Fortum And Spinnova Present Wheat Straw-Based Clothing

Fortum, an energy company building new business options in the circular economy, together with sustainable fibre technology company Spinnova, has introduced the first prototype product made using wheat straw in production of highly sustainable textile fibre.
The prototype material is unique also due to its extremely low environmental impact from raw material extraction, processing and manufacture, verified by life-cycle analysis (LCA).
“We are very excited to present this revolutionary textile. Today, wheat straw is mostly discarded or even burned in the fields. As it can now be used in numerous textile applications, this opens up huge possibilities globally. This cooperation is a tangible step towards Fortum’s strategy to build options for significant new businesses that improve resource efficiency and provide smart solutions for a cleaner world. We would like to invite more key industry players to join us in this journey,” said Heli Antila, VP, Biobased solutions at Fortum.
“We are all very proud of this amazing collaborative accomplishment! This was a very fast journey from the first trials to real, appealing fabric materials. This shows that wheat straw-based fibre is well on its way to being a drop-in product of the most sustainable kind,” said Spinnova’s CEO Janne Poranen.
The parties announced their partnership earlier this year after testing various biomasses. The showcased straw was first processed with highly sustainable fractionation technology, developed by Fortum’s associate company Chempolis Oy. Spinnova’s technology, presently in a piloting phase, turns microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) directly into fibre mechanically without any dissolving or harmful chemical processes. Fibres of the now showcased clothing were produced in Spinnova’s pilot facility in Finland, which also means that Spinnova’s technology can be applied to various biomasses without further technology development.
Fortum and Spinnova plan to establish sustainable fibre production in Fortum’s future biorefineries that will use residual biomasses such as agro waste. The biomass will be processed into materials for bioproducts of lignocellulosic origin, as well as cellulosic products. The refineries will be based on fractionation technology, enabling highly resource-efficient utilisation of wheat straw and resulting in significantly lower environmental impact compared to other processing technologies.
Spinnova is a Finnish, sustainable fibre company that develops ecological breakthrough technology for manufacturing cellulose-based textile fibre. Spinnova’s patented technology includes 0 per cent harmful chemicals and 0 per cent waste or side streams, making the fibre and the production method the most sustainable in the world. Spinnova’s raw material commitment is to only use FSC certified wood or waste streams.

University Of Borås Creating Textiles From Old Bread

Old bread may soon be used to make textiles. Scientist from the University of Borås are working in this direction and have already reported some success.

The research involves growing filamentous fungi on bread waste in bioreactors, and then creating yarn and nonwoven textiles in two different processes. Protein form the filaments can be used as food.

“We have seen that much of the food waste from grocery stores is from bread and therefore we wanted to see how we could turn it into a new product,” says Akram Zamani, senior lecturer in Resource Recycling at the University of Borås, the scientist involved in the project.

In the research, filamentous fungi will be grown on bread waste in bioreactors, and will then be used in two different processes to create yarn and to produce nonwoven textiles. “When the bread has become a biomass of fungi, we remove the protein which in turn can be used as food or animal feed. We use the cell wall fibres that remain of the fungi partly to spin a yarn, and partly to create nonwoven fabrics,” Zamani says.

“We have done a large part of the cultivation already, and it has worked well, so now we are working on a wet spinning process to create yarn, and test different methods to improve the yarn’s properties,” she says.

It is hoped that the fungus will be able to be transformed and used for clothing, medical applications, or furniture textiles. During the first two years, the product will be made on a smaller scale, in order to be scaled up during the third and fourth years.

“There is no previous research on this; therefore it is difficult to know what to expect,” says Zamani and continues: “We get the bread from a local grocery store, and we are able to collect as much as we need, which gives us the opportunity to test different things and make sure it becomes a good product.”

In addition to researchers in resource recovery and textile technology at the University of Borås, KTH, RISE Innventia and Sahlgrenska University Hospital are also included in the project. The project is being financed by Vinnova and is over four years.

Researchers Produced Materials to Replace Plastic

Aalto University and VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland) scientists have produced a new bio-based material by uniting wood cellulose fibres and the silk protein found in spider web threads.

