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Technical textile

A technical textile is a textile product manufactured for non-aesthetic purposes, where function is the primary criterion. Technical textiles include textiles for automotive applications, medical textiles (e.g., implants), geotextiles (reinforcement of embankments), agrotextiles (textiles for crop protection), and protective clothing (e.g., heat and radiation protection for fire fighter clothing, molten metal protection for welders, stab protection and bulletproof vests, and spacesuits).

It is a large and growing sector and supports a vast array of other industries. The global growth rates of technical textiles is about 4% per year greater than the growth of home and apparel textiles, which are growing at a rate of 1% per year. Currently, technical textile materials are most widely used in filter clothing, furniture, hygiene medicals and construction material.

Technical textiles can be divided into many categories, depending on their end use. The classification system developed by Techtextil, Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH, is widely used in Europe, North America and Asia. Techtextil specifies 12 application areas: Agrotech, Buildtech, Clothtech, Geotech, Hometech, Indutech, Medtech, Mobiltech, Oekotech, Packtech, Protech, and Sporttech. These are sometimes spelled Agrotex, Buildtex, Clothtex, Geotex, Hometex, Indutex, Medtex, Mobiltex, Oekotex (Ecotex), Packtex, Protex and Sportex

Textiles used in Agriculture are termed as agro textiles. They are used for crop protection, fertilisation, ... The essential properties required are strength, elongation, stiffness, and bio-degradation, resistance to sunlight and resistance to toxic environment. All these properties help with the growth and harvesting of crops and other foodstuffs. There is a growing interest in using materials which gradually degrade.

Some of the examples of agro textiles are:

Textiles used in construction - concrete reinforcement, façade foundation systems, interior construction, insulations, proofing materials, air conditioning, noise prevention, visual protection, protection against the sun, building safety.

An interesting and astethic appealing application is the use of textile membranes for roof construction. This area is also referred to as textile architecture. PVC coated high tenacity PES, teflon coated glass fibre fabrics or silicone coated PES are used for their low creep properties. Splendid examples of such construction are found in football stadia, airports and hotels.

Technical textiles for clothing applications. Especially in the finishing process where fabric is treated under pressure and high temperature the technical textile supports the fabric for smooth processing. This is usually the blend of polyester,modal,viscose,nylon,etc.

  • Preventing erosion and paving way for afforestation in greenhouse cover and fishing nets.
  • For Layer separation in fields, nets for plants, rootless plants & protecting grassy areas.
  • As sun screens (since they have adjustable screening) and wind shields.
  • As packing material and in bags for storing grass (that has been mowed).
  • Controlling stretch in knitted nets.
  • Shade for basins.
  • Anti-birds nets.
  • Fabrics for sifting and separation, for the phases of enlargement of the larvae.
  • Materials for ground and plant water management at the time of scarcity and abundance of water.
  • High temperatures (insulating, firefighters)
  • Burns (flame, convective and radiant heat, firefighters, ATEX area)
  • Electric arc flash discharge (plasma explosion, Electric companies)
  • Molten metal impacts (foundries)
  • Metal sparks (welding)
  • Acid environment (petrochemical, gas, refineries, chemical)
  • Bullet impact (military, security)
  • Cut resistant (gloves, glass industry)
  • Astronaut's suits
  • Meta-Para aramides – Nomex: high resistance, tear, tensile strength, expensive,
  • Wool viscoses polyamide – marlan : repelency of molten metal, heat insulation, transparency.
  • Glass fiber - High resistance, insulating.
  • Polyamide – Kevlar : extreme resistance, low aging
  • Horrocks, A.R.; S.C. Anand. "Handbook of Technical Textiles." The Textile Institute. Woodhead Publishing Limited (2000)


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