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New functional and smart fibers for technical textile applications


Tracks of solutions for fibre rupture detection: conductive yarns or piezoelectric yarns can be used to reach this objective. These solutions have been tested only at the lab scale.
Specific detectable molecules for protection against counterfeiting: Specific pigments have been found which can be introduced in the polymer and used during extrusion process even in the case of fine denier fibres as produced by NYLSTAR.
Different methods of detection can be used which require more or less heavy equipment:
- Specific process for the grafting of photo chromic polymers. A new method has been developed for PP fibre. This method is very fast and lead to an important reaction yield compared to other techniques. A patent concerning this grafting process is going to be filled in co-ownership between partners;
- Specific photo chromic PP yarns: Different photo chromic PP yarns have been produced from modified master batch produced by RUG. First at the lab scale with IFTH pilot equipment where different formulations have been tested. In the second step with MURTRA industrial scale equipment. From these industrial yarns DOGI produced knitted fabrics using photo chromic yarns in different ways (100% photo chromic yarns, stripped yarns, jacquard pattern).
Scientific and technical objectives: New progresses in polymer chemistry allow the grafting of functional groups, inducing new and "tailor made" properties. Applications to textile materials (basically composed of polymers), can lead to "intelligent" or "smart" fibers, which new induced properties can fill the lack of functionality (e.g. detection of out of range tension to prevent breaking, antistatic properties..); or giving "desirable" function: fragrant fibers, thermochromic or photochromic fibers (change in colour under heat or UV), in which the function provides a feeling of satisfaction or fulfils an emotional need but also may provide a protection guarantee against external conditions. The objectives of the project are the development of a specific technology leading to innovative and smart fibers with specific properties ( piezochromic, magnetic and thermo and photochromic ); to apply in the field of extrusion-spinning the specific grafting method developed on the base of few classical polymers; and to evaluate the possibilities of extension and generalisation to different fibers and extrusion processes, in order to be able to propose "smart" textile products for European industrial production. This high innovative research work represents a unique opportunity to increase competitiveness of textile sector via higher quality and added value products and leading to social, health and safety impacts. Industrial objectives: The research involved in this project will allow to develop new textile products with a high level of added value and quality contributing to a higher competitiveness for the European textile industry against far and medium east countries. This objective will stem from a cross-sectorial transfer of technology (from chemistry to textile). Targeted markets are both wearing and technical textiles (e.g. Ieisure and sports, health, industrial... ) and concern most of the synthetic fiber production which represent about 2 Millions of tonnes in Europe. The tendency of European production has been in a slight decrease for a few years. The production of functional products should reverse this tendency, leading within a long term period to an increase estimated at 5 % per year which represents more than 300 Mecus per year only for fiber production. Approach: The use of existing techniques of polymer grafting (chemical and radiochemical processes, already developed by 2 of the research organisations) will have to be adapted to the functional molecules (chemichromic and magnetic) and polymers constituting the fibers. Lab-scale experiments will be performed by Research Organisations as to define the process and product requirements and thus the tools for future industrial development. This work will be performed with two producers of synthetic fibers as well as end-products manufacturers in order to ensure a soon industrialisation. This strong partnership will be able to build exploitation plans for a industrial development at an European level. This project is related to areas 1.2, 2.1 and 2.3 of the workprogram and is well in conformity with the objectives of BRITE-EURAM III.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Institut Textile de France
Avenue Guy De Collongue
69132 Ecully

Participants (5)

Automatic Instant Mesures & Contrôle Optique SA

33500 Libourne
Dogi S.A.
13-15,Pintor Doménech Farré 13-15
8320 El Masnou
Industrias Murtra SA
94,Cl. Jordi Camp 94
8400 Granollers
Nylstar S.p.A.
55,Via Friuli 55
20031 Cesano Maderno
Universiteit Gent
281,Krijgslaan 281
9000 S4 Gent