The material – very firm and resilient – may be used in the future to replace plastic, as part of bio-based composites and in medical applications, surgical fibres, the textile industry and packaging.

Achieving strength and extensibility at the same time has so far been a great challenge in material engineering. Increasing strength has meant losing extensibility and vice versa. The new material overcomes this challenge.

According to Aalto University Professor Markus Linder, nature offers great ingredients for developing new materials, such as firm and easily available cellulose and tough and flexible silk as used in this research. The advantage with both of these materials is that, unlike plastic, they are biodegradable and do not damage nature the same way micro-plastics do.

“Our researchers just need to be able to reproduce the natural properties,” adds Linder, who led the research.

“We used birch tree pulp, broke it down to cellulose nanofibrils and aligned them into a stiff scaffold. At the same time, we infiltrated the cellulosic network with a soft and energy dissipating spider silk adhesive matrix,” said research scientist Pezhman Mohammadi from VTT.

Silk is a natural protein which is excreted by animals like silkworms and also found in spider web threads. The spider web silk used by Aalto University researchers, however, is not actually taken from spider webs but is instead produced by the researchers using bacteria with synthetic DNA.

“Because we know the structure of the DNA, we can copy it and use this to manufacture silk protein molecules which are chemically similar to those found in spider web threads. The DNA has all this information contained in it,” Linder explains.

“Our work illustrates the new and versatile possibilities for protein engineering. In the future, we could manufacture similar composites with slightly different building blocks and achieve a different set of characteristics for other applications. Currently, we are working on making new composite materials as implants, impact resistance objects and other products,” says Mohammadi.

The research project is part of the work of the Centre of Excellence in Molecular Engineering of Biosynthetic Hybrid Materials (HYBER). The research has been published in Science Advances.

The World’s First Fully Customisable and Zero-Waste 3D Printed Skirt

Fashion tech pioneer Julia Daviy has launched the world’s first zero-waste digitally customisable 3D-printed skirt.

A technology that allows zero-waste and cruelty-free clothing production becoming a reality with large-format professional 3D printing.

After ‘The Liberation Collection’ launched in 2018 at New York Fashion Week in 2018, Julia Daviy became obsessed with the idea of making 3D printed clothing commercially available, disrupting the idea of standardisation.

“It was critical to simplify digital customisation and 3D print wearable clothing with flexible materials. We’ve accomplished that, and I think that consumers will respond fast.”

“Our goal was never to demonstrate the viability of 3D printed clothin. We’ll have succeeded when beautiful, comfortable, ethically manufactured and environmentally friendly clothes are the standard” she added.

With a patented technology that uses 100 percent recyclable filaments, Julia and her team can meet the most exigent customer demands.

The team is being able not only to create highly customisable 3D printed garments according to consumers’ needs but also apparel of zero-waste for a cleaner and more sustainable world.

Production Phase          

Once the customers finalise their choice for a garment’s pattern, style, colour, waistline, and lining, Daviy and her team use the information to create a digital model of the garment.

Once modelled, the creation is approved by the client and sent to the 3D printers. The final product takes around ten days to complete.

Andritz Needlelooms: Leading The Way In Quality Performance

Andritz Over the coming years the market for nonwoven materials is set to grow significantly, and because of its ability to produce strong, durable end-use products, needlepunch technology will become one of the most important bonding processes in nonwoven production.

Based on many years of experience in this field, Andritz has the expert knowledge, technical capability and flexibility to create reliable needlepunch lines to meet the specific needs of its customers.

Needlepunch technology can be used with nearly all fibers and can be customized to produce fabrics of varying tensile strength and weight distribution, making it extremely versatile for use in many applications. One of the most dynamic markets for this technology is in the automotive industry where there is an increasing need for lightweight and heavyweight applications to insulate against external noises made more noticeable with the trend towards electric powered vehicles. There is also a growing market for materials produced with needlepunch technology in the areas of geotextiles, filtration products, roofing and flooring materials and furniture.

