Technical Textiles

In recent years, synthetic fibers have increasingly been used for products involving technical textiles. The technical advances resulting thereof directly or indirectly add to many domains of daily life without being recognized as ‘involving textiles’.

Few people know, for example, that the safety and stability of dams, dyke reinforcements, roads, streets and freeways is achieved owing to specifically devel­oped textile reinforcement fabrics, so-called ‘geotextiles’, in the form of spunbonded nonwovens, layings, cloths or knittings manufactured from high-strength synthetic fibers designed to achieve filtration, media separation, soil reinforcement and stabilization of the soil or even in rockets used for aerospace purposes. Nobody cares about the ‘heart’ of fiber-reinforced cement, for example in bridge piers made from concrete construction elements provided with prestressed high-tech filaments that prevent the generation of dangerous cracks, and neither do bituminous spunbonded nonwoven fabrics that replace galvanized sheets as roofing membranes attract much attention. In so many other domains, textile materials reflect technical progress in structural engineering, from artificial grass and outdoor textile floorings or canvas covers, tents and air-supported halls to textile architecture of high artistic value (e. g. the convertible roof of the open-air theater of the abbey ruins of Bad Hersfeld, Germany).

Modern high-tech fibers and specifically developed textures have translated into highly advanced technical components, such as in aerospace engineering. For example, the ergometric layout of the textile reinforcement of plastic components that have a lower specific weight than aluminum can accurately be tailored to the coordinate system of the applied forces, resulting in extraordinary aerodynamic performance [56].

All of these examples have in common that technical textiles are ‘bonded’ to themselves or to other components at least at one process stage or the other, with a wide variety of adhesive systems being used.

Although all textiles mentioned here are ‘bonded’ (hot-melt powders being particularly used for clothing textiles), only textile-reinforced rubber goods will be discussed in detail in the following paragraphs.

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