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Teijin develops new aramid fibre fabrics for protection from airborne volcanic fragments

The new fabrics are designed and produced in accordance with the Japanese Cabinet Office’s new regulations.

2nd February 2016

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Tokyo

Construction, Protective

Teijin, the leading technology group, has developed two new fabrics of Twaron and Technora para-aramid fibres to protect facilities, such as lodges and evacuation shelters, from airborne volcanic fragments measuring as much as about 10cm.

The new fabrics are designed and produced in accordance with the Japanese Cabinet Office’s new regulations for strengthening evacuation facilities located near volcanos.

The Ministry of the Environment is now using the fabrics to refurbish the roof of the Ebino Eco Museum Center in Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park on the island of Kyushu in southern Japan.

Great tensile strength

Teijin developed its new Twaron and Technora para-aramid-fibre fabrics in consultation with the Cabinet Office, the National Defense Academy, the Mount Fuji Research Institute of the Yamanashi prefectural government.

In simulation tests held at a National Defense Academy facility in September 2015, the fabrics demonstrated their capacity to withstand fist‐sized airborne fragments similar to those produced during the September 2014 eruption of Mt. Ontake, located some 200 kilometers west of Tokyo.

Twaron is said to offer six times more tensile strength than steel of the same weight, as well as superior heat resistance and elastic modulus. Technora boasts even greater tensile strength and resistance to impact, fatigue and chemicals, according to the company.

Protecting facilities

Protecting evacuation facilities and other structures from large airborne fragments is an important issue in Japan, one of the world's more active volcanic regions.

While materials such as reinforced concrete and steel offer required levels of strength and durability, transporting heavy materials and large equipment to highlands can lengthen the construction period and raise construction costs. The deteriorating effect of severe weather on steel is another problem, the company reports.

The choice of which para-aramid fibre to use depends on the envisioned level of protection required for each facility, based on a specific volcano’s activity level, altitude and local weather patterns. Teijin will focus marketing activities on local municipalities and private enterprises in areas prone to volcanic activity, with sales expected to reach 50,000 square meters by the fiscal year ending in March 2017.

Teijin's aramid fibres

Renowned for their strength, sustainability, safety, heat resistance and low weight, Twaron, Technora, Teijinconex and Teijinconex neo are used for applications including automobiles, ballistic protection, marine products, civil engineering, protective clothing, and oil drilling.

Twaron para-aramid fibre is produced by Teijin Aramid in the Netherlands and Technora para-aramid fibre is produced by Teijin Limited in Japan. Both can withstand temperatures of up to 400°C and are said to offer exceptional strength for bulletproof and stab-resistant protective clothing.

Teijinconex meta-aramid fibre produced by Teijin Limited in Japan offers highly durable heat resistance and flame retardation for firefighting protective apparel and industrial uniforms, according to the manufacturer. It is also used as a reinforcement material for heat-resistant filters, rubber belts and turbocharger hoses. In August 2015, Teijin (Thailand) Limited began producing Teijinconex neo, a dyeable meta-aramid fibre offering high heat-resistance.

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