Europe joins forces to develop new filaments and fibres

Europe joins forces to develop new filaments and fibres

In TextileFuture’s event calendar, we indicated the founding of a new technical development force by creating a new European platform CETI, to cover joint R&D on process, filaments and fibres, including sampling and prototyping, as well as training and technical assistance. This means a fortification of the competitive position of EU companies engaged in these sectors

The scope of CETI’s activities

CETI-Presentation_Seite_5_Bild_0003In the opening presentation of CETI, the European Centre for Innovative Textiles, on October 10, 2012, and in an adjacent International Forum the new platform presented its aims and the International Forum focused on new developments.

The CETI presentation is based on the fact that filaments and fibres characteristics define the performance and properties of textiles. Extrusion and spinning technologies allow the development of tailor-made materials.

Among the capabilities of CETI (with its research laboratories Gemtex and technology transfer centres (IFTH), the competive cluster UP-tex, the CLUBTEX business cluster, the regional centre of textiles excellence T2M and the professional organisations UIT Nord and Uric-Unimaille, as well as INNOTEX business incubator and OPCALIA TMC, responsible for training in the textiles and clothing sector), a development of multi-component takes place, by mixing several polymers and yarns and shape their characteristics such as section, titre and features such as flame retardant, hydrophilic and antistatic properties, with the goal to support innovations on filaments and fibres to assist the overall textile industry. CETI represents over 100 people grouped together on one site and there is no other centre of its kind devoted to textiles in France. Its purpose is to drive innovation across different sectors in the heart of the Euro Region.

There are two workspaces (air conditioned) offering the following pilot equipment: For raw material preparation, crystallisation and drying, and an extrusion line with co-rotating twin screw permitting to study the behaviour of thermoplastic polymers and to develop thermoplastics masterbatches and compounds thanks to additives (pellet, liquid and powder). Further a spinning line to produce mono, bi- and tri-component filaments. There is also a fibre processing line with steam oven.

In the nonwoven area, the equipment available consists of an automatic winder, a bi-tri-component spinning machine, a drying oven, a hydro entanglement process with adjacent automatic winder, and spunbond and meltblown unit. The drylaid process consists of a card, a airlay machine and a cross lapper (Andritz), as well as opening and blending lines, a thermal oven, a winder (Lemaire) and needleloom.

Therefore there are different technologies (drylaid and spunlaid) available permitting individual or in line equipment working mode and multiple process combinations to produce innovative textile structures. The polymer preparation entails crystallisation and drying, web forming drylaid (Laroche, Andritz) with width from 500 to 1200 and spunlaid (Hills, Inc.) with 500 mm width and a mechanical and thermal web consolidation.

The textile revival at a finger tip





According to Marc Honoré, Director General of CETI, “there have been some profound changes in the textile sectors over the last 20 years. Traditionally focused on fashion and heavily affected by globalization. The profession has taken control of its destiny and is targeting new markets generated by innovative use of textiles (healthcare, aeronautics, automotive, railways, construction, public works, agriculture, the environment, sport, etc.). The transformation is reflected in economic terms: Jobs related to advanced textiles now represent 50 % of the region’s 15000 jobs in textiles and many businesses focused on these new markets are hiring new staff. The aim is that CETI will be one of the five best technological platforms in the world and a driving force behind textiles innovations in France. CETI will also contribute to the development of the expertise and prominence of the Nord-Pas- de-Calais region’s laboratories specialized in advanced textiles, and there are over ten! By placing innovation at the top of the CETI priorities, we aim to sustainably reverse the downward trend in employment and restore the confidence of existing business as well as create “textiles start-ups” and attract new business to the region”.



The tools to achievement

CETI is a tool provided for businesses to favour and accelerate innovation in the field of advanced textiles. It is also a place for inventing, experimenting and developing new products that are lighter, more flexible and more durable, a synonym to crate products meeting all the demands of tomorrow’s world.

CETI is exploring innovative and original ideas for new textile applications in such markets as healthcare, transport, safety and civil engineering. The technological platform will build on the acquisition and development of competences in order to master new technologies or to invest and improve existing equipment. Its aim is to remain at the cutting edge of technologies. The project is financed by subsidies and shareholder equity.

The resources are implemented either in the centre itself or via its scientific and economic network of industrial research centres, universities, research labs, etc.

The teams of CETI, UP-tex and CLUBTEX have pooled their competences and experience in project management in order to rapidly evolve from the idea to a consortium and collective project.

CETI will provide office or laboratory space to businesses and research centres wishing to conduct part of their R&D in this privileged environment or to attend their prototyping tests.

Who will be the users of CETI?

CETI is open to all seeking innovative solutions in the form of a textile technology platform with brings together efficient tools, specialist expertise and competence. It is directed towards SME Small to Medium Enterprises and businesses in all sectors as well as the textile industry and its purchasing advisors; the technical centres and R&D departments of large companies, private and public laboratories, competitive clusters, etc.

The possible clients of CETI may be firms that already use textiles or wish to use innovative textiles in order to enhance their product offering, or industrial firms using nonwoven materials based on new polymers, fibres or combined structures; also producers of polymers or fibres wishing to process their products in the form of fibres or nonwovens. Further customers might be SME needing a safety net for conducting industrial pilot runs for implementing new products before launching them commercially and expanding the quantities produced.

Making use of the CETI equipment installed

Mélanie Monceau has given a detailed overview on the extrusion (Coperion) and spinning equipment (Hills, Inc.) and emphasised on the fact that practically all known processing steps and applied technologies can be executed on the installed equipments. Thierry Le Blan, technical manager and Simon Fremeaux, nonwovens manager, explained the combination possibilities of the installed equipment in their sectors allowing all thinkable processes and applications now in use.

TextileFuture’s conclusion

TextileFuture concludes that the creation of this new CETI technological platform, combined with the force of the remaining textile industry, the knowhow of nonwoven producers and the number of specialised laboratories, all united with the same aim of innovative textile products, is really a major step forward to revitalise the traditional textile region of Pas-de-Calais in Northern France (near to the Belgian textile region of the Flanders) and to give an impetus that European companies and other textile laboratories and universities will be making use of these new facilities to bring back the worldwide fame of European textile traditions through commercially exploitable new products and applications.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.