The Techtextil Innovation Award 2017 is given in four categories. In the ‘new application’ category, the winners are the Centexbel non-profit organization (Belgium) and Peterseim Strickwaren from Mühlhausen. The intelligent knee brace from Centexbel supports patients during the rehabilitation phase after knee operations. A textile sensor identifies the angle of the knee in real-time and informs the patient of this accordingly. It also offers personalised exercises via an app. With SEAL, Peterseim Strickwaren presents a basalt knitted fabric that protects maritime systems, such as buoys, from environmental influences and cuts maintenance costs by up to 40%.
In the ‘new technology’ category, the Upper Franconian company of V. Fraas Solutions in Textile convinced the jury with its SITnet, a load-securing net distinguished by joining points for the belts, which are warp-knitted instead of sewn. Thus, the net is completely flat, even and capable of bearing higher loads than conventional products. Vetex NV (Belgium), a company specializing in coating and laminating technology, also ranked among the winners in this category. Its OC2PUS technology permits a polyurethane coating to be applied to flexible substrates, i.e., to functionalize textiles, without the use of solvents, such as the controversial dimethyl formamide (DMF). To this end, specially developed polyurethane resins, which harden chemically during the coating process, are used.
In the ‘new product’ category, the Leipzig-based start-up Texlock was chosen for its innovative, textile-based bicycle lock, which is light, flexible and does not scratch the bicycle’s paintwork thanks to its soft surface. Penn Textile Solutions specializes in the production of elastic textiles and was also selected for an Innovation Award in this category for Ombra-DLS, a shading net for use in facade construction and window installation. By expanding the net to a greater or lesser extent, the light admitted to a room or building can be modified according to requirements, regardless of how much light energy is available at the time.
Two products were also singled out in the ‘new material’ category. The Institute of Textile Chemistry and Chemical Fibres (ITCF) Denkendorf received the award for PURCELL, a sustainable composite made of pure cellulose, which is used not only as a high strength reinforcement fiber but also as a matrix component. Durafiber Technologies (France), one of the world’s leading manufacturers of polyester fibers, fabrics and materials, was chosen for an alkaline-resistant polyester HT yarn. Tests have shown that the yarn retains its original technical properties almost unchanged even after being in contact with alkaline products at high temperatures for several days.
This is the 14th time that the Techtextil Innovation Awards have been presented for remarkable achievements and new developments along the Techtextil process chain. The winning products can be seen at a special exhibition in Hall 6.1 (Stand A94) throughout the fair.