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Acceleration of Textile Processes by Ultrasound Technology

Final Report Summary - ULTRATEC (Acceleration of Textile Processes by Ultrasound Technology)

The general project objective was supporting long-term innovation of the European textile industry and increasing its competitiveness by means of the generation of relevant scientific knowledge to develop novel Ultrasound (US) processes for textile and nonwoven applications.

The project outcomes allow to the knowledge-based application of the ultrasound technology in several textile processes. This is a major breakthrough compared to the state-of-the-art. In fact, so far a so-called 'black-box' approach has been commonly used when studying applications of ultrasound. The black-box approach consists in the performance evaluation of a system as a whole, i.e. black box evaluations consider the overall performance of a system without reference to any internal components or behaviours. The application of the black box approach when studying ultrasound applied to textile processes has resulted in inefficient processes giving contradictory results, since in ultrasound most parameters and variables are not independent of each other.

This has prevented an industrial-scale application of the ultrasound technology in many textile processes where the ultrasound technology would have the potential to provide several benefits. On the contrary, as reported in the next paragraphs, a fundamental understanding of the ultrasound technology applied to different textile processes was achieved by the project partners. The gained knowledge will function as starting point towards the industrial application of fast, ultrasound-based processes in the European textile sector.

Hence, in medium term the project will have a major impact in the improvement of the competitiveness and sustainability of the European textile industry, because the industrial-scale application of US in the processes investigated by the partners will result in the following benefits:
a) reduction of processing time, allowing shorter production runs;
b) savings of energy and chemicals, with the consequent economical benefits for the industry due to the reduction of costs, and environmental benefits, due to the reduction of discharges of hazardous substances;
c) enhancement of biotechnical / enzymatic processes in textile manufacturing, thus contributing to the diffusion of new eco-efficient technologies based on biotechnology in the textile sector.

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