New Composite Advances Lignin As A Renewable 3D Printing Material

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have created a recipe for a renewable 3D printing feedstock that could spur a profitable new use for an intractable biorefinery byproduct: lignin.

The discovery, detailed in Science Advances, expands ORNL’s achievements in lowering the cost of bioproducts by creating novel uses for lignin—the material left over from the processing of biomass. Lignin gives plants rigidity and also makes biomass resistant to being broken down into useful products.“Finding new uses for lignin can improve the economics of the entire biorefining process,” said ORNL project lead Amit Naskar. Researchers combined a melt-stable hardwood lignin with conventional plastic, a low-melting nylon, and carbon fiber to create a composite with just the right characteristics for extrusion and weld strength between layers during the printing process, as well as excellent mechanical properties.

Lignin chars easily; unlike workhorse composites like acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) that are made of petroleum-based thermoplastics, lignin can only be heated to a certain temperature for softening and extrusion from a 3D-printing nozzle. Prolonged exposure to heat dramatically increases its viscosity—it becomes too thick to be extruded easily.

But when researchers combined lignin with nylon, they found a surprising result: the composite’s room temperature stiffness increased while its melt viscosity decreased. The lignin-nylon material had tensile strength similar to nylon alone and lower viscosity, in fact, than conventional ABS or high impact polystyrene.

The scientists conducted neutron scattering at the High Flux Isotope Reactor and used advanced microscopy at the Center for Nanophase Materials Science—both DOE Office of Science User Facilities at ORNL—to explore the composite’s molecular structure. They found that the combination of lignin and nylon “appeared to have almost a lubrication or plasticizing effect on the composite,” noted Naskar. “Structural characteristics of lignin are critical to enhance 3D printability of the materials,” said ORNL’s Ngoc Nguyen who collaborated on the project. Scientists were also able to mix in a higher percentage of lignin—40 to 50 percent by weight—a new achievement in the quest for a lignin-based printing material. ORNL scientists then added 4 to 16 percent carbon fiber into the mix. The new composite heats up more easily, flows faster for speedier printing, and results in a stronger product.

‘Cool’ Textile Automatically Regulates Amount of Heat that Passes Through It

Made from specially engineered infrared-sensitive yarn, which responds to changes in the temperature and humidity of a person’s skin by dynamically collapsing or expanding the structure of its fibers, the newly-developed textile shows great potential in the development of clothing systems capable of autonomously adapting to demanding environments.

The human body absorbs and sheds much of its heat in the form of infrared radiation. Most textiles trap this energy, which keeps us warm in cold weather. However, the development of a material that is able to shed this energy, and thus passively cool the body, has remained a challenge. While other materials have achieved radiative cooling in various forms, through textiles that can reflect sunlight and also allow heat radiating from a person’s body to escape, none are responsive to environmental changes or possess the ability to regulate both heating and cooling. The base yarn for the new infrared-adaptive textile is created with fibers made of two different synthetic materials — one absorbs water and the other repels it. The strands are coated with carbon nanotubes, a special class of lightweight, carbon-based, conductive metal.Because materials in the fibers both resist and absorb water, the fibers warp when exposed to humidity such as that surrounding a sweating body.

That distortion brings the strands of yarn closer together, which does two things. First, it opens the pores in the textile. This has a small cooling effect because it allows heat to escape. Second, and most importantly, it modifies the electromagnetic coupling between the carbon nanotubes in the coating.

Professor YuHuang Wang, also from the University of Maryland said “It’s a very simplified way to think of it, but imagine bringing two antennae close together to regulate the kind of electromagnetic wave they pick up. When the fibers are brought closer together, the radiation they interact with changes. In clothing, that means the fabric interacts with the heat radiating from the human body.”

Depending on the tuning, the textile either blocks infrared radiation or allows it to pass through. The reaction is almost instant, so before people realize they’re getting hot, the garment could already be cooling them down. On the flip side, as a body cools down, the dynamic gating mechanism works in reverse to trap in heat.“The results of testing the material show that the textile was able to alter heat radiation by over 35% as it adjusted to the surrounding relative humidity,” the scientists said.

“The heat-adapting meta-fibers can be knit, dyed and washed similarly to other performance fabrics and are compatible with current commercial processes.”

