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Techtextil and Texprocess in the age of space travel

In cooperation with the European Space Agency, the shows will illustrate the broad spectrum of applications for technical textiles in space.

9th December 2016

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Frankfurt


Under the heading Living in Space and in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Aerospace Centre, Techtextil, a show for technical textiles and nonwovens, and Texprocess, a leading trade fair for processing textile and flexible materials, will illustrate the broad spectrum of applications for technical textiles, with examples from the aerospace sector.

“Space fascinates people all over the world. All our space missions are backed by many years of research and innovation in which new materials and processing technologies played a decisive role,” commented Frank Salzgeber, Head of ESA Technology Transfer Programme Office (TTPO), on the collaboration with Techtextil and Texprocess. Both shows will take place from 9-12 May 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany.

“It will take several years before we can hold fairs on Mars. Until then, we will show at Techtextil and Texprocess products and processes covering almost all aspects of human life, from clothing, via building and mobility, to safety, medicine and agricultural technology – in other words, all those fields that are necessary for travel and survival in space,” commented Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles and Textile Technologies, Messe Frankfurt.

Expert lectures

In addition to a space-oriented area, insights into the start-up scene and expert lectures are planned. Based on the areas of application for technical textiles, Techtextil will present high-tech textiles and textile processing technologies from and for the space sector revolving around four main themes.

Mobility brings together examples of applications relating to locomotion in space, such as lightweight structures for space capsules and parachute fabrics. Clothing covers the subject of functional garment textiles such as space-inspired high-tech fashion. Civilization stands for textile products for survival, e.g., geotextiles for growing foodstuffs and textiles for medical applications, as well as for energy production or filtration. Architecture presents applications for dwellings and the infrastructure.

Materials for aerospace industry

According to the German Aerospace Industries Association, the German aerospace industry generates annual revenues of EUR 34.7 billion and is set to expand further. With a growth rate of 12% a year, aerospace is one of the world’s driving forces for growth in the field of carbon-fibre reinforced plastics.

Techtextil will present high-tech textiles and textile processing technologies from and for the space sector. © Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jean-Luc Valentin

Used in components of space capsules and fuel tanks, this heat and deformation resistant material cuts weight and, therefore, transport costs. Fibre-reinforced composites are also used in the folding antennae of communication, which can be as much as 30 metres in diameter when opened, and earth observation satellites. Last but not least, a space suit consists of numerous layers of high-tech textiles that protect the astronaut from heat and radiation at the same time as regulating the body temperature.

Dr Rolf-Dieter Fischer, Director, DLR Technology Marketing, said: “Thanks to their extreme durability and temperature resistance, many of the materials developed for space travel are finding their way into everyday products, and vice versa. This is particularly true of fibre-based materials with materials developed for space suits that regulate heat and moisture now being used in sports shoes, garments and home textiles.”


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