Selected Important News of the past weeks (Part 7)

New Products

Proven packaging, reduced carbon footprint – BSH uses BASF’s Styropor® packaging based on chemically recycled plastics for the first time

What began at a major plastics fair and as a pilot project at the end of 2019 has led to a successful cooperation. From 1 April 2021, BSH Hausgeräte GmbH will for the first time use Styropor® based on a raw material made from chemically recycled plastic waste as a packaging material for selected large appliances of its luxury brand Gaggenau.

BSH is initially testing the Styropor® packaging made from recycled material at its Dillingen production site in Germany. The ambitious objective is to use this type of resource-efficient packaging for all large appliances worldwide. “At BSH, our goal is to improve the quality of life. This also includes conserving natural resources and helping to reduce waste and pollution. We’ve already made major progress in this respect. As Europe’s leading home appliance manufacturer, we have been developing and manufacturing all our products worldwide carbon-neutral at our locations since the end of 2020. But we do not stop there. As a society, and therefore also we as a company, need to move away from a throwaway mentality and towards more understanding of resources and materials. Turning something old into something new and thus avoiding waste is therefore a core element of BSH’s circular economy approach. By using Styropor® packaging, for which the raw materials come from chemical recycling, we are actively contributing to our sustainability goals and the industry-wide circular economy. We are delighted to have BASF, a long-standing, experienced partner, at our side, helping us to achieve these goals,” says Silke Maurer, Chief Operating Officer at BSH Hausgeräte GmbH.

Virgin-quality packaging—smaller carbon footprint

Due to its manufacturing process, Styropor® Ccycled™ has the same properties as conventional Styropor®. This maintains the excellent packaging properties such as excellent impact absorption and high compressive strength, which are essential for the protection of sophisticated home appliances. In the production of the packaging foams that have become so well-known over the last 70 years, pyrolysis oil has merely replaced fossil raw materials. BASF’s partners extract this oil from plastic waste that would otherwise be used for energy recovery or go to landfill. BASF then uses the required amount of oil to manufacture new plastics at the start of the value chain.

Since recycled and fossil raw materials are mixed in production and cannot be distinguished from each other, the recycled portion is allocated to Styropor® Ccycled™ using a mass balance approach. Both the allocation process and the product itself have been certified by Ecoloop, an independent certification programme. Compared with conventional Styropor®, at least 50 percent of CO2 is saved in the production of Styropor® Ccycled™ packaging.

Closing the loop—conserving resources—protecting the environment

“Current environmental policy focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving fossil resources, and avoiding or using waste. By using products from our ChemCycling™ project, our partner BSH is actively contributing to the recovery of plastics after their use phase and feeding them back into the materials loop,” says Klaus Ries, head of BASF’s Styrenics business in Europe.

In the future, BASF and BSH plan to strengthen their cooperation by examining the use of alternative raw materials along additional value chains and finding solutions to close the plastics loop in these areas. This includes taking further recycling processes into consideration. As uncontaminated Styropor® packaging waste can be mechanically recycled extremely well, this type of recycling is already used widely today and will be stepped up further over coming years.

Read more about BASF’s ChemCycling™ project here.

With sales of approximately EUR 13.2 billion in 2019 and 58,000 employees, BSH Hausgeräte GmbH is one of the world’s leading companies in the home appliance sector. Alongside the Group’s 11 well-known home appliance brands such as Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, and Neff, its brand portfolio also includes the Ecosystem Brand Home Connect and three Service Brands, including Kitchen Stories. BSH manufactures in 38 factories and is present in around 50 countries. BSH is a Bosch Group company.

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. More than 110,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of EUR 59 billion in 2020. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S.

Clear choice: security, prevention and flexibility

Which yarn clearing technology should spinners choose? Now there’s only one answer, as Uster launches the new Quantum 4.0 clearer generation. This world-beating innovation combines both capacitive and optical sensors in one – delivering comprehensive security, prevention and flexibility.

The Smart Duo system offers the best of both worlds for intelligent yarn quality control and optimized profitability. It means mills can now focus on meeting the fast-moving market challenges, instead of pondering technical options.

