Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Branches and Applications of Technical Textiles

Technical textile:
According to the textile institute, “Textile materials and products manufactured primarily for their technical and performance properties rather than their aesthetic and decorative characteristics” are called technical textiles.

technical textiles
Fig: Technical textiles
In the era of modernization and high technological advancements, it has spread its horizons and started using man-made, non-conventional textiles, called “technical textiles.”

General aspects of technical textile:
  1. One of the most and faster growing areas for global textile industry.
  2. Indispensable part of human life.
  3. Encompasses immense range and diversity of raw materials, processes, products and applications.
  4. Accounts for over one-quarter of all textile consumption in weight terms.
  5. Plays crucial role in economic and infrastructural development.
International scenario of technical textile:
  • World market for technical textile at 21 million tones (US$ 120bn) during 2007-2008 is expected to increase to 26 million tones (US$ 139 bn) by 2012 with average of 4-5% depending on the area of application.
  • Fiber consumption in technical textiles was 22% of total fibers consumed in 2005.
  • The drivers for future growth are expected to be Asian countries like china, India. The growth in Asia is expected to be 6.5% while it would be merely 2.2 percent in developed countries.
Sector-wise higher growth rates are for Indutech, Buildtech, Meditech, Geotech, Packtech, and Agrotech. But Protech is important in view of safety.

Classification of technical textile:
Technical textile is classified as following according to area of application.
  1. Agrotech: agriculture, aquaculture, horticulture and forestry.
  2. Buildtech: building and construction.
  3. Clothtech: technical components of footwear and clothing.
  4. Geotech: geo textiles and civil engineering.
  5. Hometech: technical components of furniture, household textiles and floor coverings.
  6. Indutech: filtration, conveying, cleaning and other industrial uses.
  7. Meditech: hygiene and medical.
  8. Mobiltech: automobiles, shipping, railways, and aerospace.
  9. Oekotech: environmental protection.
  10. Packtech: packaging.
  11. Protech: personal and property propection.
  12. Sporttech: sport and leisure
  13. Smarttech
  14. E-textile
Definition and application area of technical textile:

1. Agro textile:
Agriculture has been amongst the most primal occupations of the humankind and is still a major industry, globally. Agriculture, horticulture, forestry and fishing segments (all the four sectors combined together) are popularly called as “Agrotech" sector.

Agro textiles
Fig: Agro textiles
This textile sector comprises of all textiles that are used in growing, harvesting, protection, protection and storage of either crops or animals. It includes diverse items such as fishing nets and fish-lines, ropes, shade fabrics, mulch mats.

2. Clothtech:
Broadly defined, clothtech includes technical components of clothing (such as breathable membranes), shoe reinforcement and construction as well as rainwear. They are recognized for some of their important properties like high resistance to temperature, pressure and other extreme conditions, high absorbency, durability and waterproof nature. From industries like sports, defense and aviation to chemical and fire fighting, they are making their presence almost across all segments as they are extensively used for making special purpose clothes and footwear.

3. Buildtech:
These textiles are used in the construction of buildings, dams, bridges, tunnels and roads collectively comprise the “Buildtech” sector.

4. Geo-textile:
Geo-textile are smart textiles that consist of a stable network that retains its relative structure during handling, placement and long-term service. A geotextile can be defined as “permeable geosynthetic comprised solely of textile.” Geotextiles are special fabrics made for use in “geological” situations. They are rot-proof and permeable to water. They can be heavy duty or light duty, black, white or colored. Generally textiles used in the ground are termed “Geo-textile.”
Fig: Geo-textile in road construction
Any permeable textile materials used for filtration, drainage, separation, reinforcement and stabilization purposes as an integral part of civil engineering structures of earth, rock or other construction materials.

