The global textiles industry is always in flux. What’s “high-tech” today becomes standard tomorrow, and every year, new products are introduced that change the scope of manufacturing, production, and more. At B&W Fiberglass, we think it’s important to stay ahead of the curve.
We’re an innovation company first, a glass fiber company second. Here are what we think will be some of the stand-out developments to watch in textiles, both industrial and commercial.
The coatings industry has never been hotter. So-called “performance textiles” are coated in materials that enhance their intrinsic capabilities. Silicone (and other elastomeric) coatings are showing huge promise among a sector ripe for innovation. Silicone imbues the qualities of durability, sustainability, and flame resistance to whatever it coats; it’s also highly cost effective. Look for silicone-coated fiberglass to pop up in construction applications as well as in crush of new silicone-based upholstery fabrics for furniture, clothing, and more.
Medical Textile Growth
Smart textiles are set to change the medical space as we know it in the very near future. Many of the most promising advancements in medical textile technology could come to fruition in 2018, particularly sensor-transmitting wound dressings. The field of medical textiles is chock full of moonshot ideas (such as a self-healing textile that emulates skin, for example), but sensor-embedded textile technology is close to going mainstream pending results from several significant trials currently underway.
As glass fiber technology advances, so too do its applications. A company in France recently introduced a fiberglass-reinforced polytetrafluoroethylene which can be used as a single-layer membrane for both roofing and façade applications. Offering the same high strength-to-weight ratios as traditional fiberglass composites, the product provides significant light transmission and even comes in a multitude of colors. From the angles of both design and sustainability, light-transmitting textiles could be an innovation engine.
Increased Yarn & Fabric Production
Globally, textile production is up. Throughout 2017 there has been significant volatility within the overall yarn and fabric market, but recently several unpredictable markets such as Brazil and Egypt have stabilized and are predicted to remain as such into 2018. Stateside, high-specialization will continue to rule the yarn and fabrics markets, including tech textiles. Small- to medium-size producers are nimbler and more easily able to adapt to the market’s rapidly changing demands.
B&W Fiberglass is proud to be part of the evolution of textiles. Our capabilities range from concrete reinforcement to alternative energy; there are few industries our glass fiber solutions don’t affect. We think it’s just as important for us to know how the industry is changing as it is for us to understand what our customers are asking for today.
Questions about how the evolution of tech textiles presents opportunities for your business? Reach out to the team of experts at B&W for help.