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Propex GeoSolutions as geosynthetic solution

Propex GeoSolutions is a global leader in manufacturing geosynthetic and erosion control solutions. The diverse portfolio of products helps build and rebuild key infrastructure across the globe, supporting the transportation infrastructure and erosion control markets. The manufacturing and distribution facility in Ringgold, Georgia boasts the largest global geosynthetic capacity under one roof with the capacity to produce 400 million square meters annually.  Propex ships geosynthetic products to customers in 85 countries and has distributors located in 45 counties.

Engineered Earth Armoring Solutions

One system that incorporates PYRAMAT is ARMORMAX®, the most advanced flexible armoring technology available for severe erosion and surficial slope stability challenges.  ARMORMAX combines PYRAMAT HPTRM and Engineered Earth Anchors to lock soil in place, protect against hydraulic stresses and provide up to 75 years of design life.  This system is used in erosion control applications where additional factors of safety are required, including protecting earthen levees from storm surge and wave overtoppping, and stream, river and canal banks from scour and erosion. Most notably, ARMORMAX has been used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to repair and armor over 1 million square yards of earthen levees in Louisiana.  In addition, this system is ideally suited to protect storm water channels in arid and semi-arid environments where vegetation densities of less than 30% coverage are anticipated. For slope stability applications, the system provides surficial slope stabilization to resist shallow plane failures.

Environmentally Friendly

There are a number of environmental benefits to using an engineered plastic instead of a hard armor alternative for erosion control and slope stabilization. Cradle to grave, the carbon footprint for 1m2 of PYRAMAT 75 is 2.7kg CO2.  This is more than 30 times less than concrete alternative. or comparison, the carbon footprint of concrete is 200-300 kg CO2.  Additionally, Propex’s erosion control solutions are engineered with patented X3® Fiber Technology to promote rapid root development, most installations are covered by vegetation after several months, providing a more natural look compared to the stale appearance of rock rip rap and concrete alternatives.  HPTRMs also support a living shoreline by maintaining a cooler water temperature, which is healthier for aquatic life.  Conversely, concrete alternatives can decrease streamside vegetation & adversely impact fish populations. This armoring system has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Best Management Practice (BMP) to improve water quality because it decreases sedimentation and pollutants and encourages infiltration of water back into the ground water table.

GMO Test for Organic Cotton

Cotton Field during Sunset HDR Image.

The popularity of organic cotton has grown substantially in recent years. Consumers are increasingly worried about the environment and about harmful substances in the products they buy for themselves and their families.

For families that care about the environment  organic foods and textiles are good choices, and are products for which they are willing to pay a premium. But, in return for that extra investment, consumers expect the organic products they buy to be genuine and verifiable as such. New testing from OEKO-TEX® helps companies throughout the global supply chain easily test their organic cotton products for GMOs (genetically modified organisms), a molecular-level indicator of whether or not cotton products actually meet a fundamental definition of organic.

Today, about 70% of cotton globally is genetically altered. For example, some forms of cotton have been engineered to be herbicide-resistant. Others have been infused with an insecticide to kill pests like boll weevils. While the industry can make strong arguments in favour of these cotton DNA modifications, the producers and consumers of organic cotton reject them. They place greater value on the environmental, social, and product safety paybacks that they perceive organic cotton offers.

organic cotton

To qualify as organic and to be marketed as such, cotton must meet a comprehensive list of criteria governing the cultivation, processing, and segregation of the cotton. One major requirement is that the cotton plants cannot be genetically engineered. With today’s complex, global, multi-sourced supply chain, how can a manufacturer be confident that organic cotton products are not contaminated with non-organic cotton so that customer and consumer expectations as well as regulations are consistently met?

New GMO testing by OEKO-TEX® provides a straightforward manner to test for genetically modified organisms in organic cotton. Samples are analyzed using qPCR (real-time polymerase chain reaction) technology, which can identify known genetically modified materials at a limit of 0.1%. Test results clearly indicate whether these GMOs were detected or not. Organic cotton products seeking STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX certification will be required to undergo GMO testing. GMO testing is optional for other products. Currently, the GMO testing technology is limited to cotton.