Cut Resistant Clothing for the Glass and Metal Industry: CutPRO®

Cut resistant fabrics have been developed following thousands of injuries suffered by individuals in industry, homeland security, and extreme sports. Now, UK-based PPSS Group is urging product designers to think innovatively about the potential applications of its technical textile, Cut-Tex® PRO.

Since its inception, cut resistant fabric Cut-Tex® PRO has been effectively used in slash resistant clothing for law enforcement, security, and prisons and corrections personnel, as well as bite resistant clothing for healthcare professionals. Following extensive research and collaboration, the company launched its range of cut resistant clothing for the glass and metal industry: CutPRO®. CEO Robert Kaiser comments: “Since the beginning, we have been approached by individuals looking to use Cut-Tex® PRO for theft-proof beach bags, travel cases, storage protection, and even animal welfare. Whilst we cannot guarantee effective- ness in all applications without thorough testing, we have been delighted to work with so many innovative thinkers eager to use Cut-Tex® PRO as a solution for their  product.” The key benefits of fabric are its versatility and all-round performance. Not only does Cut-Tex® PRO offer EN388:2016 Level E cut resistance (ANSI Level 5), unlike alternatives, its protective properties are enhanced by the highest levels of tear and puncture resistance, decreasing the risk of sharp objects penetrating the fabric. It is also washable, lightweight and kind to skin, offering unlimited possibilities for developing new or existing products.

At pH 6.6, Cut-Tex®PRO has a pH value similar to that of water (usually between 6.5 and 8.5). This makes it an extremely low risk skin irritation fabric. Used in clothing for homeland security, workers in manufacturing, and healthcare professionals, it will maintain the skin’s natural balance whilst providing outstanding protection from cuts, slashes, and even human bites.

Robert Kaiser said that; “We are keen to partner with anyone who shares our excitement for the future of cut resistant fabric, and hope that new and innovative applications will help us to advance the performance and capabilities of Cut-Tex® PRO over the coming years.”

Kraig Biocraft Develops Silkworm Strain For USA Army

Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, developer of spider silk based fibres, has developed a strain of genetically engineered silkworms which produces fibres that have the physical properties more suited for use in protective textiles. The development has come under the company’s contract with the US Army. The company will scale up the production of new fibres.

Tentatively called Dragon Silk 2.0, this new strain is the next evolution in the development of protective fibres, built upon the company’s existing Dragon Silk, and is a further example of the company’s ability to adapt and tailor the properties of its recombinant spider silk materials to meet end market performance requirements. Through the use of its fibre performance testing capabilities, paired with a select breeding programme, the company created a strain that is stronger, yet less elastic, than the original Dragon Silk.

Specifically created in response to input from the Army, based on requirements for antiballistic applications, this new strain of recombinant spider silk silk- worms is the second phase of the company’s development agreement with the Army. Kraig Labs delivered shootpack panels to the Army, earlier this summer, made of its original Dragon Silk material and those panels are awaiting testing. “When the Army chose to award the second phase of this project we knew that we were given a great opportunity to prove the power of our technology and our approach using silkworms,” said COO, Jon Rice. “Today we’re thrilled to announce that our work was a success and that we now have a line of silkworms that produce a recombinant spider silk better matched for the demands of protective textile applications. We expect this new strain will play a critical role in our expansion and commercialisation of spider silk far beyond the market for bullet proof vests.”

Kraig Biocraft Laboratories Begins Scale Up Of Second Generation Dragon Silk

Consistent with the Company’s history of creating performance driven recombinant spider silk, this new material was specially designed at Kraig Labs’ Michigan research headquarters for application in protective textiles, where increased strength and decreased flexibility are expected to provide improved protection.

Scale up of Dragon Silk 2.0 is well underway, with the production team already raising tens of thousands of the new transgenic silkworms at the Company’s US based pilot production facility. Over the next 30 days, Kraig Labs anticipates scaling up production volumes of this new silkworm strain into the millions, as it prepares to create the first silk threads and fabrics made of this next generation recombinant spider silk.

Further, the Company is laying the groundwork to partner with experts in multicomponent thread design and spinning, to develop new specialty threads blending the performance spider silk with other traditional materials. This work is expected to develop threads and fabrics focused specifically on products for the perfor- mance wear and other closely linked market segments.

“The ability to rapidly scale up this newly announced material, from initial testing to pilot scale production, is a major differentiator in our approach, which utilizes silkworms and the existing global silk infrastructure,” said COO, Jon Rice. “The current global infrastructure, equipment and skilled labor, is able to produce more than 150,000 metric tons of conventional silk per year. Our recombinant spider silk silkworm technology is a direct drop-in replacement for traditional silkworms and allows us to move quickly, with minimal investment, to bring new products to market.”

