Author

Beatriz Domenech

R+D Projects

16th of December 2020

efiterm
Building energy efficiency is one of the main requirements for sustainability in new construction. Solar protection devices are systems designed to control and make optimum use of solar radiation to increase both thermal and visual comfort.

 

The energy impact of these devices means that up to 40% of the energy used to heat a home can be saved, as windows are one of the points with the highest energy transmittance index. The fabrics are subject to a series of regulations, which determine both the characteristics of the devices and their different configurations. The regulations vary depending on whether fitting is exterior or interior, their combination with glazing, the transmittance and reflectance measurements to be taken on the device and their classification according to the level of thermal protection and visual comfort they provide.

The EFITERM project aims to create a range of energy efficient technical fabrics that provide real functional and aesthetic added value, increase thermal shielding and visual comfort by studying the variables that influence their performance, such as colour, structure, material and surface finish.

The project’s objectives include:

  • Research into different materials and their behaviour
  • Development of textured yarns using different technologies (DTY/ATY/BCF) to obtain optimum yarns and improve the sturdiness of the device and the shielding.
  • Study the weaving of different materials and thicknesses with varying structures and weaves.
  • Research into warp knitting capabilities, thicknesses and properties for the production of sun protection devices.
  • Finishing textile prototypes using mechanical processes
  • Characterise the properties of reflectance and transmittance to quantify the level of protection and comfort offered by the device.

The results will be compiled into an information guide.

For further information, please contact us using the form at: https://www.aitex.es/portfolio/efiterm/

File: IMDEEA/2020/9 

This project is funded by the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball of the Generalitat Valenciana, through IVACE, and is co-funded by the EU’s ERDF, within the framework of the Programa Operativo FEDER of the Comunitat Valenciana 2014-2020. 

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R+D Projects

16th of December 2020

AITEX devotes certain lines of research focus on advanced manufacturing, customisation and digitalisation: some of these R&D lines are highlighted below:

  • Development of hybrid electronic solutions on textile substrates
  • Research into the incorporation of advanced technologies into the design process and sustainable product development.

 

INTECDI – RESEARCH INTO ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES AND DESIGN FOR SUSTAINABLE FASHION PRODUCTS
intecdi

The core objective of the INTECDI project is the incorporation of advanced technologies into the design and development of sustainable fashion products. Several advanced technologies can contribute to the development of a more sustainable fashion product, but they are not being fully utilised by manufacturers for the design and development of new products. This research aims to create results that can be disseminated throughout the industry and incorporated into manufacturing processes.

Virtual simulation: this technology contributes to the improvement of sustainability by allowing the design and development of the product without the need to produce physical prototypes, avoiding the consumption of materials and energy.

Advanced clothing technologies: ultrasonic welding technologies mean a garment can be made from a single type of material, without adding yarn, facilitating its recycling once it has reached the end of its life. Research in this area will allow us to define the appropriate parameters and processes for the manufacture of garments using ultrasound.

3D scanning and printing technologies: research will be carried out into the combination of these two technologies, seeking their application in a fashion product adapted to the user, with a high added-value factor that extends its life cycle.

HYBRID – DEVELOPMENT OF HYBRID ELECTRONIC SOLUTIONS ON TEXTILE SUBSTRATES
Flexible silicone sheet. PCB detail curled to a roll. Electrical contact. Abstract bent plastic film. Drafting. Blue pattern. White background

Over the last few years, electronics has begun to transform from its traditional rigid rectangular shapes into more complex and slender forms, better adapted to the body area where the textile will be used. In some cases, flexible stretchable substrates are used, which allow better integration into textile products, to incorporate sensors or data processing and communication elements.

These flexible solutions have advanced greatly with the appearance of conductive, resistive, dielectric, electro-luminescent or semiconductor inks. By superimposing complex structures with specific designs and patterns, it is possible to create tiny sensors and components for specific functions such as electrocardiogram (ECG) electrodes, electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes, pressure sensors, humidity sensors, temperature sensors or even small circuits.

The core objective of the HYBRID project is to undertake R&D of hybrid electronic solutions combining printed circuits and integrated silicon components for textile applications. Application sectors include health, energy and consumer electronics, among others.

FILE: IMAMCI/2020/1

This project has the support of the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball de la Generalitat Valenciana, through the IVACE.

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R+D Projects

16th of December 2020

Homemade mushrooms and mycelium, champignon. Mushrooms growing.
The European project MY-FY: Re-inventing the textile industry with advanced myco-fibres, has begun. The project focuses on creating non-wovens from mycelium fibres that will offer enhanced performance and a reduced environmental impact.

