The German Federal Ministry Of Economics And Energy Supports A Project For The Development Of A Fully Recyclable Clean Floor Mat And A Process For Separating Raw Materials

Clean floor mats are used in entrance areas to remove dirt and moisture from shoe soles. A high-quality textile clean floor mat, also known as a dirt-trapping mat, usually consists of a rubber backing layer, a base of polyester fabric or fleece and a pile of polyamide yarn. As the rubber backing layer is firmly attached to the top side (carrier and pile), it is not possible to separate the individual components, e.g. after the mat has been used for a long time. Re-use of the raw materials is therefore impossible. For this reason, clean floor mats are usually sent for thermal recycling and valuable raw materials are burned.

In order to prevent this, the aim of the project 'Clean Floor Mat' („SauberKREISLAUFmatte") is to develop a recyclable clean floor mat. In addition, a process is being developed with which the individual raw materials can be returned to the recovered substance cycle. The qualified, safety-related and health-related properties of the new „SauberKREISLAUFmatte" must at least correspond to the state of the art.

 The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi). This will be indicated externally in all project-related presentations by a corresponding logo (BMWi logo with funding supplement).

RWTH Aachen University Tests 3-D Heat Insulation Textiles In Simulation

As part of the 'HEATex' research project, the Institute for Textile Technology at RWTH Aachen University developed heat-protective textiles as underwear. In addition to experimental tests, the heat transport properties of the multi-layer heat protection textile are simulated under the influence of contact heat. The simulation allows a qualified pre-estimation of the heat protection effect of different layer constructions. The simulation model was carried out with the simulation software 'Abaqus/CAE' of the Parisian software company Dassault Systemes SE.

With this approach, the costs and effort of future comparisons can be noticeably reduced. The results of the simulation model show a fundamental similarity to the experimental test results used so far.

Point of fact is that such textiles and materials are extremely important for about 10 per cent of the German workforce: At their workplaces they are exposed to high temperatures (metal, glass, ceramics and steel production as well as forges, foundries, fire departments). During their work assignments, they are regularly scalded and, in worst cases, suffer heat strokes, which occur at a body temperature of over 40 °C. Thermal protection textiles prevent direct contact between external protective clothing and skin and improve the absorption and transport of the body's own moisture.

How are the thermal protection textiles tested?

In the tests, the textile layers of the undergarments are assumed to be solid materials with isotropic material properties. Air inclusions within textile layers and the use of different materials in a layer are taken into account by adjusting the material parameters. Finally, averaged parameters are used. At 79.2 °C, the final temperature of the simulation is slightly higher than comparable final temperatures measured in in vitro tests with heat protection textiles using contact heat and without pressure. In reality, the textiles are actually surrounded by air. Circulation of the air on the textile caused by temperature differences leads to cooling of the textile by natural convection. This effect is enhanced by forced convection in the form of air movements in the test environment. Finally, according to the authors of the Institute of Textile Technology, a certain inaccuracy in the material parameters leads to the fact that the final temperatures from simulation and tests are of the same order of magnitude despite some simplifications.

With the help of simulation, textiles can be efficiently and quickly pre-estimated in a first step. In addition, the component-based structure of the simulation allows quick changes of material parameters or a change of the layer structure. All in all, this can be used to optimise the development of heat-protective clothing. If such a simulation is used, special attention must be paid to the accuracy of the material parameters used. Other physical effects, such as radiation influences, can be integrated into the simulation if these parameters are known. In addition, the authors recommend minimizing the required computing power by simplifying and exploiting symmetries in the geometry.

A detailed version by Kevin Krause, Paul Grünefeld, Lena Barth, Lukas Lechthaler, Christoph Peiner and Thomas Gries has been published in melliand Textilberichte 1/2020.


Efficient And Safe Random Sampling In Laboratories

Sampling systems can be found in processing plants, refineries, various industrial plants and, of course, in the chemical industry. They are primarily used for quality and process control and to verify the performance of analytical instruments. The decisive factor is that the sample must be representative at the time of sampling and must also comply with the specified conditions as far as possible during analysis.

