Toray Industries has announced that it has won the Chemical Society of Japan’s award for technical development for 2022 for the ‘Development of Highly Functional Textiles by Precise Control of Fibre Cross-Section Morphology’. This is the second straight year for Toray to receive recognition in this prize category for its advances in nanotechnology.
The award recognises the creation of NanoDesign, an innovative conjugate spinning technology that employs a new technology to freely and precisely control the cross-sectional shape of composite fibres, and the successful commercialisation of advanced fibres leveraging NanoDesign.
Manufacturing synthetic fibres entails melt spinning. This means melting and extruding a polymer through a multi-hole spinneret. Conjugate spinning conventionally involves geometrically arranging two polymers with different properties to create composite fibres. This approach develops functional materials with enhanced fibre properties. That is otherwise hard to do with single-component spinning. One downside of conjugate spinning is that there are numerous challenges in setting conditions to stabilise a morphology of two polymers with different properties. Another is limitations to enhancing cross-sectional morphology and the types of applicable polymers, the company said in a press release.
Toray has endeavoured to match demand for even more advanced food, clothing, and housing materials by developing advanced control technologies for polymer combinations and moulding conditions. The company has innovated a flow control mechanism that fundamentally changes the cross-sectional formation mechanism of conventional technologies. Its breakthrough conjugate spinning technology precisely controls fibre cross-section shapes.
NanoDesign makes it possible for fibre designs to incorporate the required functions of fabrics, nonwovens, and other textile materials, including the cross-sectional shapes and polymers in the fibres.
Toray has leveraged ‘NanoDesign to make it possible to develop comfortable clothing fibres that combine natural looks with the functionality of synthetic fibres. Conventional fibres cannot match these capabilities. These advances include Kinari, a fabric that performs like natural silk. Another is Camifu, whose flat C cross-sectional shape combines excellent water absorption and fast drying with a natural feel. There is also Qticle, a stretch fabric with grooves like wool scales on a crimped fibre surface layer for outstanding colourability.
Toray will leverage core technologies in organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, biotechnology, and nanotechnology to progress in conceiving innovative technologies and advanced materials. At the same time, it will endeavour to materialise its corporate philosophy of contributing to society by creating new value through innovative ideas, technologies, and products, the release added.