The European textile and fashion industry is facing many challenges that need to be overcome if it is to remain competitive on the world market. These challenges include reducing environmental impact, adapting to new trends demanded by consumers and global market competition with countries where social and environmental standards do not apply, and adapting to just-in-time production and design on demand.

AITEX is participating in the MY-FI project, by providing innovative solutions to the challenges of today’s market, developing a bio-based textile with advanced functionalities, sustainability and performance. The non-woven, created from mycelium fibres is obtained by fungal fermentation from specific waste, and boasts enhanced performance and reduced environmental impact compared to currently available commercial fibres.

File: DLV-101000719

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Project funded by the European Union through the Horizon 2020 Grant Agreement No DLV -101000719.

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INNOVATION & LABORATORIES

23th October 2020

Coronavirus prevention medical surgical masks and hand sanitizer gel bottle dispenser for Covid-19 corona virus protection. Panoramic of PPE.
This article discusses AITEX’s experience during the turbulent key months of the pandemic. The entire AITEX team worked tirelessly, 24/7, to focus its efforts and energy to the service of the Spanish textile industry, public administration and society.

The laboratories division

Since the beginning of March, more specifically since the Spanish government declared a state of alarm on 14 March, the recent months have been the most intense and stressful that the Institute’s staff have ever experienced. The microbiology laboratory, the medical textiles management unit, the APPE laboratory (non-textile personal protective equipment) and PPE (personal protective equipment: clothing and gloves) have all been working flat out.

We were declared essential and worked 24/7, in microbiology and medical textiles during March, April, May and June, and since the beginning of June in the case of APPE. All of our technical units were bolstered by staff from other units within AITEX, to offer the sector permanent telephone service teams of more than 15 technicians and heads of the laboratories and management units, from six in the morning until half past nine in the evening.

The microbiology laboratory has been testing and approving surgical masks in accordance with standard EN 14683:2019+AC:2019, hygienic single-use masks in accordance with standard UNE 0064 (parts 1 and 2) and hygienic reusable masks in accordance with standard UNE 0065. These three mask types were the workhorse throughout the pandemic. Surgical gowns have also been tested and approved in accordance with standard 13795-1:2019, and the antibacterial capacity of fabrics evaluated in accordance with standard ISO 20743.

All of these efforts enabled Spanish fabrics to be approved for use in surgical and hygiene masks when, at the height of the pandemic in Spain, there was no alternative to fabrics for the manufacture of masks approved by AITEX. The same was true of fabrics for surgical and medical gowns and ready-made masks and gowns.

On 23 March, AITEX had already designed and produced a 5-layer Type IIR surgical mask using non-woven fabric manufactured in Spain with spunlace and spunbond fabrics, and just a month later, a 4-layer reusable hygienic mask based using non-woven fabric. Both prototypes were immediately made available to the Generalitat Valenciana and the Ministry of Industry.

The Generalitat Valenciana, through its IVACE programme, worked impeccably and swiftly set up mask manufacturing capacity, first in five companies in the Valencia Region, and then in a further eight companies. IVACE also promoted the manufacture of sanitary gowns approved by AITEX in another four companies in the Region.

The Ministry of Industry did the same through Fedecon, setting up eight Spanish companies to manufacture the type IIR surgical mask designed and approved by AITEX.

AITEX was not only essential but the only option available for the homologation and manufacture of masks and surgical gowns. We felt the full might of the system (regional administrations, the Spanish administration and all the companies in the sector) flow through us, as the famous meltblown surgical masks manufactured in China could not reach Spain due to China’s enormous demand and that of the wider world. We have certainly lived through exciting times, when the whole team has come together with all the energy it could muster for the greater good.

In addition, we have actively participated in the creation of the UNE 0064 and 0065 standards promoted by the Ministries of Industry and Health at the height of the pandemic. All the testing to define the standards was carried out in AITEX’s microbiology laboratory, (in the case of UNE 0064, throughout the entire Easter holidays). Over the last few months, the laboratory has issued more than 3,000 reports on the results of tests on masks and gowns.

Subsequently, AITEX actively participated in the creation of the CEN WORKSHOP AGREEMENT – CWA 17553, which established the characteristics agreed upon by European countries for disposable and reusable hygienic masks, with more permissive bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) and respiratory efficiency values than in Spanish standards.

AITEX’s APPE laboratory tests and certifies FFP2 masks according to standard EN 149:2001+A1:2010 and certification for protection only against COVID-19, according to PPE-R/02.075 Versions 1 and 2 (procedures agreed by the VG2 of European notification bodies, with respect to the Essential Health and Safety Requirements marked by Regulation (EU)2016/425). We also approve face and eye protectors, according to Standard EN 166:2002 and our own procedure 25DAT116 and PPE-R/03.031, (procedures agreed by the VG3 of European notified bodies) for the certification of these products for protection against liquid droplets and splashes.