Future scale up of Dragon Silk 2.0, as well as the Company’s other lines of recombinant spider silk silkworms, is expected to be transferred to the Company’s subsidiary Prodigy Textiles and its operations in Vietnam, while the Company’s US facility remains focused on the development of next generation materials.

Ahlstrom-Munksjö Launches New Surgical Fabric

Ahlstrom-Munksjö, a leader in fibre-based materials, has announced the launch of its new ViroSēl fabric, constructed for the most critical areas of a surgical gown, designed to keep medical professionals protected and comfortable.

ViroS l is Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s next generation Breathable Viral Barrier (BVB) surgical fabric that has a specially formulated design that provides the opportunity to create robust seam seals for highly critical areas of a surgical gown, the company reports.

“We leveraged our BVB product development and manufacturing experience to create a fabric that can be reliably used in the most protective and comfortable surgical gowns on the market,” said Jason Beard, product platform leader, Medical, Ahlstrom-Munksjö. ViroS l is a tri-laminate fabric constructed to be impervious, breathable and comfortable. The outer layer is fluid repellent and durable. The barrier layer has a monolithic film membrane making it impervious to liquids, viruses and bacteria. The chemical composition of the film itself allows moisture vapor to pass through it, keeping the surgical staff cool and dry. Finally, the darker inner layer was designed to reduce shadowing, and is soft to the touch which makes it comfortable to wear for long periods of time.Surgeries like Cesarean sections, gastric and cardiac often have a substantial amount of fluids involved and are lengthy to complete. This means protection and comfort are essential for the medical professionals wearing the surgical gown. Infection control is imperative as there is risk to the patient and staff to potentially come into contact with these fluids. International in- dustry standards are used to test and measure the barrier performance for liquids and blood-borne pathogens for materials used in protective clothing like surgical gowns. ViroS l passes these stringent standards providing the impervious protection needed in the surgical environment, the manufacturer explains.

Filter Media for Air Pollution Control Applications

Ahlstrom-Munksjö also announced the launch of Ahlstrom-Munksjö Extia 1000, breakthrough, highly durable, filtration media designed to extend filtration lifetime for air pollution control applications,  helping to protect people and the environment. Extending filtration lifetime by more than 40%, helping customers to extend the operational duration, before needing to change the filters. “Giuseppe Costa, VP Product Development Filtration and Performance said “Due to its unique design, Extia 1000 dramatically extends filtration lifetime; it also delivers highly effective removal of coarse particles at over three times lower level of pressure drop.”

Graphene Unlocks New Potential For ‘Smart Textiles’

The quest to create affordable, durable and mass-produced ‘smart textiles’ has been given fresh impetus through the use of the wonder material Graphene.

An international team of scientists, led by Professor Monica Craciun from the University of Exeter Engineering department, has pioneered a new technique to create fully electronic fibres that can be incorporated into the production of everyday clothing. Currently, wearable electronics are achieved by essentially gluing devices to fabrics, which can mean they are too rigid and susceptible to malfunctioning. The new research instead integrates the electronic devices into the fabric of the material, by coating electronic fibres with light-weight, durable components that will allow images to be shown directly on the fabric. The research team believe that the discovery could revolutionise the creation of wearable electronic devices for use in a range of every day applications, as well as health monitoring, such as heart rates and blood pressure, and medical diagnostics.

The international collaborative research, which includes experts from the Centre for Graphene Science at the University of Exeter, the Universities of Aveiro and Lisbon in Portugal, and CenTexBel in Belgium, is published in the scientific journal Flexible Electronics. Professor Craciun, co-author of the research said: “For truly wearable electronic devices to be achieved, it is vital that the components are able to be incorporated within the material, and not simply added to it.”

Dr Elias Torres Alonso, Research Scientist at Graphenea and former PhD student in Professor Craciun’s team at Exeter added “By weaving the graphene fibres into the fabric, we have created a new technique to all the full integration of electronics into textiles.” At just one atom thick, graphene is the thinnest substance capable of conducting electricity. It is very flexible and is one of the strongest known materials. The race has been on for scientists and engineers to adapt graphene for the use in wearable electronic devices in recent years.This new research used existing polypropylene fibres – typically used in a host of commercial applications in the textile industry – to attach the new, graphene-based electronic fibres to create touch-sensor and light-emitting devices. The new technique means that the fabrics can incorporate truly wearable displays without the need for electrodes, wires of additional materials.