Andritz Asselin-Thibeau, located in the town of Elbeuf in Normandy, France, is the Center of Competence for the manufacture of needlepunch, thermo bonding and chemical bonding technology for the global nonwoven business. Jean-Philippe Dumon, Sales Director, Nonwoven Division says, “We have quite a history of manufacturing nonwovens equipment on this site, the Asselin company originally started creating and manufacturing crosslappers, pre-needlers and needlers as long ago as 1950 and could be considered as real pioneers in the creation of the nonwoven industry.”

Fast forward to the present and the company in Elbeuf is one of Andritz’s leading production sites in the area of nonwovens. Dumon continues, “The pioneering attitude of the past continues here, and every year we increase our repeat business, but we are also growing in terms of market share for our needlepunch lines and technology.

“We are proud of the fact that we are always investing at this site, every year we are commissioning new tools for our machine tool plant, we have implemented all the latest management principals, and despite continuous growth, we have managed to increase production with the same footprint.”

The needlelooms manufactured at Andritz Asselin-Thibeau go out to nonwoven producers all over the world, with 40% going to countries in Europe, including Russia and Turkey, 25% to the US and another 25% to Asia.

“In an industry which is currently moving in many new directions, Andritz also works with independent mid-size nonwoven producers, offering knowledge and expertise to enable the creation and running of an optimal needlepunch line,” says Dumon. “This can be supplied entirely by Andritz, where it can control everything and guarantee the final results, or, with its capability to mix technology, can supply individual machines into an existing line.”

Andritz Needlelooms: Robust, Versatile, Easy to Operate

The design of the needleloom, a key piece of machinery in the needlepunch line, takes a large part of Andritz’s innovative work at Elbeuf. The company focus is to offer high reliability, high performance and the lowest cost of ownership as possible. Andritz needlelooms are highly durable and offer a variety of punching speeds and working width sizes. The needling density can be adjusted to accommodate any thickness of material and can be made capable of needling from one side or both, making them extremely versatile for a wide range of applications.

An important feature of the Andritz needleloom is the way in which it is designed for ease of cleaning. Some fibers create a lot of dust during the loom process which can contaminate the product, especially where the line is used for creating different types of materials. “Andritz needlelooms are designed so that all the areas that come in contact with the product are visible and a space over the plate gives clear accessibility for suction to remove dust from the plate and needles,” explains Dumon. “This greatly increases the efficiency of the loom by producing consistent products and reducing the time required for cleaning and maintenance as well as being safer for the operator.”

A further key contribution to the efficiency of ANDRITZ needlelooms is the use of the largest, toughest available bearings, resulting in a much more robust machine with a much longer life expectancy. These bearings can last for years – in many known cases they were only replaced after 12 years of constant use as a precaution, even though they were found to still be in good condition. This extended life requires the bearings to be kept at an optimum working temperature, which is why Andritz needlelooms use oil as a lubricant, applied constantly to ensure the lifespan of the bearings. The combination of using large bearings and oil lubrication results in less downtime for maintenance bringing a far greater return on investment for the customer.

Within bespoke designs, Andritz can adapt the needleloom according to the need of the customer. For example, in lighter weight nonwoven fabrics where the surface aspect is of high importance, the parts of the needleloom that interact with the fabric are optimized to minimize uncontrolled draft and create the ideal needle distribution pattern, enabling the production line to run faster. For fabrics that require a heavy punching load, Andritz has introduced the Dynamic Harmonic Shifter (DHS), technology, which eliminates the vibrations generated from the tougher needling requirements which would otherwise damage the machinery.

“We listen intently to our customers”

The use of the needlepunch process is growing steadily across Europe and globally where in today’s nonwoven market, customers are looking for flexibility, low operating costs and consistent quality of the finished product. Andritz works directly with customers to discuss specific requirements according to their end products and available resources. In this way a thorough understanding of how best the needlepunch line and needleloom can be designed is gained, to bring high added value to the customer by creating stable products and getting long-lasting results, bringing them the best return on investment. Where required needlelooms can be customized for specialist use, one example of which is the double velour machine which incorporates two frames with the same brush, resulting in doubling the process speed while reducing handling which increases the quality and consistency and brings production costs down.