This laboratory has also received a large number of requests for FFP2, the vast majority of which have been imported from China, either by public administrations or by companies for marketing in Spain. The disadvantage was that, during the height of the pandemic, we carried out all the tests for FFP2 at AITEX, with the exception of resistance to sodium chloride filtration, which we had to subcontract to the INSST laboratory in Seville, which is part of the Ministry of Labour. However, our swift response was to purchase the necessary equipment, and put it into operation in May, not without a great deal of effort. Our QA Department worked tirelessly to obtain ENAC approval for the test. Similarly, the PPE department at AITEX is currently testing and certifying clothing and gloves for chemical and biological protection, and exclusively for COVID-19 protection.

The Institute has invested around 200,000 euros in laboratory equipment for testing masks and gowns during the pandemic.

All the AITEX personnel involved have been working flat out, setting a magnificent example of attitude, character, commitment, spirit of service and resilience in the service of the country, business and public administration.

R&D Division

The work of AITEX’s R&D division to provide the country with effective solutions to COVID-19 must also be highlighted, although they were not working under the same degree of pressure as the laboratories. One of the main lines of R&D work in this area is described below.

The successful outcome of the TRUST project by the CDTI (Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology) within the framework of R&D and investment projects to deal with the health emergency declared by COVID-19 cannot be forgotten. This work was awarded the highest evaluation score (90.5) from more than 700 national applications for R&D and investment projects, of which only 25 will be supported by the CDTI. This project is classified within the hygiene and disinfection solutions, competing with others in the pharmaceutical and health fields in the search for a vaccine, detection tests, equipment and therapies for the disease.

 

trust

A reliable, reproducible and scalable bio-indicator system for the evaluation of massive use disinfection technologies against SARS-CoV-2 and its behaviour in textile structures.

The core goal of the project is to develop a system for the evaluation and validation of different disinfection procedures and technologies against SARS-CoV-2, based on the design and development of a bio-indicator that simulates the size and morphology of the coronavirus. The project will create valuable basic knowledge on the behaviour of the virus in different areas, as well as define, validate, and develop effective procedures and technologies for the prevention of contagion. With a view to the simulation, AITEX is planning to research and develop different series of bio-indicators to rapidly determine the effectiveness of disinfection technologies such as steam, heat by radiation or contact, ozone and UV radiation, without the need to resort to analysis with the viruses themselves and applicable to all types of textile and related surfaces. In parallel, the project will develop functionalised textiles with anti-viral active ingredients effective against the coronavirus.

File: COI-20201179

trust

Vicente Blanes

General Manager AITEX

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INNOVATION & LABORATORIES

23th October 2020

banner2_oekotex_portfolio

Industry and the private sector in general are facing the greatest challenge of recent decades following the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has increased social concern for sustainability and the environment and consequently, demand for information and transparency from consumers.

OEKO-TEX® certifications have evolved over the past 30 years with the aim of simplifying customer decisions by offering consumers peace of mind in the knowledge that the production processes and techniques used in the manufacture of an article are transparent and environmentally friendly.

In the last year, there has been a 525% increase in the number of consumers demanding products with OEKO-TEX® certification, which has issued 24,205 certificates and labels guaranteeing that production processes and methods are approved by accredited bodies.

AITEX is one of 18 institutes worldwide accredited to issue this type of certification, and market demand is growing. Amongst these, the demand for MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® and STeP by OEKO-TEX® certification has increased significantly in the last year, with the number of MADE IN GREEN® labels increasing by 115% compared to 2019

These accreditations, together with the other OEKO-TEX® certifications have been modified during 2020 by broadening and improving the requirements for awarding the certifications.

STANDARD 100

In conventional cotton cultivation, genetically modified (GMO) seeds are often used to make the plant more resistant to pesticides or insects. AITEX offers the STANDARD 100 certification, which incorporates a new method for testing GMOs in cotton to detect whether the raw cotton has been genetically modified.

LEATHER STANDARD

In the case of the OEKO-TEX® LEATHER STANDARD, goods such as horse leather have been added to the approved list while others including rabbit fur, have been removed.

OEKO-TEX® STEP and OEKO-TEX® DETOX TO ZERO

In order to reduce water pollution and the use of chemicals that are harmful to health in textile production, the OEKO-TEX® STEP certification has this year incorporated the DETOX TO ZERO requirement.