There are numerous options for configuring sampling systems in which gas or liquids are taken in sealed cylinders. Perhaps the most efficient design is a closed system in which the sample circulates continuously through the cylinder during sampling. A closed system takes samples from a pressurised process and transports them back into the process at a lower pressure – usually at a point upstream of the pump. Since this design turns the sampling system into an extension of the processing system, the need for flushing can be reduced or even eliminated.

Cylindrical sampling systems can be used for gas and liquid samples, but they differ in design. The flow path must be different for liquids and gases in order to flush out phase-shifted media from the cylinder. Gases should flow from top to bottom in the cylinder to push any liquid/condensate out of the sample cylinder during filling – and to ensure that no liquid accumulates in the cylinder and interferes with laboratory analysis. Liquids, on the other hand, should be filled from bottom to top to displace the vapour space and ensure that the cylinder is always full.

Liquid Applications And A Continuous Flow

Pure liquid sampling systems take liquids in non-pressurized bottles. These are drawn directly from the process and the containers are then transported further without the risk of spillage or evaporation. Such a system can be used in many liquid applications where the process fluid does not fractionate or evaporate. It is critical to ensure that the sample remains representative. This precaution allows the use of inexpensive glass laboratory bottles for samples – with the added benefit of providing immediate visual feedback on the quality of the sample stream.

 Continuous flow is often useful for sampling, for example when a sample requires constant movement (e.g. to prevent freezing), or when the line to the sampling point is very long. The sample flows through a bypass loop into the sampling system, ensuring that the sampled fluid remains representative of the process – precisely because it does not stay in the lines for long.

If the fluid sample is under high pressure or hazardous, a fixed volume system should be selected. In such a system, the sample first flows into a metal cylinder and is then gently pressed into the sampling bottle by an after flow gas at low pressure. This prevents unintentional overfilling.

 The article is an abridged reproduction of an article by Matt Dixon, senior principal development engineer at Swagelok, and was published in cav 12/2019.


Economic Production Of Textile Floor Coverings In Small Quantities

In order to be able to economically produce smaller quantities, which are increasingly demanded by the market, the technology must become increasingly flexible. The Institute of Floor Systems (TFI) in cooperation with the Institute of Textile Technology (ITA) - both at the RWTH Aachen University - has developed a novel technology that allows machine parameters for the production of patterned goods (e.g. floor coverings) to be changed quickly.

The market trend for textile floor coverings is moving away from rigid series production towards order- or customer-oriented production with reduced batch sizes. Just as Weserland does every day with its tailor-made solutions. The requirements have changed fundamentally and individualised products are in high demand.

For producers of textile floor coverings to keep pace with this trend, the production processes must be quickly and reproduceably adaptable to the characteristics of the different articles. A change of pattern, however, requires a lot of retooling. This not only leads to a loss of production, but also prevents the possibility of changing a pattern regularly or irregularly within the on-going process.

Together with ITA, the TFI developed a solution to the problem of rigid needle attachment. This has considerably increased the flexibility of the tufting process and thus ensured the future viability of tufting technology. An important step, because tufting is a highly efficient process for the production of textile floor coverings with pile structure.

Bearingless System Enables Flexible Processes

One approach to solving the problems has long been the use of needles in cranked versions. These are special designs in which the needles of the rear and front barre are cranked towards each other. The needles are still arranged on a front and rear barre, but are mounted in a holder so that they can be moved relative to each other. This allows the distance between the rows of needles to be adjusted variably up to a straight alignment. However, this VSN technology did not show the desired results in industrial use.

The starting point for the development of the new solution approach was the analysis of the forces and loads arising in the tufting process. A solution consisting of connecting rod and eccentric was ultimately chosen. The function-determining element is a flexible fibre composite plastic component.

The adjustment is now infinitely variable and is even possible during the tufting process. This results in completely new design possibilities and a significantly denser fabric. This increased density due to the angled arrangement is particularly relevant in areas where the fabric is to be formed (e.g. in the automotive sector).

The many advantages of components made of fibre composite plastic range from individual design options to a considerable reduction in weight compared to steel. In addition, dynamic loads caused by the cyclically moving components are reduced. The result is improved running smoothness and a more precise tufting process with fewer faults and interruptions.


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