In Portugal, the Textile Industry has a symbolic weight of 3% of the GDP and about 10% of the exports of national manufactures. Thus, this productive area proves to have a strong impact on the national economy, as well as one of the areas of significant employability.
In the last few decades, the influence that Asian countries have had on this industry are sometimes shown to be major threats due to their increased imports. In this perspective, it is of crucial importance that the strategy of this sector passes through the differentiation and creation of value of its products in order to circumvent the threat that the competitiveness of these countries has on its market value.
Innovations in terms of new processes and products are one of the main keys to achieve levels of differentiation that are difficult to reach.
The CBPro_Uniforms project aims to create a new type of functional multi-layer personal protective clothing, including two layers:
● Inner layer close to the body, which should provide comfort through thermoregulation, moisture management, breathability, among other relevant properties;
● Outer layer that will ensure the protection, degradation and sensing of chemical and biological agents, through the use of mesh structures and wires functionalized with nanoparticles, namely graphene nanoplatelets.
The products to be developed, considering the knowledge that will be acquired, will be oriented towards the creation of equipment with properties and functionalities adequate to its specific needs of technical protective textiles, by the inclusion of innovative technologies in the areas of materials sciences, nanosciences and nanotechnologies.
What it’s intended to be develop involves innovative production techniques that comprise 3 fundamental ideas: patchwork, multilayer and multifunctionality in order to develop products with active protection, which are more comfortable and ergonomic.
The planned prototypes will be developed using the following processes:
● Process of straight knitting of multilayer structures: the inner layer should provide thermophysiological comfort to the user and the outer layer should provide chemical and biological protection;
● Process of rectilinear knitting of patchwork structures: distribution of the functionalities of protection, degradation and detection of chemical and biological agents, as well as the critical zones for comfort, along the garment, according to the needs;
● Multiscale functionalization process of filiform fibrous structures and meshes, through the application of graphene nanoplatelets.
The project CBPro_Uniforms (Project POCI-01-0247-FEDER-045240) is promoted by A. FERREIRA & FILHOS, S.A.