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STFI Chemnitz achieves success in recycling valuable textile composites

Initial results regarding the recovery of silver, copper and nickel from smart textiles
Reprocessing textile waste was one of the topics at the 10th Sector Day for the Textile and Clothing Industry in the Erzgebirge Hills and Vogtland Region. The meeting, which was organised by the North-East German Textile and Clothing Industry Association (vti), was held at C. H. Müller GmbH in Heinsdorfergrund/V. on 4 November 2019 and attracted about 60 business people, politicians and representatives from local communities. “When many people consider sustainability in connection with textiles, they’re primarily thinking about clothes or household textiles. But our domestic sector generates more than half its turnover from the production of technical textiles and textile composites. There’s therefore a particularly great need for research and development in this field,” says vti Managing Director, Dr.-Ing. Jenz Otto, explaining the situation. “We’re glad that we have expert partners like the Saxon Textile Research Institute (STFI) in Chemnitz within our association area. It’s already had decades of up-to-date expertise in mechanical textile recycling.”  
The STFI has an international reputation as being one of the pioneers in recycling waste that occurs during the production of carbon-fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP). These kinds of plastics are used in the aviation and space industry, but also in road and rail vehicles as well as in sports equipment (e.g. skis, snowboards, bicycle frames, tennis rackets, fishing rods). CFRP recycling can only be successful if the carbon fibres are separated from the matrix (pyrolysis) at high temperatures; STFI’s industrial partners complete this work. “We then break up the waste into individual fibres in a separation process. They are processed into non-woven fabrics during the carding procedure,” STFI recycling expert, Bernd Gulich, explains. “This kind of non-woven fabric can then be reinforced as the starting material for industrial applications by means of our new interval hot press. When recovering carbon fibres from waste, it’s possible to save up to 80 percent of the energy required for the primary fibre production.” The STFI was awarded the Raw Material Efficiency Prize by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology for this development in 2013.
Recycling smart textiles represents a challenge of a very different kind – these textiles contain metal fibres or electrically conductible threads. “In future, protective suits for emergency services and the fire brigade will contain these kinds of intelligent textiles and they will supply essential data from the scene to the officers controlling the operation, thanks to the textile sensors,” says Johannes Leis. The 28-year-old resident of Chemnitz is planning to complete his master’s degree in textile structures and technologies at Chemnitz University of Technology in the near future. Thanks to the support provided by the “high-performance fibres and processing” endowment professorship and the STFI, he has used his master’s degree dissertation to develop the principles for a technology so that silver, nickel or copper can be separated from textile materials and processed for reuse. Once he has completed his degree, Johannes Leis will continue his experiments as a research associate in the “RE4TEX – New Technologies for Textile Recycling” cooperation network. This network was launched by the STFI as part of the Central Innovation Support for SMEs (ZIM) by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology in 2019. The 20 companies and research institutes involved want to make a contribution to resolving the highly diverse waste problems faced by domestic textile companies, among other things. The partners will present their first results during the 14th STFI Colloquium called “Recycling for Textiles” in Chemnitz on 4 and 5 December 2019.
Picture: Susan Gabler and Johannes Leis from the STFI present metal fractions (copper on the left, nickel on the right) that have been obtained by recycling conductible fabrics (bowl in the background). Photo: Wolfgang Schmidt

Competition "TexCycle Award mtex + 2020" started for students, graduates and trainees

The mtex + has put out the competition "TexCycle Award mtex + 2020" for students, trainees and graduates of the fields of textile, textile technology as well as textile and fashion design. Sustainable ideas for environmentally conscious and economically sustainable action on the topic of recycling - upcycling - downcycling of textiles of all kinds are in demand. Applicants can draw on the results of project work or internships (from 2016).
"In this way, we are taking up the TexCycle young talent competition organized by SACHSEN! TEXTIL eV, Chemnitz, and the industry association Plauen lace and embroidery industry in 2018/2019, and the Association of the North-East German Textile and Clothing Industry e V. (vti) and other partners of the contest, "explains exhibition responsible André Rehn." Closing date is January 31, 2020 ".
The award ceremony of the TexCycle Award 2019 took place during the 60th Plauener Spitzenfest. The winners of the year 2020 will receive their awards for the opening event of the 8th mtex+

Saxony’s State Premier becomes patron of the 8th mtex+ fair

The State Premier of the Free State of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, has accepted the position of patron of the 8th mtex+ fair. The State Premier justified his commitment to the international textile convention by saying that it would continue to strengthen the attractiveness of the local, innovative industrial and research region as one of the leading European textile areas.