As part of the design procedure Andritz uses its neXmatrix simulator tool to compare different possible line set ups to find the best possible solution to identify and meet the customer’s requirements. Customers can also make use of the state-of-the-art trial center facility in Elbeuf, which combines all the latest Andritz technology in its complete needlepunch pilot line, including the SCADA monitoring system.

Performance may vary from one fiber to another so the trial center enables the design team to record the machine performance and adjust it according to the customer’s needs to create the optimal conditions for the most efficient line and best product quality. Having this facility helps to reassure the customer and give them a real feel for nonwoven lines and equipment working at an operational level.

“We really like to get close to our customer,” says Dumon. “We listen intently to what their situation is, what their products are, and what they are used for. We engineer a simulation in our pilot line here in Elbeuf and give them a real-time first-hand demonstration of their products being made. Customers are always impressed with our ability to not only simulate their needs, but also show them what other possibilities for new products there could be in the future.”

By using this approach, Andritz can create a proposal that meets the customer’s business plan. New, innovative and proven equipment can then be installed, up and running in a short space of time offering greater potential for high productivity from the outset. This method ensures that Andritz provides the appropriate range of equipment with the innovations needed to optimize the customer’s investment by producing the most viable volume of a consistent, high-quality product in a cost effective and efficient way.

Revolutionary Innovative Technology from DiloGroup: The H Alpha Loom

In its 117 year history, DiloGroup has always set new standards in regard to machine performance and efficiency. Innovative technologies like DI-LOUR, DI-LOOP and Hyperpunch have created new markets for the nonwovens industry and have contributed to continuous growth.

DiloGroup, consisting of DiloSpinnbau, DiloTemafa, DiloMachines and DiloSystems, offers production machinery for complete processes to make needled staple fibre nonwovens, from fibre preparation, to carding, crosslapping or aerodynamic webforming, needlepunching or other consolidation technologies for any fibre material.

With its recent developments DILO is continuing this strategy of high-quality engineering and revolutionary innovative technology.

The H Alpha loom is a new variation of Hyperpunch technology. By reducing detrimental draft, increasing throughput speed and lowering costs, it is of interest for universal applications.

The surface quality of nonwovens is an important parameter and highly influenced by the needle pattern. The new needle pattern “8000X” can be considered a breakthrough for realizing very uniform stitch distributions over a wide range of line speed. The related “6000X” is suitable for Hyperpunch needle looms.

The Hypertex technology combines a grid of endless fibres and nonwoven fabric as a sandwich using the needlepunch process. An additional weaving process becomes unnecessary. The grid improves the tensile strength of products such as filters or roof sheets and will lower costs and production time.

In the field of “textile additive manufacturing” the “3D-Lofter” will offer further chances of fibre savings for needlefelts used in the automotive and other applications because topologically distributed fibre masses can be positioned in the felt where needed by so called “individual webforming spots”.

“diloline 4.0” includes a wide variety of “smart manufacturing” actions in collaboration with Siemens which all aim at further simplifying operation, increasing transparency in web forming and consolidation thereby increasing efficiency. Production data are stored, documented and compared. An “alarm monitor” indicates irregular behaviour. A production analysis documents the reasons for standstill times. This data can be used to avoid irregular behaviour. Numerous information modules can be recalled via mobile apps and cloud data (mindSpheres). All these methods to control the machines and to generate production data will be helpful to further secure the complex functions within the production system independently of personnel and shift.

DiloGroup will showcase its products at booth C50 at Techtextil India.

The Trützschler Card TC 19i: The First Intelligent Card

A new chapter in card development has been be opened: The Trützschler card is intelligent. It performs important settings completely independently and with a precision not achievable by humans, which results in an unprecedented level of quality.

A new chapter in card development has been be opened: The Trützschler card is intelligent. It performs important settings completely independently and with a precision not achievable by humans, which results in an unprecedented level of quality.

Is there a formula for successful innovations? Definitely not. But how does Trützschler manage to continuously raise the bar in carding technology? How can the Trützschler Card TC15 be surpassed in terms of quality and performance?

“The dialogue with our customers is decisive for our developments. We listen to them very carefully when they talk about unresolved problems. High raw material costs, personnel bottlenecks and fluctuating raw material qualities combined with constantly high quality requirements are among the present circumstances that need to be overcome.” Markus Wurster, Sales Director.