Application area of Geo-textile:
  • Roadways, parking lots, loading areas and construction sites.
  • Prevent drainage systems from clogging with fine particles.
  • Filtration, protection and separation function.
  • Fluid transmission.
  • For waterway erosion control.
  • Reduce soil piping and embankment erosion.
  • Prevention of weed growth (in horticulture application).
  • Moisture conservation (in horticulture application).
5. Eco-textile:
OEKTECH is the term used for technical textiles that are used for environmental protection. It stands for new ideas and interesting concepts in the area of environmental protection, waste disposal (including innovative filtration media) and new recycling technologies. It is opening up new avenues for environmental engineers, safety engineers and personnel in environmental protection agencies.
Fig: Eco-textiles
Eco textiles gain utmost importance as one of the most useful resources that help promote new innovations, in an eco-friendly manner.

Application area of eco-textiles:
  • Soli seals
  • Textile drainage systems
  • Erosion prevention systems
  • Textiles for protection against hazardous substances
  • Textile noise barrier systems
  • Filter systems (air/water)
  • Landfill textiles
6. Hometex:
The textile, which including both clothing and furnishings are called hometech.

Home textile
Fig: Home textile
Application of home textile:
  • Woven and knit wipes (cleaning wipes for domestic application)
  • Non-woven wipes (floor mops)
  • Tickings (for filled products like pillows, duvets, cushions)
  • Mattress components (Flanging and quilt backing, spring wrap)
  • Spring insulators flat fabrics (used to cover springs in beds or upholstery)
  • Platform cloth (fabrics used as a base for cushions on upholstered furniture)
  • Dust cloths (fabrics attached to base of furniture).
  • Shirt linings and other fabrics for use in upholstered furniture, bedding etc.
  • Carpet backings (used as primary as well as secondary backing for tufted carpets)
  • Sewing threads used in all furnishing, household textile applications.
7. Industrial textile:
Indutech is the name given to textiles that are used for diverse industrial applications like filtration, conveying, cleaning etc. This area of technical textiles contains solutions and products for mechanical engineering and for varieties of industries, e.g. conductive textiles and 3-D textile products.

 industrial textile
Fig: Industrial textile
Application of industrial textile:
  • Dry and wet filtration application.
  • Polishing cloths
  • Needle punched felt
  • Open-weave fabric
  • Drive belts conveyor belts (for paper making and food processing)
  • Sealing cord for tunnel oven dollies (like trollies)
  • Loop and eye fastenings
  • Basic fabrics for coating
  • Edging tape for coated fabrics.
  • Coated/laminated fabrics
  • Fusing threads and rods
  • Fabrics of fire-retardant
  • Heat resistant yarns/ fibers
  • Coated and extruded yarns
  • Yarns for composites.
  • High tenacity yarns
8. Medical textile:
These highly specialized and bio-compatible technical textiles, used for medical and hygiene applications are called “Medtech.” The characteristics required of medical textile vary depending on the task for which they are to be used. Some applications demand a protective function, others a high absorptive capacity and some other impermeability. Special antimicrobial finishes are important characteristics of these textiles.

Medical textiles
Fig: Medical textiles
In the field of medical application, technical textiles are not just used in contact with the skin, but also fulfill important functions within the body (intra-corporal applications like implants). Technical textiles offers medical and hygiene industry with unparalleled protection, comfort and cost saving.