Ipeker Makes a Difference in Textile Products with Vegan Fabric Production

Ipeker company, founded in 1930, started its business life with the production of silk in Ottoman period at the end of the 1800s and then continued with fabric manufacturing. Ipeker, one of the most important companies of the world, started to use vegan fabrics produced with V-Label certificate in home textile.

Currently exporting to 52 countries, Ipeker has completed the testing process and produces vegan fabrics with the V-Label certificate given by the European Vegetarian Union. Using its experience in home textiles, the company is the pioneer of the world in this field. With offices in Germany, England and Italy, Ipeker serves with vegan and vegan cupro fabrics in a wide range of countries including Germany, France, Italy, America, Japan, Australia and Canada.

Ipeker, is the first and only manufacturer position in cupro fabric in Turkey, working hard on the production of vegan fabrics to produce more environmentally friendly fabrics. Ipeker Board Member İhsan Ipeker, who stated that there is no animal protein at any stage of the produced fabrics said; “This is guaranteed by DNA testing. Its are also stated as process in the Oeko-Tex certifications. We are the first company in the world to realize this. Our fabrics travel around the world with TR code. This is another source of pride for us.”

Vegan Cupro Fabric slow down the aging process

The vegan cupro fabric, which is produced from cotton wastes, is mixed into the soil within three months when it is buried. With this fabric, the company aims to protect the rights of life rather than using animals as a product. In addition, the company Ipeker argues that animals are not a property of people, even a piece of their bodies should not be used for the comfort of people. This fabric, which is sensitive to human skin, contains the least amount of detergent on it. It slows down permeating chemicals used in washing to human skin. It has climatic properties in terms of skin sensitivity. Thanks to its non-electrifying feature, it enables the body functions to work more smoothly.

In addition, Ipeker developed Vegan Sleep Technologies as a result of the work of its 35 people R & D team. The anti-aging pillows produced by the company eliminate the factors that accelerate aging, slow down this process as much as possible.

Turkish Company Produces, German Army Uses

Developed by the Turkish company İltema, the fabric which was able to heat dissipate for a long time with low voltage was tested by the company in Germany and found successful. The fabric used by divers in the German army allows divers to stay bottom of the sea for longer.

İltema, which is focuses on heat dissipation technology established by two Turkish entrepreneurs at Dokuz Eylül University Technology Development Zone (DEPARK) continues to work on the development of new generation high-tech materials. The company, which started working in 2016 with the support of TÜBİTAK, has achieved successful results in heating technologies. İltema exhibits its products at the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF). The company manufactures fabrics with yarns which are specially developed and coated with solutions. 100% locally produced fabrics heats with varying voltages. Fabrics which was heated with low-voltage do not threaten human health. Products can get heated by 48 volts and below.

Heat-Dissipating Fabrics With Low-Voltage Were First Exported To Germany

Smart fabrics, which preferred by the world’s leading countries and commercialised as “a new generation of electric blankets”, tested to be usedhybrid cars and in the defense industry in Germany and Turkey. The smart fabric, which was first exported to Germany, is used by the company there to make clothes produced for the use of divers in the German army. The divers of the German army, thanks to the clothes produced by using these fabrics, increased the 6-minute time stay in the bottom of the sea to 15 minutes.

The firm, which has been exporting to kazakhstan a tent that does not the snow settle on it, also has an anti-icing system on roads and stairs. This fabric, which is more cost effective, performs well in outdoor products such as automotive and defense industry. This fabric which is the most important feature is saving energy, saves 40 percent of heating in electric vehicles.

The company, which produces solar-heated coats for long-term stays in outside, also prepares heated tents and sleeping bags. In addition to being able to warm up with daylight, the jacket can also be charge mobile phones.

New Polyols Reduce Carbon Footprint From Covestro

Under the name cardyon™, Covestro is developing and marketing new polyether carbonate polyols that are produced with the aid of carbon dioxide (CO2). With Desmopan® 37385A the company now offers the first representative of a new series of thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) containing polyether carbonate polyols

Compared to conventional TPU materials, the new TPU products leave a lower carbon footprint and help close the carbon cycle. They also conserve fossil resources and, unlike many bio-based materials, do not compete with food production.