“We learned in our ‘The Key To Confidence’ study that consumers who buy eco-friendly clothing and home textiles are likely to verify claims,” says Georg Dieners, OEKO-TEX® General Secretary. “The new GMO testing gives manufacturers and marketers confidence that their organic cotton products meet regulatory and consumer expectations with regards to GMOs as well as the independent, traceable documentation to prove it.”

Recycling polyester waste

polyester waster

Eastman wants the launch a way to reduce polyester waste. It is an innovative advanced circular recycling technology that uses polyester waste. It is abpout to use the waste that cannot be recycled by current mechanical methods, and as a result, often ends up in landfills and waterways.

Using the process of methanolysis, Eastman’s advanced circular recycling technology breaks down polyester-based products into their polymer building blocks. These building blocks can then be reintroduced to the production of new polyester-based polymers, delivering a true circular solution. Advanced circular recycling technology can be an especially impactful solution, as low-quality polyester waste that would typically be diverted to landfills can instead be recycled into high-quality polyesters suitable for use in a variety of end markets, including food contact applications.

“We recognize that plastic waste is a complex problem that needs advanced solutions. As we have engaged potential partners, it is clear there is high interest across the entire value chain,” said Mark Costa, Eastman’s Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer. “Our long history of technical expertise in chemical processes, including methanolysis, and our leading position in copolyester chemistry, enables us to provide this innovative solution to address the growing challenges of plastic waste in our environment.”

polyester waster recycling

Eastman is currently executing an engineering feasibility study on the design and construction of a commercial scale methanolysis facility to meet the demands of our customers and has engaged in initial discussions with potential partners across the value chain on the development of such a facility. The goal is to be operating a full-scale, advanced circular recycling facility within 24 to 36 months.

Eastman’s efforts to find new end-of-life solutions to advance the circular economy align with the company’s innovation-driven growth strategy and commitment to create value through sustainability. With a strong focus on issues and opportunities within the environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework, the company has established goals and strategies to address the world’s complex challenges.

Eastman is a global specialty materials company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With the purpose of enhancing the quality of life in a material way, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. The company’s innovation-driven growth model takes advantage of world-class technology platforms, deep customer engagement, and differentiated application development to grow its leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. As a globally inclusive and diverse company, Eastman employs approximately 14,500 people around the world and serves customers in more than 100 countries. The company had 2018 revenues of approximately $10 billion and is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA.

First Fabric to Automatically Cool or Insulate

insulate Fabric

University of Maryland researchers have created a fabric that dynamically regulates heat passing through it. Despite decades of innovation in fabrics with high-tech thermal properties that keep marathon runners cool or alpine hikers warm, there has never been a material that cool or insulate in response to the environment. Until now.

University of Maryland researchers have created a fabric that can automatically regulate the amount of heat that passes through it. When conditions are warm and moist, such as those near a sweating body, the fabric allows infrared radiation (heat) to pass through.


When conditions become cooler and drier, the fabric reduces the heat that escapes.

The researchers created the fabric from specially engineered yarn coated with a conductive metal. Under hot, humid conditions, the strands of yarn compact and activate the coating, which changes the way the fabric interacts with infrared radiation. They refer to the action as “gating” of infrared radiation, which acts as a tunable blind to transmit or block heat.

“This is the first technology that allows us to dynamically gate infrared radiation,” said YuWang, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry  at UMD and one of the paper’s corresponding authors who directed the studies.

The base yarn for this new textile is created with fibers made of two different synthetic materials—one absorbs water and the other repels it. The strands are coated with carbon nanotubes, a special class of lightweight, carbon-based, conductive metal. Because materials in the fibers both resist and absorb water, the fibers warp when exposed to humidity such as that surrounding a sweating body. That distortion brings the strands of yarn closer together, which does two things. First, it opens the pores in the fabric. This has a small cooling effect because it allows heat to escape. Second, and most importantly, it modifies the electromagnetic coupling between the carbon nanotubes in the coating.

cool or insulate fabric

“You can think of this coupling effect like the bending of a radio antenna to change the wavelength or frequency it resonates with,” Wang said. “It’s a very simplified way to think of it, but imagine bringing two antennae close together to regulate the kind of electromagnetic wave they pick up. When the fibers are brought closer together, the radiation they interact with changes. In clothing, that means the fabric interacts with the heat radiating from the human body.”

