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Smart clothing from plastics
Source：International Plastics News for Asia
Date Published：8/23/2017 12:08:25 PM
A new breed of materials is transforming garments into high performing items that are able to withstand demanding activities.
A new breed of materials is transforming garments into high performing items that are both comfortable and able to withstand demanding performance.
DuPont Advanced Materials (DuPont) released its latest generation of stretchable electronic inks and films for smart clothing. The materials were unveiled concurrently with a new brand identity – DuPont™ Intexar™ smart clothing technology. Intexar™ transforms ordinary fabrics into active, connected, intelligent garments that provide critical biometric data including heart rate, breathing rate, form awareness, and muscle tension. Intexar™ offers superior stretch and comfort and is easily integrated into garments to make smart clothing.
“Every athlete – from professional to everyday – can benefit from smart clothing to help boost their performance; but it has to look good and feel good,” said Michael Burrows, global business manager, DuPont Advanced Materials. “Intexar™ is a game-changing technology and will truly move the needle in making smart garments as comfortable as regular fitness clothing.”
Available as a suite of premium and high-performing stretchable electronic inks and flexible substrates, Intexar™ is seamlessly embedded directly onto fabric using standard apparel manufacturing processes to create thin, form-fitting circuits. Garments powered by Intexar™ can endure over 100 washes, and continue to perform through repeated stretching and demanding performance.
DuPont featured two smart clothing garments powered by Intexar™ technology at Outdoor Retailer, the largest outdoor apparel show in the industry. Body Plus displayed a smart fitness shirt commercially available in China that uses DuPont™ Intexar™ to enable real-time monitoring and data collection e.g. heart rate, breathing and muscles movements.
OMsignal featured two products: a high-end fitness sports bra and a comfortable, attractive lifestyle bra, both boasting advanced sensory technologies capturing real time ECG, respiration and physical activity. "We’re using Intexar™ prints for our ECG sensors. Intexar™ technology is enabling multiple applications well beyond athletic apparel and is helping us to make smart clothing mainstream” said Frederic Chanay, CEO and co-founder of OMsignal.
DuPont Advanced Materials is a leading innovator and high-volume supplier of commercially available electronic inks and compatible substrates for a broad range of printed electronic applications. The growing portfolio of DuPont Advanced Materials electronic inks is used in many applications, including forming conductive traces, capacitor and resistor elements, and dielectric and encapsulating layers that are compatible with many substrate surfaces including polymer, glass and ceramic.
Technical sportswear for sustainability
As the Giro d’Italia toured the Bergamasque Alps, Bergamo-based multinational RadiciGroup took a cue from the cyclists’ uniforms and presents its sustainable yarn, ideal for making sportswear with a lower environmental impact Beautiful, colorful and high performance: these words describe the uniforms worn by the professional cyclists in the Giro d’Italia, while they criss-crossed the Italian landscape last May, pedalling to win the multi-stage race.
RadiciGroup – an Italian multinational engaged in the production and sale of chemicals, plastics and synthetic fibers – has its headquarters in the province of Bergamo, where the cycling tour caravan went to finish and start a stage. Technical sportswear is one of the applications utilizing RadiciGroup products: the Group’s polyester yarn, for example, is the yarn of choice for many manufacturers of the latest-generation warp-knitted fabrics used to make highly technical, functional garments for a wide range of sports, including cycling, skiing, running, triathlon and swimming, as well as outdoor activities, in general.
With its experience acquired in the field of synthetic fibers and, specifically, its over 40 years of business activity in the polyester market, RadiciGroup is able to manufacture yarns that fuse performance with sustainability. The Group is developing more and more yarns from recycled polymer (r-Radyarn®), featuring reduced environmental impact, but at the same time lightness, comfort and sun protection (Ultraviolet Protection Factor [UPF] +50).
r-Radyarn® is the trade name of yarn made with PET obtained from recycled PET (ordinary plastic bottles). Recent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies have shown that less carbon dioxide is emitted during the production of recycled PET. Indeed, for every kilogram of PET obtained from recycled PET bottles, up to three kilos less carbon dioxide is emitted. Data on energy consumption also show a 45-50% reduction in energy usage per kilo of product, compared to products obtained from non-renewable raw materials.
r-Radyarn® yarns are the result of a multi-stage process – from post-consumer bottle collection to reprocessing and yarn production – all taking place in Europe and monitored at every step. RadiciGroup can provide UNI 11505 certification attesting to the full traceability of the recycled material. Polyamide, better known as nylon, is yet another type of synthetic fibre manufactured by RadiciGroup, starting from the polymer.
Polyamide yarn is very popular for sportswear, as it is soft, has a natural look and endows garments with breathability. All of these characteristics are of fundamental importance for anyone who plays a sport. Polyamides can also be produced from renewable source base materials. One example is PA6.10, (Radilon® 6.10) a polymer obtained from sebacic acid (64% by weight), which is extracted from castor oil plant seeds, and hexamethylenediamine (36%), a petroleum derivative. The use of these materials allows for noticeably lower consumption of non-renewable source materials compared to other polyamides made entirely of petroleum intermediates. RadiciGroup is a manufacturer of a wide range of high performance synthetic fibers with limited environmental impact: it is a sole upstream supplier in the sportswear supply chain offering innumerable solutions and opportunities. IRNA