Application area of medical textiles:
  • Healthcare/ hygiene products- include bedding, clothing, surgical clothes, products for feminine hygiene like sanitary napkins, baby and adult diapers, filters, bandages, support and protective material, surgical sutures, dental floss etc.
  • Non-implantable materials- For wound care that includes absorbent pad (wound contact layer, base material viscose, plastic film) and bandages (simple inelastic/elastic, orthopedic, plasters, gauzes, lint, padding). 
  • Textiles in extracorporeal devices- Like artificial kidney, liver and lungs.
  • Implantable materials- Like sutures (biodegradable and non- biodegradable), soft tissue implants, articicial tendon (meshes), artificial ligament, artificial cartilage, orthopedic implants artificial joint, cardiovascular implants vascular grafts, heart valves.
9. Packaging textiles:
Packaging textiles include all textiles packing material for industrial, agricultural and other goods.
  • FIBC big bags (Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers), for powdered and granular materials.
  • Laundry bags and other bulk packaging products.
  • Sacks for storage etc.
  • Twine and string for tying packages, etc (excludes agricultural applications).
  • Non-paper tea bags and coffee filters
  • Food soaker pads.
  • Net packaging for storing, packing, transporting, retailing foodstuffs, toys.
  • Woven fiber strapping, lightweight mailbags.
  • Soft luggage. 
Packaging textiles
Fig: Packaging textiles
10. Protective textiles:
Not only defense but the protective clothing covers garments and accessories intended to protect people from dangerous or hazardous materials and processes during the course of their work or leisure activities.
Protective textiles
Fig: Protective textiles
These textiles enhance performance by ensuring wind or water proofing, flame retardancy, breath ability, lightness etc, in clothing used by firemen, paramilitary forces and security forces.
  • Fire service equipments, bullet-proof jackets, army tents, parachutes, extinguishing blankets, tubes.
  • Fabrics with waterproof and breathable membrane.
  • Mountain safety ropes, climbing harness.
  • Protective clothing fabrics for protection from fire, bullets etc.
  • Special jackets, attire to combat severe temperatures.
  • Bullet proof fabric/jacket
  • Fabrics for disposable garments worn to provide protection against harmful chemicals and gases, Mechanical/ chemical/nuclear/ biological protection pesticides etc.
  • Fluorescent and phosphorescent fabrics for trousers etc.
  • Protective clothing for agriculture workers.
  • Hi-visibility/ high altitude warning clothing.
  • Protective clothing for dust protection.
  • Protective clothing for acoustic protection.
  • Protective clothing for electric arc welding, fire retardant upholstery, curtains bed nets, beddings, uniform fabrics, bed linens.
11. Sports textile:
  • Material technology and design of equipment.
  • Bio-mechanics and the engineering aspects of sports machinery.
  • Surface treatment of equipment.
  • Sports footwear
  • Artificial turfs, sleeping bags, ballooning and parachute fabrics.
  • Some of the sports where these textiles are being used are golf, tennis, cycling, mountaineering, skiing, cricket and Paralympics sports.
Sports textile
Fig: Sports textile
12. Transport textile:
Technical textiles that are used in this automotive or transport sector are called “Mobiltech.” This area comprises of automobiles, trains, marine vehicles and planes. The latest developments in aircraft, ship building as well as motor vehicle and train manufacture, all can be largely attributed to Mobiltech, a non apparel textile.

Transportation textiles
Fig: Transportation textiles
Mobiltech today covers not only isolation and safety aspect but also focuses on comfort and style. The customers look for aesthetically pleasing interiors, great comfort and fuel economy.

Textile components in automobiles consist of either visible components like upholstery, carpets, seat belts, headliners etc. or concealed components like tyre cords, hoses, belts, airbags etc.

Some of the applications in this industry:
  • Air bag fabrics.
  • Fabric used as a basis for reduction in weight of body parts.
  • Tyre cord fabrics (including hose and drive belt reinforcements)
  • Automotive upholstery and other textile fabrics used inside the vehicle.
  • Tyres (cord reinforcement material, side and thread walls, carcass piles etc)
  • Engine (radiator hoses, power steering, hydraulic lines, filters etc)
  • Composites for body and suspension parts (bumpers, wheel covers, door handles etc)
  • Comfort and decoration (seating, carpets, interior decoration).
A composite material is one in which two or more materials that are different (structure, properties) are combined to form a single structure with identifiable interfaces at multi-scales to achieve properties that are superior to those of its constituents. In general, composites can be defined as a select combination of dissimilar material formed with a specific internal structure and with a specific external shape or form. Composites are designed to achieve unique mechanical properties and superior performance characteristics not possible with any of the component material alone.

Textile composites
Fig: Textile composites
Classification of composites:
  • Matrix based:
  • Polymer Matrix Composite (PMC), Metal Matrix Composite (MMC), Ceramic Matrix Composite (CMC).
  • Reinforcement based:
  • Fiber Reinforced Composite (FRC), Particle Reinforced Composite (PRC).