The 2017 edition of Techtextil North America, held in June in Chicago, Illinois, saw a 40% increase in attendance over the 2015 edition. The show, which is held every other year outside its Atlanta "home,", was co-located with JEC Americas—The Future of Composites in Construction. The combined event was the largest technical textiles, nonwovens, textile machinery, and composites show in the United States this year, and facilitated an active exchange of ideas and new partnerships across industries.
"In three days, the event garnered a dynamic audience, with visitors from geographies and verticals not represented at previous editions of the show," noted Dennis Smith, President and CEO of Messe Frankfurt North America. "The significant growth in this year’s attendance indicates the textile industry's increasing demand for international networking opportunities. We are proud to provide a forum that facilitates new business relationships that encourages global innovation for the textile industry."
The FabricLink Network reviews specific products showcased by exhibitors at Techtextil Chicago, for an array of industrial applications.
Lenzing presented its first botanic solution for agriculture use. Since EU agriculture uses 6.5 million tons of plastic products per year that is trashed after use, reducing the use of plastics is a top priority on the EU's agenda. Lenzing's innovative TENCEL® branded lyocell fiber offers a sustainable solution. Marina Crnoja-Cosic, head of Lenzing's Technical Textiles, explains, "Any reduction in the use of plastics helps to protect our environment. Agriculture, in particular, should use sustainable materials. We are working to firmly establish TENCEL® in this field."
TENCEL® fibers are 100% biodegradable and 100% compostable. When a material is compostable, the nutrient cycle of organic materials, under the influence of atmospheric oxygen and insects in the soil, breaks down the material. The compostability of TENCEL® fibers offers a completely natural advantage for agriculture. The TENCEL® fibers, which are tested according to EU criteria for food-contact use, can be used for agricultural food products without any concerns. Applications for TENCEL® fibers include support strings, ropes, and nonwovens.
Albarrie Canada Limited presented a wide array of high performance needle-punch nonwoven fabrics that have a broad range of application: industrial felts, filtration, geotextiles, thermal insulation, fire & safety, and composites. With multiple production lines, Albarrie can produce roll goods, tubular felts, and coatings, and is an all-in-one supplier for technical felt requirements. Albarrie's synthetic needle-punch fabrics are made from polyester, polypropylene, aramids (Nomex® and Kevlar®), and specialty fabrics made from basalt, biocomponent, modacrylic, PBO (Zylon®), polyimide (P84®), polyphenylene sulfide, polyoxadiazole, and carbon (Pyron®).
IMEX KL&C Corp, Ltd. offered its diverse range of Santina® performance products and solutions for the agricultural and industrial markets. IMEX's Santina® textile solutions involve woven/nonwoven UV stabilized ground cover landscaping; woven/nonwoven geotextiles, made from polypropylene or polyester staple fibers for drainage/soil filtration, separation, permanent erosion control, asphalt overlay, and cushioning; nonwoven packaging; knitted UV-protection shade cloths; hi-density knitted polyethylene fencing fabrics, made from polypropylene and polyethylene in mesh and grid fabric constructions; and nonwoven furniture-backing applications.
Vectran™ is the fiber of choice in climbing ropes/cables.Kuraray featured its VECTRAN™ liquid crystal polymer (LCP) fiber, the only commercially available high-performance multifilament melt-spun fiber in the world. VECTRAN™ exhibits exceptional strength and rigidity. Pound for pound, the fiber is five times stronger than steel and ten times stronger than aluminum. Applications include personal protection equipment (PPE), recreation/leisure, flexible composites/inflatables, tensile structures/Agriculture, ropes/cables, aerospace/military/ocean exploration, specialty electronics, and other specialty/industrial end-uses.