The fact that Trützschler has the technical competence to implement these requirements was demonstrated once again at ITMA 2019.

“This is the future!” and “This is the development we need!” were the reactions of booth visitors which sales manager Ralf Müller experienced at this year’s ITMA. “The possibility to increase quality and productivity as well as solving personnel issues through features like T-GO or Wastecontrol fascinated our customers.”

TC 19i main features at a glance:

Self-optimizing precision

For cotton carding, the carding gap between the cylinder and flat clothing should be as small as possible. The optimum gap is 3/1000” (0.075mm) for many types of cotton. For comparison: Not even a sheet of paper fits inbetween. Even an experienced technologist cannot carry out such narrow settings when the card is cold. During operation, centrifugal forces and temperature increases influence these settings significantly.

On the Trützschler Card TC 19i with the Gap Optimizer T-GO, a basic flat setting is only carried out once by our specialists. Afterwards, T-GO ensures an ideal carding gap at all times, whether the card is cold or warm, after clothing grinding, even after clothing replacement. This is a permanent, self-optimizing, intelligent process that takes place without any production interruption.

The key to the profitability of a spinning mill is the maximum utilization of the raw material. On TC 19i, an optical sensor monitors the waste in the suction, thus providing the data for Wastecontrol. If too many good fibers end up in the waste, the system adjusts the mote knife setting on the Webfeed via a servomotor.

Permanent quality control

The Trützschler Nep Sensor NCT (separat option) permanently monitors the web on the doffer. A camera registers and distinguishes neps, trash particles and seed coat fragments. The data is displayed on the screen of the cards and also transmitted to the Trützschler mill monitoring system My Mill. In this way, multiple cards can be monitored regarding quality delivery, and any deviation will immediately be recognized.

Smart and easy operation

The TC 19i provides a multitouch screen that can be used as easily and intuitively as a smartphone. Individual operator recognition and authorization is possible through an RFID chip. In addition, the remote card display T-LED visualizes important machine information in an easy way and helps operators to stay aware of each machine’s status.

Jürgen März, carding specialist at Trützschler, received a lot of positive feedback at ITMA: “By talking to our customers about problems in their mills, we learned about their dependence on skilled staff. The precision of the flat setting is highly influenced by the operator, but reliable and well-trained personnel is difficult to find today. Customers were very impressed by the fact that very narrow settings can be set completely independent. The carding gap is no longer set by a technician, but by an intelligent system. The limitations of human precision have been overcome by Trützschler machinery at this point.”

Lenzing™ Fibers are Fully Biodegradable in Water, Soil and Compost

The Lenzing Group received confirmation of the full biodegradability of its fibers in fresh water by the independent research laboratory Organic Waste Systems (OWS).

The new and existing international certifications conducted by OWS and issued by TÜV Austria verify that Lenzing™ Viscose fibers, Lenzing™ Modal fibers and Lenzing™ Lyocell fibers are biodegradable in all natural and industrial environments: in the soil, compost as well as in fresh and in marine water.

The biodegradability of cellulosic products and the synthetic fiber polyester was tested in fresh water at OWS according to valid international standards, e.g. ISO 14851. At the end of the trial period, Lenzing™ wood-based cellulosic fibers, cotton and paper pulp were shown to be fully biodegradable in fresh water in contrast to synthetic polyester fibers. The fact that synthetic materials are not biodegradable leads to major problems in wastewater treatment plants and potentially marine litter. In turn, this not only harms fish and birds living in and close to the oceans but also all marine organisms and us humans.

“The Lenzing Group operates a truly circular business model based on the renewable raw material wood to produce biodegradable fibers returning to nature after use. This complete cycle comprises the starting point of the core value of sustainability embedded in our company strategy sCore TEN and is the ‘raison d’etre’ of our company”, says Stefan Doboczky, Chief Executive Officer of the Lenzing Group. “In living up to this positioning, we not only enhance the business of our suppliers, customers and partners along the value chain but also improve the state of the entire textile and nonwovens industries.”