Security and reliability: the basis of yarn quality

Quantum 4.0 is like a dream come true for the industry. For years, spinners have wished for a way to bring the best of different technologies together, for secure quality and maximum flexibility.

Spinners can now access full security in quality control, ensuring the best clearing mode is applied. The Quantum 4.0 enables this through a simple Capacitive/Optical switch. This allows greater flexibility in the types of yarn which can be produced, while also dealing with factors such as humidity variations.

Intelligent sensors in tandem

The capacitive and optical sensors work intelligently in tandem through an innovation known as Cross Clearing. This locates and eliminates hidden defects by means of a double check, in which the main sensor’s signal is supported by the assistance sensor. This deals with issues such as unnoticed fluff events, which might otherwise cause breaks downstream.

Today’s market trends show strong demand for compact yarns. Here, spinners can trust Quantum 4.0 to tap this potential and deal with any quality issues. The density feature, for example, protects mills from substandard cops caused by ring spinning malfunctions such as blocked compacting zones, or twist problems. The Smart Duo has the advantage of monitoring yarn density continuously and after every splice. “No matter where density variations originate, be it compacting, different twist levels due to slip spindles or otherwise, Uster Quantum 4.0 takes care of it – and this is a real technical innovation,” says Katrin Hofer, Product Manager at Uster Technologies.

No more material mix-ups

A further valuable innovation with Quantum 4.0 is the Blend Mix-up option, which now enables mills to identify mix-ups of different types of raw materials. This long-awaited market request detects any wrong raw material in greige and white yarns, combating the infamous, but serious, barré effect in fabrics. Cop mix-ups can happen in mills, since differences are hardly visible to the human eye. But Quantum 4.0 stops the problem before it becomes an issue, thanks to significantly improved hardware and software – all underpinned by the Smart Duo.

The higher processing power of the new sensors brings additional benefits such as the enhanced Continuous Core Yarn option, which detects both missing and off-center core continuously. 

Innovations in Quantum 4.0 also focus on contamination, with deeper analysis of polypropylene and foreign matter. A new PP classification gives users the overview of polypropylene content, while the Advanced FD classification now shows extra classes below the 5% lines. Both these features add to the value of the contamination function, together with Total Contamination Control (TCC).

Quantum 4.0 gives spinners the ultimate confidence through the intelligent interaction of capacitive and optical sensor technology. It achieves ‘one of a kind’ security levels in basic clearing, while also cutting only what’s necessary.

Prevention pays off

As well as identifying defects at winding, preventing defects at source is also in focus with the clearer’s new Expert System. The new Quantum Expert is now included in the product offering. Thanks to many added intelligent analytical features, the Uster Quantum Expert enhances process control and prevention of defects, through Total Contamination Control, Ring Spinning Optimisation and the RSO 3D Value Module.

Latest innovations in the new clearer protect spinners from claims and waste – but enabling business success is the real purpose of Quantum 4.0. Latest clearing technologies work with Uster’s unique data analysis to enable flexible data-based decisions using Application Intelligence. “Failure prevention is the key to success and tackling issues at source is the way to do it. Uster Quantum 4.0 plays an important role in this, offering options to strengthen it,” says Hofer.

Secure and user-friendly

The secret of true innovation is how well it is designed through to the point of user interaction. No matter how much data – in terms of quantity and different parameters – is collected for analysis, Uster Quantum Expert manages the complexity, while staying as intuitive as ever.

With Quantum 4.0, a new central Smart-Limit button enhances flexibility, since operators can adjust all available smart limits with a single tap, based on the unique Yarn Body concept. Each individual limit can be simply fine-tuned as preferred.

Users enjoy the established Quantum workflows and embrace the new customer-centered user interface with a 16:9 touchscreen on the 7th generation control units`.

Nothing gets in the way of success with this prevention strategy. Uster recognizes that today’s challenges are tough, can be overcome with prevention, security and flexibility on your side – and Quantum 4.0 on your winding machine.