ECO PASSPORT

Since April 2020, ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX® has been one of the few certification bodies to offer all three levels of ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals). Compliance with ZDHC Level 2 can be issued via the regular certification process and offers the possibility of carrying out a self-certification process with or without a site visit.

In order to assure consumers that the tests carried out by the accredited laboratories meet the strict OEKO-TEX® requirements, AITEX as an accredited body, complies annually with the intercomparison tests carried out by the Round Robin Tests programme.

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INNOVATION & LABORATORIES

23th October 2020

Paddle tennis court, net, racket, balls.

Padel tennis has taken off in recent years. Although it has been played in Spain for over forty years, it was not until 2006 that it became widely popular in the country. On average, 2 million people play paddle tennis regularly, and it is expected that in the coming years this number will double, taking into account these statistics.

One of the main reasons for this surge in popularity is that it requires no special training, making it ideal for amateurs looking for a non-demanding sport. Added to this, the rules are quite simple so it is easy for beginners. On the other hand, paddle tennis is a team sport, which encourages social interaction in a fun environment and healthy competition.

Enjoyable play requires courts that are as safe as possible. Similarly, it is essential that good quality materials are used to improve performance and protect the players. In 2018, AENOR published the UNE 147301 standard for artificial grass sports surfaces for paddle tennis. This new standard has been drawn up to serve as a reference document for the construction, inspection and maintenance of artificial grass surfaces for paddle tennis.

The standard provides for laboratory tests, field trials and product identification and approval seals for this type of sports surface, to ensure that the sports product performance rating assessed in the laboratory is reproducible in the court itself and identified with the technical data sheets declared by the manufacturers.

The laboratory tests evaluate the resistance of the fibre or “plume” to tearing out; artificial ageing; resilience of the seams, shock absorption and resistance to rotation, among other aspects. As for on-site tests, these must be carried out on each of the elements of an installed court and include water permeability; impact absorption; resistance to rotation; vertical ball bounce and surface regularity. The assessment is generally carried out after installation and then once every two or three years, depending on the level of use and local by-laws.

AITEX currently carries out both laboratory and on-site testing. All tests are accredited for quality assurance.
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NEWS

05th October 2020

Julia Company, Director General of IVACE, León Grau, President of AITEX, Vicente Blanes, Director General of AITEX and Pepe Serna, President of ATEVAL, awarded the prizes in the Second AITEX Business Awards in two categories: innovation and sustainability.
ENTREGA PREMIOS AITEX-111

AITEX conducted the Second “AITEX Business Awards” with the aim of promoting, recognising and publicising the most exciting projects and initiatives by textile companies from all over Spain.

More than 21 companies presented their projects this time around, in the categories of Innovation and Sustainability. AITEX awarded a total of 30,000 euros: a first prize of 10,000 euros and a second prize of 5,000 in each category.

The winners of the AITEX 2019 Business Awards are:

  • Cotoblau S.A.: First prize for Sustainability

The project consists of the application of a component called CO2pure that absorbs and eliminates excess CO2 in textile products.

ENTREGA PREMIOS AITEX-88
  • Manuel Revert y Cia S.A.: First prize for Innovation.

The LASER ON FABRIC project has developed a laser treatment, applicable to a range of fabrics, to create exciting new visual effects.

ENTREGA PREMIOS AITEX-61
  • Naturtex S.L.: Second prize for Innovation.

The project employs unusual materials such as steel and copper in new commercial textile structures.

ENTREGA PREMIOS AITEX-37
  • Coba Complements: Second prize for Sustainability.

The project uses textile waste to manufacture fashion accessories such as bags, shoulder bags and purses.

ENTREGA PREMIOS AITEX-47
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R+D Projects

23th October 2020

With an eye to the challenges that Industry 4.0 and digitisation represent for the private sector, the DigiTVC project focuses on supporting SMEs by diagnosing the digitisation of their processes and the introduction of three pilot schemes with textile companies and technological start-ups.

SMEs in the textile sector in the SUDOE area have suffered a significant slowdown in recent years. Arming themselves with methodologies and tools that allow them rapid access to these new solutions would provide a differential added value to recover lost competitiveness and successfully tackle their main challenges: greater speed and flexibility, adaptation to new market demands, more personalised products and services, greater traceability and specialisation and more efficient, productive and connected production sites.

The results will be systematised to create a protocol that will allow companies to design their digitalisation strategy using the most appropriate technologies.

