Tuesday 1 January 2013

Light- and FIR- emitting fibres

Delphine Chevalier of Brochier Technologies, Villeurbanne (France) described light-emitting textiles made by Jaquard weaving 0.25 to 1mm optical fibre monofils with normal textile fibre yarns to create an infinite variety of patterns or words.  The cladding is removed from one side of the optical yarn in finishing so that light can escape wherever illumination is required.  The ends of the optical yarns are then bundled and connected to LED’s.  All-optical fabrics can give even illumination over large flat or curved areas from a textile less than a millimetre thick and weighing less than 500 gsm.  Environment and health applications e.g. air and water purification follow from the use of UV LEDs, and IR LEDs lead to safety and sensor applications.  Blue-light emitting bedsheets can be used for phototherapy, especially for babies with jaundice, the treatment of skin diseases and for winter depression.

Gabriel Gorescu of Rhodia Fibras, St. André (Brazil) said  Rhodia, a member of Solvay Group, has the technology for producing melt spun polyamide microfiber embedded with special bioceramic materials.  These “Emana” PA66 fabrics with excellent texture show a high level of FIR emissivity when warmed by the body and thus give significant skin health improvements in clinical (cosmetic) trials.

On the sport field, besides the improvement of body thermoregulation already known as a FIR yarn benefit, this yarn has shown significant benefits during aerobic running exercise and during repetitive eccentric muscle movements.  In other words, Mr Gorescu was claiming “Emana” fabrics enabled athletes to run faster when they are tired and body-builders to work harder without damaging muscles. “Emana” also heals wounds.

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