Uster is the world’s leading provider of quality management solutions from Fibre to fabric.

Uster Technologies offers high-technology instruments, systems and services for quality control, prediction, certification and optimization in the textile industry. This includes systems for quality management, laboratory testing and in-line process control for Fibres, staple and filament yarns, fabric inspection as well as value-added services.

Uster provides the globally-acknowledged Uster Statistics benchmarks for trading, textile know-how training, consulting and worldwide after-sales services – always aspiring to fulfill the textile market’s needs, to drive innovation forward with ‘quality in mind’.

Uster Technologies AG is headquartered in Uster, Switzerland and operates worldwide. It has sales and service subsidiaries in the major textile markets and Technology Centers in Uster (Switzerland), Knoxville (USA), Suzhou (China) and Caesarea (Israel).

Electronic Textiles made with new Cellulose Thread

Electronic textiles offer revolutionary new opportunities in various fields, in particular healthcare. But to be sustainable, they need to be made of renewable materials. A research team led by Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, now presents a thread made of conductive cellulose, which offers fascinating and practical possibilities for electronic textiles.

“Miniature, wearable, electronic gadgets are ever more common in our daily lives. But currently, they are often dependent on rare, or in some cases toxic, materials. They are also leading to a gradual build-up of great mountains of electronic waste. There is a real need for organic, renewable materials for use in electronic textiles,” says Sozan Darabi, doctoral student at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology and the Wallenberg Wood Science Center, and lead author of the scientific article which was recently published in ASC Applied Materials & Interfaces. For further information see the IDTechEx report on E-textiles and Smart Clothing 2020-2030: Technologies, Markets and Players.

Electrically conductive fibres for electronic textiles

Together with Anja Lund, researcher in the same group, Sozan Darabi has been working with electrically conductive fibres for electronic textiles for several years. The focus was previously on silk, but now the discoveries have been taken further through the use of cellulose.

Built-in electronics in non-toxic, renewable, and natural materials

The results now presented by the researchers show how cellulose thread offers huge potential as a material for electronic textiles and can be used in many different ways.

Sewing the electrically conductive cellulose threads into a fabric using a standard household sewing machine, the researchers have now succeeded in producing a thermoelectric textile that produces a small amount of electricity when it is heated on one side – for example, by a person’s body heat. At a temperature difference of 37 degrees Celsius, the textile can generate around 0.2 microwatts of electricity.

 “This cellulose thread could lead to garments with built-in electronic, smart functions, made from non-toxic, renewable and natural materials,” says Sozan Darabi.

The production process for the cellulose thread has been developed by co-authors from Aalto University in Finland. In a subsequent process, the Chalmers researchers made the thread conductive through dyeing it with an electrically conductive polymeric material. The researchers’ measurements show that the dyeing process gives the cellulose thread a record-high conductivity – which can be increased even further through the addition of silver nanowires. In tests, the conductivity was maintained after several washes.

The benefits of e-textiles and cellulose

Electronic textiles could improve our lives in several ways. One important area is healthcare, where functions such as regulating, monitoring, and measuring various health metrics could be hugely beneficial.

In the wider textile industry, where conversion to sustainable raw materials is a vital ongoing question, natural materials and fibres have become an increasingly common choice to replace synthetics. Electrically conductive cellulose threads could have a significant role to play here too, the researchers say.

“Cellulose is a fantastic material that can be sustainably extracted and recycled, and we will see it used more and more in the future. And when products are made of uniform material, or as few materials as possible, the recycling process becomes much easier and more effective. This is another perspective from which cellulose thread is very promising for the development of e-textiles,” says Christian Müller, research leader for the study and a professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology.

More about: The cellulose thread

The electrically conductive yarn is produced in a “layer-on-layer” coating process with an ink based on the biocompatible polymer “polyelectrolyte complex poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT: PSS)”. The e-textile thread developed by the researchers measures a record-high conductivity for cellulose thread in relation to volume of 36 S/cm-, which can be increased to 181 S/cm by adding silver nanowires. The thread coated with PEDOT: PSS can handle at least five machine washes without losing its conductivity. By integrating the cellulose yarn into an electrochemical transistor, the researchers have also been able to demonstrate its electrochemical function.

