By Cameron Chai
Empa organized the international Fibre Society Spring Conference in St Gallen, from 23 to 25 May 2012.
Empa develops a new technology: a basis for novel functional textiles. A nanometer-thin conductive metal layer on textile fibers makes no compromise on the processability, haptics or washfastness.
Approximately 200 textile research professionals attended the conference in order to update the recent trends in R&D in this field. Empa is carrying out an intensive work on Fibre and textile innovations.
“Fibre Research for Tomorrow’s Applications” was the motto of the conference. Rudolf Hufenus, one of the organizers of the conference and part of Empa’s Advanced Fibres Laboratory, emphasized the key message of the conference that textiles have an endless potential.
A perfect platform to exchange knowledge and ideas that are required to commence and plan joint projects was represented at this Fibre Society Spring Conference, which has involved in new textile field work. More than 200 researchers from 20 countries participated in the event.
Hufenus explained that the practical applications of novel fibers were discussed in the conference. For instance, fiber used to make protective jackets is still pliant and supple, which makes the jacket more comfortable to wear, at the same time acts as an armor to protect the user from huge blows.
The symposium emphasized the fact that textiles may be used in novel application areas with high added value, such as in the medical sector. Textile technology and electronics can be merged through the new advancements in conductive Fibres, along with significant potential for monitoring body functions and telemedicine applications.
Empa is rigorously working on various solutions in this highly potential area. During the conference, it presented the new results of the work, carried out by its staff members. The work includes the area of electrospinning, a process through which purely inorganic and polymer material fibre along with composites can be produced with diameters having the nanometer range.