Performance testing of textile fabrics
TEAM has unique laboratory facilities available for testing the performance properties of textile fabrics to international standards. Our services can support clothing and fabric development for:
- High street retail stores
- Sports and functional clothing for manufacturers and designers
- Specialist performance textiles for emergency services clothing manufacturers and designers
Testing therefore covers use in areas such as antimicrobial functions, flame retardance, comfort (water vapour permeability, insulation and wicking), the effects of laundering (shrinkage, colour fastness, creasing), strength and weathering.
Fibre processing and cleaning
TEAM have developed an optimised mechanical process to produce clean and well separated fibres. Mechanical processing experiments can be carried out on straw at different stages of retting and maturity to optimise cleaning in terms of fibre yield and separation.
Based on the traditional methods of retting to enable fibre extraction from the plant stems, we have extensive experience of enzyme processing for fibre cleaning and separation. Although we are aware that this is a more sustainable alternative to chemical methods, extraction using chemical methods is used for the production of ultimate fibres and their subsequent testing.
Laboratory trials led to the development and establishment of a commercial scale decortication system, currently being used for the decortication of flax, hemp and nettle straw.
Quality assessment of natural fibres
TEAM has laboratory facilities that can be used for the quality assessment of natural fibres and their suitability for a range of end uses. The facilities are regularly used to measure physical fibre properties such as fibre diameter and fineness, length, colour and cleanliness (MDTA). Chemical properties include alkali solubility, cellulose content, crystallinity and DSC, TGA for determination of pectins, hemicelluloses and lignins can also be measured, in addition to spectroscopic and microscopic methods for fibre and plant chemical components.
Modification of enzymes and enzyme application in textile processing
TEAM is able to offer textile biotechnology services by using enzymes to replace traditional chemical treatment in textile processing. Using bio-engineering expertise to produce ‘immobilised’ enzymes offers exciting opportunities for production of enzymes with specific textile properties. Previous work in the application of enzymes of the processing and finishing of textile materials including cotton fibres and wool fibres, retting of bast fibres, decolouration and effluent treatments, etc. has often resulted in a patent applications on newly developed enzyme based processing for machine washable wool.
Surface nano-coating and surface modification of textile materials
TEAM has recently being developing the surface nano-coating techniques for multi-functional textile materials including super-hydrophobic and antimicrobial properties. Advanced and sustainable technology has been developed to produce multi-functional finishes on textiles for specific end uses.The surface nano-coating techniques can also be applied for the development of composite materials and technical textiles such as protective garments.