Programme co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This publication (communication) is the sole responsibility of the author. The Managing Authority is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

Note: The SUDOE region refers to all the regions of different countries in South-West Europe and includes all the Spanish Autonomous Communities (except the Canary Islands), the regions of South-West France (Auvergne, Occitanie and Nouvelle Aquitaine), the continental regions of Portugal, the United Kingdom (Gibraltar) and the Principality of Andorra. 

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R+D Projects

23th October 2020

biorex-blackwhite-1170x780

In order to contribute to the circular economy, sustainability and eco technologies, AITEX focuses some of its research on the following lines:

  • Development of sustainable functional yarns from biopolymers and textile waste of fossil origin.
  • Research into the revaluation of textile waste of thermoplastic origin
BIOREX – Spinning yarns from chemically recycled PET and functionalised polymers by means of reactive extrusion.

In order to tackle the problem of environmental pollution, and remaining true to the principles of the circular economy, the BIOREX project proposes two strategies:

  • The use of natural polymers as substitutes for traditional synthetic polymers
  • The chemical recycling of products at the end of their useful life to produce virgin polymers from waste

 

The successful development of the project will result in functional sustainable yarns using a multifilament spinning process to manufacture fibres from polymeric matrices of a variety of natures and compositions:

  • Biodegradable polymeric matrices chemically modified by the covalent incorporation of functional molecules and/or nanoparticles to enhance their mechanical, thermal and functional properties through a reactive extrusion process. The main bio-based polymers used will be PLA, PHB, PBS and blends of the same.
  • Chemically modified polyolefins through reactive extrusion for the covalent incorporation of metal alkoxides to enhance their compatibility with natural fibres.
  • Chemically recycled PET using a process of depolymerisation by glycolysis and subsequent repolymerisation, to optimise and verify the circular life cycle of the polyester
MELTEX – The circular economy applied to thermoplastic textile waste

Textile waste amounts to 900,000 tonnes per year, with 90% of this not properly recycled but used for energy recovery. One of the simplest recycling routes that would achieve drastic reductions in plastic waste and the consumption of fossil resources is mechanical recycling, a strategy that focuses on the reintroduction of these materials back onto the market. The main objective of the MELTEX project is to acquire the necessary skills for the revaluation of thermoplastic textile waste, so that the resulting, highly sustainable materials can be reused by the textile industry.

It is the goal of the project to reuse the recycled materials obtained from synthetic textile waste, either in fusion spinning for the manufacture of new fabrics, or in industrial processes whose products can be applied to the textile sector; extrusion, compression moulding or injection moulding for the manufacture of shop furniture, dummies, hangers, etc.

Based on the results of the research carried out, the following results are expected:

  • A knowledge base on the feasibility of recycling thermoplastic textile waste using mechanical recycling (shredding + one-stage extrusion), taking into account criteria such as composition, format, purity, etc.
  • An evaluation of the properties of the materials obtained and their possible applications within the textile and related sectors.
  • An analysis of the needs of the textile sector with regard to the revaluation of waste originating from its production processes.

 

 

FILE: IMAMCI/2020/1

This project is funded by the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball of the Generalitat Valenciana, through IVACE.

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R+D Projects

23th October 2020

ecorug-blackwhite-1170x780

The ECORUG project aims to manufacture 100% recyclable carpets and rugs made from polyester materials which can be recycled by shredding, eliminating the costly and time consuming separation process.

The demand for polyester fibre is increasing yearly, to the point that it is now the most commonly used fibre in textile manufacturing. This means that the vast majority of waste is from polyester, increasing environmental pollution. Through this project, AITEX seeks to ensure that at the end of a carpet’s life it can be reprocessed into new products, supporting a circular economy.

To achieve this objective, the project aims to optimise the enhanced properties of feel, appearance and resilience of the resulting textured multifilament yarns and create a substitute for latex that will maintain the bond between components without altering the necessary physical properties. Different polymer functionalisation tasks have been planned, including spinning by melt spinning, etc. The best meltspun multifilaments will be texturised using DTY and BCF and the various parameters of the different texturing technologies will be adjusted to optimise the subsequent prototyping.

The expected results will enable:

  • Spun multifilament yarns with excellent properties of touch, appearance and resilience, using the resulting functionalised blends.
  • DTY and BCF texturising of the best yarns obtained in the spinning mill to make consumer prototypes using tufting technology.
  • The creation of sustainable ink-jet finishes for the prototypes made with these yarns and commercially available yarns.
  • The replacement of latex with a polyester material.
  • Total and direct recyclability of the manufactured prototypes.

FILE: IMDEEA/2020/21

This project has the support of the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball de la Generalitat Valenciana, through IVACE, and is co-financed by EU ERDF funds, within the ERDF Operational Programme of the Comunitat Valenciana 2014-2020.

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