Robotics go underground

July 26, 2021

Plant growth and burrowing animals inspire breakthrough technology. by Janet Preus Soft robotics have received deserved attention lately, and ongoing research is demonstrating real progress in this science, particularly when used in exoskeletons. Mobile robots that can climb, fly or even swim have also had quite a lot of attention, but robots that can burrow …

Breakthroughs in textiles for the aerospace market

July 12, 2021

New fibers and composite technologies offer high-tech solutions in Space exploration.   by Marie O’Mahony In Space, from the needs of humans to rocket engines, advanced textiles are providing some of the most effective solutions in performance and protection. However, to focus on spotting “the next Aerogel” is to risk missing where the real progress is …

Energy in the sustainable textiles’ equation

June 28, 2021

Advanced textiles that support energy conservation fill a growing need.  by Seshadri Ramkumar While it upended normal activities, COVID-19 has provided opportunities to think about what is best for our future globally, in terms of health planning, climate change, energy infrastructure and inclusive economic growth. Textile materials are important components of the energy and sustainability …

Textiles’ role in a growing energy industry

June 14, 2021

European collaborations lead the way in sustainable wind energy production. by Marie O’Mahony The Biden administration is wasting little time putting plans in place to achieve the goal of a carbon-free energy sector by 2035.  Offshore wind energy is an important part of a vision that seeks to combine environmental, employment and industrial benefits. Danish companies …

Helmets and impact resistance

May 24, 2021

Material and design improvements offer better head protection in sports activities.  By Seshadri Ramkumar, Ph.D., and Janet Preus According to the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), about 1.6–3.8 million concussion cases arise every year due to sports and related activities. These are caused by impact or hard blows to the head. According to AAN, helmets …

Giving gloves their due

May 10, 2021

Specialized hand protection covers a range of work environments.  by Dr. Marie O’Mahony The specialty glove market is highly diverse, ranging from disposable products to ones that protect against extreme environments, or cuts and other trauma dangers. In addition to the technical challenges, which are to be expected, the market is increasingly dealing with issues …

Gaining warfighter advantage with flexible hybrid electronics

April 26, 2021

FHEs and advanced textiles are a natural fit for sensing applications.  by Ed Hendricks Flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) technology combines the flexibility and low cost of printed electronics technology with the performance of semiconductor devices to create a new category of electronics. No longer constrained by rigid, bulky and non-conforming printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs), …

Electronics and materials: an integrated approach

April 12, 2021

Flexible hybrid electronics show progress with advances in sensory yarns and fabrics.  by Dr. Marie O’Mahony Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) bring together capabilities from electronics, printing and material sectors including textiles, offering an alternative to product assembly with a more integrated approach for electronics and materials. Textiles-based FHE offer some unique solutions that are attracting …

U.S./international textile trade

March 22, 2021

The top five challenges and opportunities facing the industry in 2021.  by Nate Bolin The list of trade issues facing Washington policymakers in 2021 is long and growing. Indeed, from the ongoing U.S.–China trade dispute, to new trade and investment rules for U.S. manufacturers, importers and exporters, there seems to be no end to the …

Manufacturing revival: a timely necessity

March 8, 2021

The U.S. is shaping its future in the international textile market.  by Seshadri Ramkumar In the past two decades, most advanced nations have focused on advanced technology, paying specific attention to sectors such as information technology and biotechnology. While these fields are vital to the economy, COVID-19 has exposed vulnerabilities in the manufacture of products …