More about: Textiles from nature and fashion industry interest

Throughout human history, textiles have been made from natural fibre and cellulose. But since the middle of the 20th century, synthetic fibres have become more common in our clothing, particularly in the fashion industry. With the greater focus and awareness now on sustainable alternatives, interest in natural fibres and textiles is returning and growing. Large Swedish chains such as H&M and Lindex have set high goals for increasing the proportion of garments produced from more sustainable materials.

The cellulose fibre that the researchers have used is of the Ioncell® type, developed by the Finnish group, led by professor and co-author Herbert Sixta.

Toray New AMS Specification For CMA 3900 Prepreg System

New family of structural prepregs with extensive public allowable design database.

Toray Composite Materials America, Inc. (CMA) is excited to announce that a new family of structural prepregs are now available with an extensive public allowable design database. The SAE materials committee created a new AMS spec (AMS6891) specifically for Toray’s 3900-2 unidirectional and fabric products, these materials can now be procured and certified to the AMS 6891 specification.   Five batches of 3900 allowable design data will be published in the next revision of the CMH17 handbook. The allowable test plan and datasets were created in accordance with FAA requirements and are intended for use in the design and certification of commercial, space, and defense primary structural applications.

Toray’s 3900 material system has enabled a step-function change in the design of transportation systems by replacing metallic structures with composite materials. The transformation to composite materials significantly reduces structural weights enabling longer range, improved lifecycle costs, and lower carbon emissions than legacy metal designs. 

The 3900 system expands Toray’s product offerings with readily available allowable datasets, the Toray 2510 out of autoclave prepreg system is also available with existing AMS specifications and has a 3-batch allowable dataset generated by the NIAR/NASA/AGATE consortium.  Toray is committed to providing a full range of products with publicly available allowable datasets, and is now working to generate an extensive 5 batch dataset with a next generation T1100/3960 prepreg material.

Toray Composite Materials America, Inc. (CMA) is a subsidiary of Toray Industries, Inc. (Toray). Toray has contributed to society through the creation of new value and addressed global challenges by delivering high value-add products including fibres and textiles, resins and films, and carbon fibre composite materials. Toray operates in 29 countries and regions with more than 48,000 employees worldwide. 

In April 2017, Toray Composites (America), Inc. established in 1992 and Toray Carbon Fibres America, Inc. established in 1997 merged to create our company today. CMA is a leading innovator and supplier of carbon fibre materials and high quality advanced composite Prepreg. CMA serves the needs of aircraft, recreational, and industrial markets.  

Devan launches range of bio-based fragrances for textiles

The range consists of Natural Lavender, Menthol, Wild Mint, a Citrus Blend and will be expanded over time

Textile innovator Devan is launching a new range of bio-based fragrances, named SceNTL®. The range uses traceable raw materials and an external lab has confirmed that the bio-content of the fragrances is above 85%.

SceNTL® is a unique and wide range of encapsulated fragrances that can be integrated onto the fabric and are gradually released over time. Upon release, the fragrances appeal to the senses, promoting relaxation, wellbeing and feel-good sensations.

While synthetic fragrances are composed of synthetic, man-made ingredients, natural scents and oils are created by isolating natural aroma components from raw plant materials. This also explains why every SceNTL® batch can have a slight variation in smell. As natural conditions differ from time to time, every harvest is a little different from the previous one.

Although aromatherapy is still a young and understudied domain, recent studies have shown that essential oils can indeed have neurological effects. Linalool for example, a component found in Lavender and rosewood, is found to enhance sleep, while Limonene, a component found in the peel of citrus fruits, is clinically proven to have an uplifting effect.

At this moment, the SceNTL® range is intended for low-wash items such as mattress ticking, decorative pillows, upholstery, curtains, carpets, etc. It can also be used as a natural ‘masking scent’ for products that have a strong artificial smell caused by the production process. The company is already looking into further development of other scents and broader application use.