Depending on the tuning, the fabric either cool or insulate the heat. The reaction is almost instant, so before people realize they’re getting hot, the garment could already be cooling them down. On the flip side, as a body cools down, the dynamic gating mechanism works in reverse to trap in heat.

“The human body is a perfect radiator. It gives off heat quickly,” said Min Ouyang, a professor of physics at UMD and the paper’s other corresponding author. “For all of history, the only way to regulate the radiator has been to take clothes off or put clothes on. But this fabric is a true bidirectional regulator.”

 Recyclable Automotive Interior Material 

automotive interior

RENOLIT, with a leading global position in the production of thermoplastic and thermoformable materials for the automotive market, is promoting recycable automotive interior material.

RENOLIT TECNOGOR is next generation, thermoformable sheet and roll material. It has already gained a leading position in the global automotive interiors market with major OEM end customers. German, Italian, French and Japanese car makers now use RENOLIT TECNOGOR for a variety of thermoformed, custom coated, vehicle interior 3D trim parts. Successful applications include: parcel shelves, load floors, seat back covers, dashboard inserts and trunk trims.

RENOLIT TECNOGOR is a safe, clean, 100% recyclable, glass fiber (GF) reinforced, PP based, lighweight thermoplastic composite material. It has been specifically designed to cost effectively produce automotive interior trim parts. Tier 1 converters are able to combine superior part performance with consistent quality and higher productivity, while also achieving lower production costs as it can be 3D shaped in a ‘glue free’ one-step-process.

The superior stiffness and impact performance of RENOLIT TECNOGOR is thanks to the unique, patented, PP/GF composition and extrusion process used. It is also very safe to form and handle, as there are no free floating fibers in the air or exposed glass fibers in the finished molding; all glass fibers are completely encapsulated in the PP polymer matrix during extrusion. Like virtually all products in the RENOLIT COMPOSITES range, it can be provided with a textile or film applied to the surface.

interior material

Other 100% recyclable, safe to handle, RENOLIT COMPOSITES products for automotive interior include:

RENOLIT GORCELL – a very high stiffness, sandwich design composite sheet material with a hexagonal honeycomb PP core, produced in-house by forming and folding PP film, using the ECONCORE production technology. The honeycomb core makes this product especially lightweight, with very high stiffness and compressive strength. It is also extremely durable and water-resistant, with high thermal and chemical resistance properties.

This highly versatile sandwich product is available in standard 5, 10, 15 and 20 mm core thickness options. Depending on the application, the PP honeycomb core can be combined with a wide variety of textile or film surface skin materials such as: RENOLIT TECNOGOR, NATGOR or WOOD-STOCK sheets; high impact or decorative films; scratch protectors; non-woven fabrics. Main application areas include: load bearing floors, parcel shelves, door panelling and seat back covers.

RENOLIT FLEXIGOR – a highly thermoformable, low VOC, composite sheet material based on polyolefin and renewable natural/ mineral raw material fillers. The product is extruded in sheets or rolls, supplied ready to form with the aesthetic surface fabric needed applied to either one or both sides as required. Key application areas include: door inserts/ panels (map pockets), trunk side trims, wheel arch liners.

RENOLIT provide customers with added value technical support and process knowhow to find cost effective interior trim material solutions. Customized, made to order material options can be rapidly developed, including supplying test materials produced in-house on the prototyping thermoforming line.

Basalt fiber in laminated composites: from theory to practice

basalt fiber

In the context of modern requirements to structural materials, laminated composites attract much attention from professionals working in almost all industries. Laminates have a sandwich structure with separate layers bound in a monolith by a matrix material.

Laminated composites have huge potential due to almost unlimited reinforcing and matrix materials, and offer the possibility of developing high-strength, corrosion-resistant and lightweight materials, including thin-walled hollow products. Matrix materials are comprised of metals and alloys, carbon and ceramics, organic and inorganic polymers. The choice depends on the physicochemical and operational properties required for the final product. Combining the most relevant properties of each component, a developer can obtain innovative structural composites with properties surpassing traditional materials.