TITV Greiz and KARL MAYER: Interactive textiles go reality - control unit on textile basis for robotic spider

Electric conductivity of knit fabrics is topic of intensive development work from TITV Greiz and Karl Mayer. In the latest projects multibar raschel machines with and without jacquard are used to incorporate electric conductive yarn like ELITEX® directly in the construction of the products surface. With the multibar raschel machine it is possible to implement electric conductive structures with arbitrary design. This is only feasible by the multibar pattern with the innovative string bar system of Karl Mayer, by which the thread material can be placed individually and needs-based on the fabric ground - reflecting on Tailored Fiber Placement. The fond is also diversely designable, even jacquard pattern can be implemented depending on machine type.
Beside freedom in design, the knitting mill offers the highest efficiency for the production of electric conductive textiles. In addition, typical textile properties like softness, flexibility, elasticity and breathable are fully maintained. www.titv-greiz.de
Photo: The possibilities of this innovative technology to integrate electric conductive yarns show the first result: a wristband with the function of a textile remote control. The original control unit shows its abilities with the movement of a robotic spider.  Photo: TITV Greiz
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“mtex+” textile fair & convention raises its profile and increases its international appeal

8th edition to be held as the “Fair & Convention for Hightech Textiles” at the Carlowitz Congresscenter Chemnitz for the first time on 9 – 10 June 2020 – Textile themes from the LiMA exhibition for lightweight design are being integrated in the new format

Chemnitz (Germany), April 2019 – The “mtex+” is raising its profile and is moving to an attractive setting. The 8th edition of the international exhibition entitled “Fair & Convention for Hightech Textiles” will be held in the new Carlowitz Congresscenter at the heart of Chemnitz for the first time on 9 and 10 June 2020. *

“The “mtex+” is a trade event that experts from various sectors greatly appreciate on account of its emphasis on dialogue and in-depth contacts – and because everything is on the spot. The modern, exciting ambiance at the new venue facilitates our desire to create the best possible atmosphere for cooperation in a trusting environment,” Dr Ralf Schulze, Managing Director of C3 GmbH, the organising company, explains. “In its future form, the “mtex+” will act as a source of ideas and inspiration for developers and manufacturers as well as for users of all kinds of high-tech textiles, specifically including composites, to a greater degree than in the past. Textile composite materials are becoming increasingly important for many processors. That’s the reason why we’re transferring the textile themes of the LiMA lightweight design exhibition, which has been held alongside the “mtex+” in the past, into our new trade fair format. Lightweight textile design in all its facets will be one of the major emphases at the “mtex+”.”

The major topics covered by the 8th “mtex+” will include process development, textile engineering, digitalised value-added chains, services with potential for use across different sectors as well as recycling. The highlights of the programme will include workshops on effective and sustainable production, smart textiles, acoustic textiles, a special exhibition on health and protective textiles as well as an entertaining network evening entitled “Excellent connections”.

The North-Eastern German Textile and Clothing Industry Association (vti) believes that this concept exactly matches the needs of its target audience. “Chemnitz is located at the heart of the Central German industrial and research region, which is developing with great dynamism,” says vti Managing Director, Dr.-Ing. Jenz Otto. “Any firm that presents its products and services here will find itself in a very interesting market. Located not far from the border with the Czech Republic and Poland, the “mtex+” will also act as a dialogue forum for potential cooperation partners across sector and international boundaries, both for these and other Eastern European countries.”

The “mtex+” will continue to be held in Central Germany’s industrial city of Chemnitz every two years in future too. 159 exhibitors from seven different countries (in conjunction with the LiMA lightweight design exhibition) attended the 7th edition in the spring of 2018. 22 percent of the approx. 1,000 trade visitors came from abroad.

*  C³ Chemnitzer Veranstaltungszentren GmbH is investing approx. EUR 9 million in the modernisation and transformation of the Stadthalle complex located at the heart of the city. The “Centre for Knowledge and Sustainability”, which is due to be completed by the beginning of 2020, is being given the name of the Saxon scientist, Hans Carl von Carlowitz (1645 – 1715), who is regarded worldwide as the creator of the idea of sustainability in business affairs. The concept being introduced at the Carlowitz Congresscenter follows this philosophy – among other things, in the selection of the materials used for the interior architecture. Individually designed event rooms with characteristic features are intended to promote meetings that have a long-term effect. www.mtex-plus.de

Photo 1: These Czech exhibitors presented technical textiles and lightweight textile components at the 2018 “mtex+” at Chemnitz Trade Fair Centre. The 8th “mtex+” is being held as the “Fair & Convention for Hightech Textiles” in the new Carlowitz Congresscenter at the heart of Chemnitz (Germany) for the first time on 9 – 10 June 2020.  Photo: mtex+ / Kristin Schmidt
mtex+ 2018_Technische Textilien_Messe Chemnitz