Both the textile and nonwovens industries face huge challenges with respect to littering. If current trends continue, the oceans could contain more plastic than fish by 2050. Therefore, legislative bodies worldwide can no longer ignore the issue and have moved towards plastics legislation aimed at limiting the vast amount of waste. In response, European lawmakers issued the Single-Use Plastics Directive currently being transposed into national legislation in the EU member states.

Conventional wet wipes and hygiene products mostly contain plastic and were thus identified as one of the product categories to be singled out. Less polluting alternatives are generally encouraged by NGOs and legislators, e.g. products made of biodegradable wood-based cellulosic fibers. Plastic waste including microplastic can persist in the environment for centuries. In contrast, biodegradable materials are the best alternative to single-use plastics because they fully convert back to nature by definition and thus do not require recycling.

ANDRITZ launches new StrataPress SX single-seam press felt technology

International technology Group ANDRITZ has launched its new-generation “StrataPress™ SX” felt with integrated single-seam technology.

  • Integrated seam for faster and safer installation
  • Most efficient water removal for reduced energy consumption
  • Available with exclusive “QS” technology for superior sheet smoothness
  • Enhanced seam flap integrity for longer lifetime

StrataPress SX is specifically engineered for the most demanding positions in paperboard/packaging, graphical, and pulp machines. Its integrated seam ensures strength and durability while delivering rapid and safe installation.

It is specially designed with a game-changing combination of materials, base fabric structures and unique batt concepts that deliver the highest sheet quality, faster machine speeds, reduced energy consumption, and extended life potential.

“With StrataPress SX, for the first time in our industry, customers can now enjoy the convenience and safety of seam felts along with the superior machine performance previously only available from premium-class endless press felts. And with its unique compressibility and nip dampening characteristics, StrataPress SX provides that superior dewatering performance even in the hardest press nip applications, and with reduced operating costs,” says Bill Butterfield, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at ANDRITZ Fabrics and Rolls.

STRATAPRESS SX – THREE PRODUCT CLASSES

As StrataPress SX technology is built utilizing three distinct warp systems, there is an exact product specification specially engineered to maximize machine performance for graphical, board and packaging, and pulp grades.

StrataPress SX is also available with ANDRITZ’s exclusive “QS” Quick Saturation technology. Hydrophilic components embedded in the base fabric structure ensure optimized water management to provide improved start-up behavior, enhanced profiles and better NIP dewatering over the entire service lifetime.

With the new StrataPress SX technology, ANDRITZ once again confirms its position as one of the global market leaders for the supply of innovative fabrics, press felts, and roll technology solutions.

For more information, please visit andritz.com/fabrics-and-rolls.

Smart Textiles To Fight Mosquitoes: A New Approach

A report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) claimed mosquitoes to be the deadliest and most dangerous species on planet in terms of human deaths. In 2015, 438,000 malaria-related deaths were reported globally. The incidence of dengue has reportedly increased 30 times in the last three decades. Several countries are reporting their first outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases such as zika, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.

With the ever increasing cases of resistance of mosquitoes to repellents, several groups have tried incorporating new repellents into fabrics. There have been several efforts towards designing smart textiles that can prevent mosquito bites. Microencapsulation has been commonly used. However, these methods are prone to drawbacks like non-sustainability and lack of reusability. Another approach uses microbeads, which again are costly and tedious. This restricts the use of conventional microbeads and micro-capsules for practical day-to-day applications.

The solution proposed by its research team adds the necessary advantages of in-trend micro-encapsulation technique and gets rid of their drawbacks.

The proposed idea is to use a smart textile system that incorporates a refillable mechanism that can be reloaded multiple times with mosquito repellents on the go, controllable by the user. This work demonstrates the superiority of sustainable smart textiles to be used as a platform for mosquito repellent technology.

Making use of shape memory polymers (SMPs) for this purpose, the concept is new and gives the user the advantage to control the release of repellent multiple times, depending on need. SMPs are smart textiles having a specific shape that is stored in their ‘memory’, which when subjected to external stimulus like heat, magnetic or electric field, change and return back to their ‘memory’ shape when the stimulus is removed. The patent for the same is under process.