Well-matched matrix and reinforcing material enable the developers to compensate for the negative characteristics of some components, attaining almost perfect material properties relevant to the application field, given the range and types of expected loads and operating conditions.

basalt fiber

Matrix is assigned an important role: to ensure density of the product, to secure its shape and reinforcing materials allocation, to distribute stresses in the composite volume, providing a uniform load on the filler and the load redistribution upon the destruction of some part of the filler.

Requirements for matrix materials can be divided into
 operational, which are related to the mechanical and physicochemical properties of
the matrix material, ensuring the workability of the composition under various
operational factors;
 technological, which ensure efficient joint operation of fibers under various types of
Equally important is the complex of operational and technological requirements, which
reinforcing material has to satisfy:
 operational requirements, such as strength, rigidity, density, stability of properties in
the required temperature range, chemical resistance;
 technological requirements that determine the feasibility of organising a highly efficient manufacturing process of fiber reinforced products.

Laminated composites are usually reinforced with fiber, bands, fabrics, tows, woven and non-woven textiles, it is also possible to combine different types of materials in one composition. Individual plies of a matrix component can be disperse reinforced. Properties and cost place basalt fiber in the intermediate position between carbon and fiberglass. This is a reason why designers increasingly select it as a filler in hybrid laminated composites, e.g. combining it with carbon and glass reinforcement.

Russian invisible helmets

Russian helmets can make the forces invisible thanks to a new material.The Russian corporation Rostec came up with a new design – a textile material that can successfully mask soldiers and military equipment. Invisible 

Sergei Chemezov, CEO at Rostec, explains that the new material behaves like a chameleon, meaning it adapts to the colour of the surroundings. Initially, the textile will be used for military purposes, with wider applications added in time. The costs to date have not been revealed, but there are rumours saying that it reaches well over $100 million. Rostec is not the only company contributing to the design – it involves also RosElectronics, a leading Russian electronics company, and TsNIITOCHMASH, a major company involved in producing armament for the Russian military and MVD Internal Troops, to name but a few.

According to Chemezov, the need for innovative textiles has grown considerably. With the industrial production of the new material already launched, the experts and designers affiliated with the company focus especially on a special military invisible helmets. In time, the textile will be used for masking tanks and other types of military equipment. Currently, the scientific team at Rostec strived to improve the material even further, e.g. to enable the textile to present dynamic changes regarding colour intensity.

Viktor Yevtukhov, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of Russia, expresses this hope that this development opens the possibilities of designing smart clothing; he says that unique materials will be sought after to produce clothing, especially pieces designed for special purposes, e.g. withstanding extreme conditions.

According the official data, the value of the innovative and smart textiles market in Russia reaches US$ 1,3 billion, though the overall consumption in Russia is two times lower than in developed countries. Rostec is not the only company that wants to expand their activity in this field. The Russian government is eager to support such initiatives as it will make the Russian technical textiles more competitive and in demand.

Difficult production of polyester-cellulosic fiber

cellulosic-poliester fiber

Demand for polyester-cellulosic fiber is growing worldwide. The blend combines the power of polyester and the comfort of cellulose to satisfy consumers who want apparel and home furnishings that perform better and look and feel good for longer.

Demand for polyester-cellulosic fiber is growing day by day.

The polyester fiber in the blend provides excellent crease recovery and shape retention, as well as easy care and durability. The cellulosic fiber offers absorbency, comfort and good heat conduction for winter warmth and summer cooling.

Unfortunately, there is a catch: producing polyester-cellulosic blends is challenging.

Processing challenges

Each fiber type has its own dyeing process, so the overall dyeing cycle is much longer. This drives up costs, as you need more dye, more chemicals, and more energy and water.

Using more energy and water also carries a high environmental cost, especially in an age of stricter government regulations and higher consumer expectations. Furthermore, the standard way to dye polyester-cellulosic blends uses hydrosulphite, which is harmful to the environment and makes wastewater more difficult to treat.

