Fabric harnessing energy from sun and motion is here

Over the past few years, textile sector has been witnessing a gamut of innovations that has changed the face of the industry. Right from glowing fabrics to self-cleaning fabrics, every innovation in textiles has made people stand up and take notice.

In a new development, researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology, US, have woven a new fabric that can harvest energy from the sun and motion. This can be indeed called a turning point in the history of textiles innovation where scientists have woven photoanodes (solar cells made from lightweight polymer fibers) and triboelectric nanogenerators ( generate small amounts of electricity from motion) together to produce a piece of cloth called, ‘hybrid power textile’. The new textile is 320 micrometers thick and said to be ‘highly flexible, breathable, light-weight and adaptable to a range of uses’.

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Image Curtesy: inhabit.com

According to Georgia Tech, the oldest polytechnic universities in the United States, the team used a piece of fabric about the size of a standard sheet of paper, and then attached it to a rod, similar to how a flag is mounted.The textile ‘flag’ was then allowed to blow in the wind while being driven in a car with the windows down, which generated ‘significant power’, even on a cloudy day. The output of a 4 cm x 5 cm piece of the power textile was said to be capable of charging a 2 microfarad capacitor to 2 V in one minute from motion and sunlight, essentially showing “a decent capability of working even in a harsh environment’.

The team published its findings in the journal Nature Energy under the theme, ‘Micro-cable structured textile for simultaneously harvesting solar and mechanical energy’.

This innovation in textiles open up a way for future textile, which is both viable and environment friendly. The best part is that the textile is made of commonly-used polymer materials, which are economical and environment friendly, thus, creating a possibility of large-scale manufacturing. At present, the team is working on improving the durability of ‘Hybrid power textile’ over the long term and optimizing it for industrial purposes, including developing ways to protect the electrical components in it from moisture.

Innovation in Textiles: Hohenstein develops textile finish with sensory cooling effect

As part of an IGF research project, scientists at the Hohenstein Institute have been developing and analysing a textile finish that could provide a sensory cooling effect.

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Image Courtesy: hohenstein.de

This being an innovation in textiles, the sensory perception of cold depended not only on the area of skin being treated but also on a range of other parameters, such as the moisture level in the skin and the topography of the skin surface.

This textile finish is based on p-menthane derivatives (agonists) such as WS-3 (N-ethyl-p-menthane-3-carboxamide) or L-menthyl lactate and icilin.These substances have the advantage that, when spread in very low concentrations on small areas of the body, they have a lasting mild cooling effect throughout their period of activity.

This kind of sensory cooling textile finish was tested on different textile substrates made from natural or synthetic fibres and blends, and in concentrations of the active ingredient ranging from 0.1‰ – 1%.

Geo-textile technology being used to repair NH-8

For the first time, Geo-textile technology is being used to repair damaged parts of National Highway-8 (NH-8)

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Image Courtesy:nelive.in

Geo-textiles are permeable fabrics which, when used in association with soil, have the ability to separate, filter, reinforce, protect or drain. Typically made from polypropylene or polyester, geo-textile fabrics come in three basic forms: woven (resembling mail bag sacking), needle punched (resembling felt) and heat-bonded (resembling ironed felt).Repairing work is going on a war footing to improve the stability of the soil for

Repairing work is going on a war footing to improve the stability of the soil for all-weather road that leads into Tripura.

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Image Courtesy: nelive.in

Geo-textile composites have been introduced and products such as geo-grids and meshes have been developed. Overall, these materials are referred to as geo-synthetics and each configuration – geo-nets, geo-grids, geo-tubes (such as TITAN Tubes) and others – can yield benefits in geo-technical and environmental engineering design.

Textile Conference on Natural Fibres featuring Innovation in Textile

3rd International Conference on Natural Fibers,ICNF 2017, will be held in Braga, Portugal, from 21-23 June 2017. It is the third conference rendering innovation in textiles The conference will focus on Advanced Materials for a Greener World, aiming to explore the potential of natural fibres to build a Greener World for the future generations.

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Image Courtesy: icnf2017.fibrenamics.com

The textile conference will bring together various universities, research and technological centres, companies and all those interested in these amazing materials called natural fibres. The conference aims to represent a forum for exchanging ideas, presenting the latest developments and trends, proposing new solutions and promoting international collaborations.

The conference is being organized by the University of Minho, through the Fibrenamics International Platform, and is focused on the latest scientific and technical advances in natural fibres and fibre-based materials, for advanced applications towards a greener world.

Future innovation in textiles will be Self-repairing textiles

A new technology to coat fabric in self-healing, thin films may one day lead to chemically protective suits that may prevent farmers from exposure to pesticides, soldiers from chemical or biological attacks.

Melik Demirel, Professor at Pennsylvania State University talks about the new innovation in textile technology with new enzyme incorporated coating.

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The procedure is simple: The material to be coated is dipped in a series of liquids to create layers of material to form a self-healing, polyelectrolyte layer-by-layer coating.

Polyelectrolyte coatings are made up of positively and negatively charged polymers.During the layering, enzymes can be incorporated into the coating.

The researchers used urease – the enzyme that breaks urea into ammonia and carbon dioxide – but in commercial use, the coating would be tailored with enzymes matched to the chemical being targeted.

LG Develops Flexible Pressure Sensors: An innovative textile technology

LG Innotek, a LG’s subsidiary, has developed a textile pressure sensor that could be used in industries like healthcare and manufacturing. Commercialisation of the innovative textile sensors is yet to begin but the South Korean company (LG) claims to invent these textile sensors that are superior to the existing inflexible and stiff pressure sensors.

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Image Courtesy:  bsal.com

The sensors are made from elastic polyurethane material that enables it to be integrated into other products seamlessly and they can be used in cars to detect driver’s posture, body type, weight, and automatically adjusting the seat or pressure of an airbag.

The sensors can be used to make pressure-sensitive shoes or carpets to detect a patient’s movement or to make pressure-sensitive golf club to improve a golfer’s grip.