At Techtextil 2019, Covestro will present sustainable developments with its INSQIN® technology for waterbased textile coatings, but also film solutions for such smart textiles. Photo: ©Covestro
From breathable outdoor clothing to smart textiles
Techtextil, the leading international trade fair for technical textiles and nonwovens, will once again open its doors in Frankfurt/Main from 14 to 17 May 2019. Covestro will be presenting new and sustainable developments with INSQIN® technology for aqueous textile coatings as well as a waterbased polyurethane dispersion enabling biodegradable textile coatings at Booth D22 in Hall 3.0. Visitors can also obtain information on skin-friendly coatings for medical textiles, on a new TPU fiber as well as on film solutions for smart textiles, for example.
One of the highlights this time is breathable yet waterproof outdoor clothing. It is intended to protect joggers or hikers from rain, but at the same time let sweat escape from their skin. With the INSQIN® technology, textiles are coated with waterbased polyurethane (PU) dispersions without the use of solvents.
The breathable textiles impart a pleasantly comfortable feeling. This is ensured by an adhesive coating based on Impraperm® DL 5310 dispersion and a top coat based on Impraperm® DL 5249. Both products also give backpacks, shoes and gloves their desired functionality.
Biodegradable textile coating
When assessing the sustainability of textiles, it is becoming increasingly important to consider the entire product cycle – including the behavior at the end of its useful life. With Impranil® DLN-SD, Covestro offers a waterbased PU dispersion that is biologically degradable by microorganisms at the end of the product life cycle. The initial internal tests performed on pure polymer films without additives confirm this. The raw materials enable biodegradable coatings and composite solutions, which in turn contribute to a modern recycling economy. Under the conditions of OECD Standard 301, more than half of the dispersion is degraded within 28 days. The percentage is significantly higher than with acrylate film formers.
The aliphatic PU dispersion Impranil® DLN-SD can be used to formulate very light-resistant coatings for adhesive, intermediate and top coats. They are also suitable for other product applications, such as latex gloves and packaging.
New TPU fiber for fabrics
At Techtextil 2019, Covestro will also showcase a new fiber made from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). Compared to conventional polyethylene terephthalate fibers, it is characterized by an improved abrasion resistance and can be heat pressed at lower temperatures. Tear resistance and a good haptic feeling are further advantages.The fiber can be used in footwear, functional textiles, sports accessories and casual wear.
Innovative film solutions for smart textiles
The use of printed electronics is becoming increasingly important in the course of increasing digitalization in the medical and health sector and also in leisure time. Covestro has developed a range of skin-friendly film solutions to meet the requirements for lightweight and very comfortable smart textile design. Smart textiles are an important application, for example for biomonitoring, diagnostics and drug administration.
Platilon® thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) films are used, for example, in the continuous monitoring of vital functions and exact performance measurement. A conductive ink can be safely applied to the films to achieve this. Housed inside a shoe sole, patient data can be directly recorded and evaluated in real time by electronic devices.
Sustainable textile coatings for medicine
Recently, Covestro has also been developing textile coatings for medical applications. These include surgical clothing, bed pads for hospitals, coatings for medical furniture and even bandages. At Techtextil 2019, the company will present raw materials for sustainable, water-based textile coatings with good haptics and resistance to disinfectants, as well as cohesive bandages without latex for compression therapy and secondary fixation.
With 2018 sales of EUR 14.6 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,800 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2018.