and the School of Engineering, said the process worked because denim was made from cotton, a natural polymer comprised of cellulose. “Cellulose is a versatile renewable material, so we can use liquid solvents on waste denim to allow it to be dissolved and regenerated into an aerogel, or a variety of different forms,” she explained. “Aerogels are a class of advanced materials with very low density, sometimes referred to as ‘frozen smoke’ or ‘solid smoke’, and be- cause of this low density they make excellent materials for bioscaf- folding, absorption or filtration. “When we reformed the cellulose, we got something we didn’t expect – an aerogel with a unique porous structure and nanoscopic tunnels running through the sample.”

Remarkable similarity

Dr Byrne said she believed the sticky nature of the denim cellulose solu- tion was likely responsible for the unique aerogel structure that resulted, something ideally suited for use as synthetic cartilage. “That’s exactly what cartilage looks like – you can’t 3D print that material – and now we can shape and tune the aerogel to manipulate the size and distribution of the tunnels to make the ideal shape,” she said. IFM’s Dr Wren Greene, who assisted through testing the suitability of the aerogel materials as cartilage-like bioscaffolds, said the similarities were remarkable. “The remarkable similarity in the pore network structure of these aerogels and cartilage tissues – even down to the dimensions, orientations, and density distribution of pore channels – enables these materials to replicate a special type of ‘weeping’ lu- brication mechanism used by cartilage to protect against wear and damage,” said Dr Greene.

Fighting against textile waste

Dr Byrne said the denim recycling technique would also help contribute to the fight against textile waste. Dr Byrne said the IFM team used an upcycling approach to get around cost-effectiveness issues. “One of the main drawbacks of textile recycling efforts is that any advanced technique requires the use of chemicals, which can then make the procedure less cost-effective,” she said. “We use environmentally-friendly chemicals, and by upcycling our approach to create a more advanced material we can address the limitations affecting other less cost-effective methods. We are now entering pilot-scale trials and look to be at commercial scale within 3 to 5 years with industry support.”

 

Elastic Fibre to Change Smart Clothes

EPFL scientists have found a fast and simple way to make super-elastic, multi-material, high-performance fibres, which have already been used as sensors on robotic fingers and in clothing. This method opens the door to new kinds of smart textiles and medical implants, according to the team of scientists.

 

“It’s a whole new way of thinking about sensors,” they say. “The tiny fibres developed at EPFL are made of elastomer and can incorporate materials like electrodes and nanocomposite polymers. The fibres can detect even the slightest pressure and strain and can withstand deformation of close to 500% before recovering their initial shape. All that makes them perfect for applications in smart clothing and prostheses, and for creating artificial nerves for robots.” The fibres were developed at EPFL’s Laboratory of Photonic Materials and fibre Devices (FIMAP), headed by Fabien Sorin at the School of Engineering. The scientists came up with a fast and easy method for embedding different kinds of microstructures in super-elastic fibres. For instance, by adding electrodes at strategic locations, they turned the fibres into  ultra-sensitive sensors. What’s more, their method can be used to produce hundreds of metres of fibre in a short amount of time.

Heat, then stretch

To make the fibres, the scientists used a thermal drawing process, which is the standard process for optical- fibre manufacturing. They started by creating a macroscopic preform with the various fibre components arranged in a carefully designed 3D pattern. They then heated the preform and stretched it out, like melted plastic, to make fibres of a few hundred microns in diameter. And while this process stretched out the pattern of components lengthwise, it also contracted it crosswise, meaning the components’ relative positions stayed the same. The end result was a set of fibres with an extremely complicated microarchitecture and advanced properties. “Until now, thermal drawing could be used to make only rigid fibres,” the university explains. “But Sorin and his team used it to make elastic fibres. With the help of a new criterion for selecting materials, they were able to identify some thermoplastic elastomers that have a high viscosity when heated. After the fibres are drawn, they can be stretched and deformed but they always return to their original shape.” Rigid materials like nanocomposite polymers, metals and thermoplastics can be introduced into the fibres, as well as liquid metals that can be easily deformed. “For instance, we can add three strings of electrodes at the top of the fibres and one at the bottom. Different electrodes will come into contact depend- ing on how the pressure is applied to the fibres. This will cause the electrodes to transmit a signal, which can then be read to determine exactly what type of stress the fibre is exposed to – such as compression or shear stress, for example,” said Fabien Sorin.

 

Turkish Scientist Invents Heat Transferring Fabric

Mustafa Erol, Faculty Member at Dokuz Eylül University (DEU) has achieved to develop a technology providing more heat with less energy than its counterparts in the US and South Korea, based on a low voltage system developed and defended with a doctorate PhD dissertation titled “Heat Emitting Polymeric Materials” in 2011, developed a technology with a dissertation on.

Scientist Erol developed flexible fiber-emitting fibers resistant to corrosion and breakage, as an alternative to heating on fabric conducted with resistance wires.

With this scientific achievement, Erol won the Elginkan Foundation Technology Award. Erol founded a company named İltema with his partner Ayhan Prepol at Dokuz Eylül University’s Technology Development Zone (DEPARK).

Receiving Demands from All Over the World

Introduction last year for the first time, the product started receiving demands from other countries, and it was exported for the use of the German army in diving clothes.

Having signed a protocol with a British  company for marketing the fabric, the company is now carrying out projects to develop seat heating pads with a company in Turkey that produces car seats. In addition, the company developed a heated snow tarp upon request from Kazakhstan.

