From idea to transfer
Center of Excellence in
Nonwovens are generally regarded as helpers in secret because of their often concealed installation and functionality. However, since at least the Covid-19 pandemic, they have become more present and visible to everyone. In particular, extrusion nonwovens offer excellent and adjustable filter properties, which make them destined for the production of mouth-nose protective masks. There was no question that the available systems engineering at STFI’s center of excellence in nonwovens was transferred from experimental to production mode in short term in order to meet the soaring demand with albeit small production volume. After all, around 4.2 tons of SMS nonwovens were delivered to converting every week by mid-2020. A quantity sufficient for the production of at least 750,000 masks. With this challenge our employees have gained valuable experience in terms of process optimisation. Additional knowledge and new ideas for future research topics were generated.
Developments far away from the pandemic have also had and still have their permanent place in our activity profile. The current transformation in the automotive industry is not directly felt by falling order numbers, but by demanding hype of development requests. The driving force for this transformation is surely the change to e-mobility. We continue to deal with sustainable topics in the areas of lightweight construction, recycling and use of renewable resources. Changing social conditions place new demands on filtration or acoustics, for which we work on intelligent solutions. Our team has strengthened with a number of young scientists and technicians. We look forward to intensive thematic discussions and exciting professional cooperation with you.
Fields of application
BioHyg – Sustainable and bio-based hygiene nonwovens
The main objective of the research project was the development of a functional, marketable hygiene textile based on nonwovens consisting of several layers with different property profiles. The nonwoven was supposed to be made of bio-based and ecologically safe materials ensuring wearing comfort as well as haptics and barrier safety.
The project started in October 2020 and was awarded with the Innovation Award at Techtextil 2022.
(Picture: Hygienic pad with layer structure TopSheet, ADL, absorbent core, BackSheet – from top to bottom)
Art and Technology
Project: Experiment Structure
"Nonwovens developed according to the pile fibre nonwoven knitting technology Kunit are used in industry to realise technical filters, acoustic structures as well as elements with a cushioning effect. The fact that nonwovens can also be very visually appealing and extraordinary when implemented in such a structure with an understanding of design was impressively demonstrated by the students in the project. The orientation of the fibres from the nonwoven surface into the third dimension without the need for an additional textile construction element makes this technology particularly exciting and versatile."
Patrick Engel, Manager Center of Excellence in Nonwovens at STFI
In the fashion project, the 1st semester students in the Design / Fashion Design course at the Schneeberg Faculty of Applied Arts at the West Saxon University of Applied Sciences Zwickau experimented.
The project is a practical implementation with three-dimensional structures on the body. The basis are modified geometric shapes creating extraordinarily complex structures. The body becomes the carrier of the structure, shapes it and sets it in motion – an attempt to transfer three-dimensionally structured surfaces into sculptural clothing.
(Picture: Design by Lilian Fuchs – Project Experiment Structure 1st semester, 2021)
Application of an electron beam process for desizing textile webs, fibres and 3D structures
When processing textile structures made of glass, carbon or carbon recycled fibres into fibre composites, sizings, coatings or impurities on the fibres can lead to disturbances of the fibre-matrix adhesion. In order to still achieve a composite strength, interfering layers (e.g. sizing) must be removed from the fibres.
The aim of the research project was to free textile reinforcement structures from the overlays using an adapted electron beam process. For this purpose, a method proven in medical technology was used, which works by means of accelerated electrons according to the principle of Braun's tube. Material-specific tests and microscopic observations of the fibre composite samples proved the suitability and effectiveness of the new desizing process.
Project duration: 09/2019–02/2022
Design und Prozessverhalten von
Sustainable Sleeping – vliesstoffbasiertes