Many leading brands today have a clean, green image that means their suppliers must avoid pollutants and minimize the water and energy they use during production.

Difficult choices

Adding to the challenge, polyester-cellulosic blends command a lower price in the market than pure cellulosic fibers because polyester costs less than cotton or other cellulosic. Despite this, blends require longer to process, consume more utilities and create fastness and reproducibility issues.

All of these factors mean that textile mills are constantly making difficult choices as they strive to balance profitability and performance.

The selection of disperse and reactive dyes is fundamental to achieving good wet-fastness results and a shorter and most cost-effective dyeing process for polyester-cellulosic blends.

Trade Fair Techtextil 2019

On May 14-17, 2019, the International Textile Fair Techtextil 2019 was held in Frankfurt. As every year, it attracts a large number of exhibitors and visitors. There were also delegations from our Tetex.com editorial office.

The International Trade Fair for Technical Textiles TechniTextil is very popular every year. Organized in Frankfurt – the current financial capital of Germany – it gathered over 310 exhibitors from 35 countries. The tands and exhibitions of the companies were placed  in the huge surface of Messe Frankfurt exhibition halls. The Techtextil accompanying event would be focused on the process of making technical materials – Texprocess.

The day before the fair, a press conference was held, in which we were able to get acquainted with the current textile details in the world. The presented ranking of the most-dynamic supplier confirmed the very strong position of China on the European market. In addition, the most important textile trends were presented during the conference. These include the development of 3D products, artificial intelligence and the digitization of the supply chain.

The fair met with enthusiastic reaction of both visitors and exhibitors. They gave the opportunity to present unique products and also become a forum for inspiring conversations.

The delegation from Tetex Limited presented the patented anti-burglary tarpaulin system during the fair. In addition, it was also an excellent opportunity to distribute the latest issue of Tetex Magazine. A special fair edition could be purchased at our booth in hall 4.1 or in the press center.

We kindly invite you to see our gallery of photos taken during the show:

Transparent wood breakthrough in the construction industry

One of the oldest building materials in the world can soon change drastically. Wood is a perfect insulator, durable and is also a renewable resource, which makes it appreciated by manufacturers around the world. However, despite its best features it is still opaque. What makes it necessary to use glass and other artificial materials to let natural light into the rooms – necessary for people to maintain mental health and to save artificial light.

Problems of modern buildings

Unfortunately, currently used glass is not a good insulator. Looking for an alternative to windows that lose heat in the winter and not protect against heat in the summer, a team of researchers from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden has developed a chemical wood treatment process that makes it transparent and does not lose its most important properties.

We have prepared a material that is multi-functional – it can transmit light very well and also store heat. We have combined these two functions in one material – says Céline Montanari, one of the researchers working on the project.

Currently, around one-third of global energy consumption comes from the construction sector – largely due to heating, cooling and indoor lighting systems. Transparent wood is therefore presented as a potential replacement for energy-efficient constructions.

Innovative technology

The woodworking process begins with the removal of lignin – a polymer that makes the wood stiff. The resulting element remains structurally strong and looks like matt glass. The team went a step further – filling the holes left after removal of lignin, with polyethylene glycol. It is a phase changing material that can be solid or liquid depending on the ambient temperature. As the temperature rises, it melts, and when it cools it becomes very durable. Wood cell walls provide structure for the polymer. As it progress through this focusing process, the solid acquires different levels of transparency – from a more matte appearance to almost a completely transparent one.

Energy saving

This material feature makes it not an ideal replacement for glass, however, it will be suitable as a skylight to increase the amount of natural light in the building. The more modified wood can be included in a given project, the smaller the energy footprint will be left behind.

100 grams of wood material with polyethylene glycol can absorb up to 8,000J of heat, which essentially corresponds to what a 1W bulb can produce in two hours – says Dr. Montanari. – Another advantage is that the material has the strength of wood and will not fall apart when impacted, so it is therefore much safer than glass.

Researchers are now looking to increase the thermal capacity of transparent wood to achieve even greater energy savings. They cooperate with various companies to establish plans related to the production of material on an industrial scale. It is assumed that a commercial product will appear on the market within 5 years.