The company partner Ayhan Prepol said that they first applied the fabric to blankets, waist belts, shoe soles, sleeping bags, electric blankets, beds, baby pushchairs and blanket products for disabled vehicles. Prepol noted, “We made our first fabric export to Germany. We started production with a protocol for 250 thousand Euro per year. We will also start exporting to the UK soon.” Stressing that they are planning to produce the fabric with wider capabilities, Prepol added that the product was also tested by Turkish defense industry companies. Reminding that the heat conducting fibers are woven with yarns, and the fabric structure does not have any problem with deterioration, corrosion or breakage, Erol added, “We can manufacture heating products in all environments where temperature is needed to remain below 100 degrees. We first applied it to climbing clothes, and we developed a vest. We can heat it for 8 hours with 7.2 volt 6000 milliamp batteries, which occasionally we have achieved to increase up to 11-12 hours. Lastly, we received a request from a domestic company producing car seats. Since electric cars are heated without engine temperature, heat can be generated by the heat emitting fibers embedded in seats and upholstery.”

Searching for the Battleship Steel Version of Spider Silk

Biotech company AMSilk and Airbus are planning to use artificial spider silk to create an entirely new generation of composite material they believe could revolutionise aerospace design.

Spider silk is one of nature’s most astonishing materials. Stronger than steel, tougher than Kevlar and incredibly lightweight, a spider web made from fibres as thick as a pencil would be able to catch a fully loaded A350 weight around 200 tonnes. For decades, scientists have sought to recreate spider silk’s astonishing properties for industrial use. But those efforts have been unsuccessful – until now.AMSilk, based near Munich in Germany, is the world’s first industrial supplier of what it calls synthetic silk biopolymers – artificial spider silk. The company already uses this high-performance, fully biodegradable material for medical devices and cosmetics. In 2016, AMSilk even made a prototype shoe with a major sports clothing label. But now, together with Airbus, it wants to transfer its technology to aerospace.

To do this, Airbus and AMSilk will work together on creating an entirely new area of composite materials. Leading the cooperation for Airbus is Detlev Konigorski, innovation manager for emerging technologies and concepts.

“Currently, AMSilk produces silk on a metric tons scale per annum, but this isn’t yet aerospace-ready,” he says. “You could compare it to steel – what you use to make cars isn’t the same as what you use to make battleships. We’re looking for the battleship steel version of spider silk.”

After first decoding spider DNA, AMSilk realised that by taking the animal’s specific genetic code for producing silk and introducing it to bacteria, they could artificially reproduce an identical material. The company now carries out this process in 60,000 litre tanks four storeys high, which are filled with water and heated to 37°C to grow the bacteria. The end result is a powder that can be formed into a fibre, film or gel.

The greater use of carbon fibre composites has helped reduce aircraft weight, and therefore fuel consumption, in recent years, but AMSilk’s Biosteel fibre has superior flexibility and shock resistance capabilities.It bends without losing strength, so it could be integrated on parts away from the fuselage that are prone to debris impact or bird strikes. It could help protect space equipment in a similar manner or be applied to defence products.

The silk also has remarkable antibacterial properties, so we might be able to integrate it inside an aircraft cabin as a more hygienic material. “Airbus and AMSilk aim to launch a prototype composite in 2019. The chance to work with an entirely new material opens up a wealth of exciting possibilities,” says Konigorski. Of course, we’ve used natural materials like wood and bamboo for centuries, but we cannot really influence the material.

Bioengineering is truly revolutionary. AMSilk can recreate the building blocks of spider silk and influence it to create materials that wouldn’t naturally be that way. Ultimately, this material could enable us to approach design and construction in an entirely new fashion.”

AKXY Acquired Sage Automotive

Asahi Kasei had sales of 15.8 billion Euro in 2017 across its three divisions – Materials, Homes and Healthcare – and employed 34,670 people globally at the end of March 2018.

Asahi Kasei Europe was created in 2016, with a key aim of getting closer to local OEMs and the company now plans to triple its sales to the automotive sector, from 1 billion Euro in 2017 to 3 billion Euro in 2025.

Hideki Tsutsumi, managing director of Asahi Kasei Europe said this would be achieved via a combination of strategic expansions and acquisitions, production capacity increases, focused marketing activities to position the company as a one-stop shop solution provider, and the introduction of new products and technologies.

The company is already the world leader in wet and dry process lithium-ion battery separators, in addition to S-SBR synthetic rubber for fuel efficient tyres, and at the end of July this year acquired Sage Automotive – the global leader in seating fabrics worldwide.

Asahi Kasei’s president of performance polymers Hiroshima Yoshida said, “It will strengthen our fibres business, but beyond this, Sage’s management team had very strong relationships with the OEMs to the extent that they are even influential in proposing designs for new car models and it is this strong relation- ship and know-how we see as extremely valuable.”

Separators

Expansion in the field began with the acquisition of Polypore in 2015, with which Asahi Kasei became the world leading manufacturer and supplier of li-ion battery separators.

In January this year Asahi Kasei announced li-ion battery separator expansions in both Japan and the USA which will see its annual capacity increase to 1.1 billion square metres annually. At the same time, the company announced an expansion of its Leona polyamide 6.6 filaments for airbags to an annual capacity of 38,000 tons annually.

Fibre innovations

The seating and interior of the vehicle features Lamous artificial leather, the close rival to Alcantara that is marketed in Europe as Dinamica by the Italian company Miko. Miko has operated as a division of Sage Automotive using an Asahi Kasei-developed process and with its fibres supplied from Japan up to now.