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18/07/2015 — auf Deutsch lesen

IVGT: Renewed success at Techtextil

The 2015 Techtextil trade show in Frankfurt once again lived up to its claim as an international platform for innovation and, after four days of the show, set new records for the number of both attendees and exhibitors. According to initial feedback from textiles manufacturers, a successful outcome can be expected for the entire industry.

For the exhibitors specialising in textiles finishing, the issue of sustainability was at the focus of a number of innovations. Processes optimised for energy efficiency as well as new coatings and adhesives, in combination with automated cutting and joining processes, allow the manufacture of products which were previously only possible using downstream processes.

In the fibres and yarns segment, new hybrid materials were showcased in Hall 4.1. In Hall 3.1., the spectrum of high-performance filaments, from polymers to ceramic fibres, was demonstrated in finished products. Alongside the ever-growing segment of Oekotech applications – including thinner filtration materials, for example – a number of high-temperature applications for Indutech and Mobiltech textiles could be seen.

Among the fabric producers, innovations were concentrated on surface structuring and the manufacture of 3D, multi-layered fabrics. The increased use of flame-retardant fibres allows for a reduction in wet application and subsequent drying processes, which have been necessary until now. On the one hand, this presents new challenges to the textiles production chain. On the other hand, it enables sensitive materials to be processed for use in technical textiles for the first time.

Germany, jointly with Norway, has submitted a proposal to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to restrict the manufacture, marketing, import and use of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) as well as its salts and precursors. The proposed PFOA limit of 2 ppb will lead to a general ban on many fluorine products. Despite many press reports to the contrary, PFOA is not used in the textiles industry for finishing water, oil and stain resistant textiles, but instead is created in trace amounts during the manufacture of perfluorinated compounds. If this dossier were to be legally implemented in its current form, it would have serious consequences for the German and European textiles industries, as well as for the entire production chain.

Among those affected would be safety-related textiles for the fire, police and health services, the military and also the automobile industry. If the efficacy of water, stain, and oil resistant apparel were to be brought into question by the ECHA’s proposals, a range of technical specifications would be limited further, or no longer possible at all.

This would have serious implications in terms of compliance with DIN EN ISO standards and the technical specifications of textiles customers, particularly the German armed forces’ delivery specifications, technical specifications in the automobile industry, clothing for public authorities, technical protective clothing, fire service protective clothing, medical textiles etc. In order to prevent this, an alliance has been formed between the chemicals industry, the textiles and clothing industry, and other stakeholders to allow the continued use of fluorocarbon finishing based on C-6 chemistry and PTFE fibres and emulsions.

[ www.ivgt.de]

9 July: Work Group Textiles Chain & Business Assessment

8 September: Company Directors’ Debate Weaving

15 September: Business Management Committee

21 September: Specialist Community Textile Polishing Wheels