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Future focus for Nonwovens Network

Sustainability will be high on the agenda, with the keynote speech addressing the theme of achieving a zero waste future for textiles.

21st August 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Leeds, United Kingdom

Medical/Hygiene, Industrial

The UK’s Nonwovens Network is to hold its 27th annual seminar entitled What does the future hold? At the Village Hotel Leeds North in Headingley, Leeds on Thursday 12th October.

Optional tours of the Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour (LITAC) and the new NIRI headquarters are also being arranged for the following day (Friday October 13th).

Sustainability will inevitably be high on the agenda, with keynote speaker Dr Mark Summer, lecturer in sustainable fashion at University of Leeds, addressing the theme of achieving a zero waste future for textiles.

Jen Hill, managing director of B&M Longworth will explain the promise of the company’s Deecomlite pressolysis process in the reclamation of polymers from waste. The multi-patented process has recently been used to successfully recover intact tows from carbon fibre over-wrapped pressure vessels but can be much more widely applied in polymer recycling programmes. It has even been trialled for the recovery of the polymeric components of baby diapers.

Frazer Barnes of Gen2Carbon will outline the opportunities and potential applications for new nonwovens made from recycled carbon fibres. Growth in the production of carbon fibre composites is being driven by carbon reduction and light weighting technologies, including wind turbine blades, hydrogen cylinders and automotive and aerospace projects, with production set to double to 120,000 tons in 2030, and to double again to 240,000 tons by 2040. Gen 2 Carbon employs a pyrolysis method for recycling carbon from waste composites by removing the resins and other impurities and converts the recovered fibres into high performance nonwovens.

In two further University of Leeds presentations, Professor Steve Westland will highlight the advantages of the data-driven design of both textile products and processes, and Professor Steve Russell will explain how nonwovens are likely play a significant role in the delivery of future vaccine programmes, following work on the Vax-Hub interdisciplinary UK research project.

The crucial role of nonwovens in geotextile construction projects will be underlined in a presentation by Chris Quirk, managing director of Naue Geosynthetics and Matthew Tipper, CEO of NIRI, will provide full details of what his company can provide, following the £1.2 million investment in its expanded new headquarters. This purpose-built environment is ideal for the creation of the next generation of nonwovens and fibres, ranging from lightweight fabrics to durable materials, tailor-made for specific client applications.

“In today’s fast-paced and rapidly changing world, unprecedented levels of innovation are required to develop the next generation of textile products and processes,” Tipper says. “Our team applies technical excellence with commercial understanding to unlock ideas and translate them into commercially viable products. Having completed over 950 projects for over 400 clients across the whole of the textile supply chain, our growth is mirrored by the value and success that we provide.”

The seminar programme will be rounded out by a series of 20-minute presentations from member companies Autefa, David E James Consultancy, Freudenberg, Scantech SAS France and Shirley Technologies.

For full details and registration, contact Dinah Wharton: [email protected].

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