“With the new TPU, our customers can reduce the carbon footprint of their products and as a result play a pioneering role in sustainability vis-à-vis their competitors,” explains Georg Fuchte, TPU expert at Covestro. “This is especially true for companies in the consumer goods industry, which often manufacture products with a short lifespan.”

Excellent mechanical properties

Desmopan® 37385A has a hardness of 85 Shore A. Its mechanical properties are at least at the level of conventional TPU grades of similar hardness, and even exceed some of them. For example, it has a tensile strength of 36 megapascals. The elongation at break reaches 660 percent (DIN 53504). The plastic is designed for extrusion, but is also suitable for injection molding. “The application spectrum covers typical applications of conventional TPU grades with comparable hardness and ranges from soles and upper shoe components to sportswear, handles and knobs to packaging for sensitive electronics,” says Fuchte.

Different product variants

Covestro plans to expand the new TPU series with variants of different hardness. A product with a hardness of 95 Shore A, for example, whose melt cures rapidly during processing, is well advanced in development. “We are thus targeting applications in which economic production in short cycle times is particularly important,” explains Fuchte. Covestro cooperates closely with companies and research  institutions to use CO2 technology as a synthesis platform for other large-scale chemical raw materials. For example, work is underway on new CO2- based polyols for rigid polyurethane foams that could be used, for example, in the thermal insulation of buildings, in automobiles and in sports equipment. At the Dormagen plant, Covestro already operates a production plant that produces CO2-based polyols for flexible polyurethane foams. The latter are used in the commercial production of upholstered furniture and mattresses.

Alternative Adhesive for Textile Industry from Kordsa

Kordsa, which operates in the field of composite technologies with tire and construction reinforcing, has produce a new adhesive collaborating with Continental. This new technology can be the new standard adhesive of the textile reinforcing materials industry.

Kordsa introduced its new invention which it developed with Continental at the beginning of 2018 at Tire Technology in Hannover. Kordsa Technology Director Devrim Özaydın said that, “Since 2008 we have been working on an environmentally friendly adhesive formula with a non-resorcinol and formaldehyde free in the field of tire technologies. While we are developing the chemical structure, Continental has also developed application-related technologies.”

Devrim Özaydın said that they think this new technology could be the new standard adhesive of textile reinforcing materials sector. Özaydın added, ”We will present all information to the world with the right of  free  use in order to be the new standard of the industry.” Devrim Özaydın stated that they achieved to change the formula used in the tire cord fabric bath within the framework of this cooperation and stated that the formula they have reached is more ecofriendly formula that can be an alternative to the resorcinol formaldehyde formula which has been used for 80 years. In addition, Kordsa carry out studies on new technologies to increase energy efficiency and reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by taking the environmental effects into consideration in the İzmit R & D center. For example, it developed a new concept in the finishing process with the Minidip project , while the ABC project achieved an average energy saving of 10 to 15 percent on twisting machines.

Kordsa has 218 approved patents

In the first half of 2018, Kordsa is among the global leaders with the number of patents published in the patent research database. Özaydın said, “We increased our total patent portfolio by approximately 60 percent in 2017. As of July 2018, we have 174 inventions worldwide, 717 patent applications and 218 approved patents.”

Awarded R & D Centers

Kordsa’s first R & D center in Izmit was established in 2008. In 2016, with the investment of 30 million dollars, they established the second R & D centers in the Composite Technologies Center of Excellence, which they implemented together with Sabancı University. This center is the first carbon cloth and prepreg manufacturers who support the basic research to the production of prototype parts in Turkey.

Kordsa to expand its global footprint in aerospace industry with a new US investment Kordsa has signed a definitive agreement to acquire approximately 96% share of Axiom Materials Acquisition LLC, total enterprise value of USD 181 million, which provides advanced composite for aerospace and industrial applications. composite technologies that we entered with our first investment in 2013. We realized Composite Technologies Center of Excellence investment in 2016. As part of our inorganic growth targets, following the acquisition of three composite firms in 2018, we have taken the necessary steps to acquire yet another composite company based in the US. In order to leave behind long approval processes in aircraft parts and space vehicles, we set out to acquire Axiom Materials, an approved supplier for aerospace industry. With this acquisition, we will lead the advanced composite technologies for the next generation industrial and transportation applications, as well as the aerospace industry.