Techtextil North America Symposium

The latest technology, applications, and the overall direction of the technical textile and nonwovens industry will be presented by experts and leaders from around the world during Techtextil North America Symposium being held May 18 - 20, 2010 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Held concurrently with the exhibition, the symposium will contain thirteen sessions with more than sixty-five presentations in a variety of formats that will cover a wide range of topics from high performance nonwovens, sustainable materials, military developments and research to smart fabrics and medical textiles.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Textiles and Apparel, Kim Glas, will address the range of trade issues affecting the technical textiles industry and include some information on the Department's Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative. Other topics in this opening session will include a worldwide Industry overview, status of the U.S. manufacturing sector and Implications for technical textiles, plus the importance of technical textiles.

Use of sustainable materials in technical textiles is becoming an important issue in the industry. While synthetic fibers dominate, natural fibers, such as flax, cotton, and kenaf are still widely used and are 'making a comeback' in many areas. Others, like PLA fibers, though man-made materials, are also sustainable. Included in the session will be unique applications as well as important differences between "sustainable" and "green".

The National Textile Center will again participate with Techtextil North America in presenting the latest, most relevant work being done by the National Textile Center Universities. These sessions highlight research in the industry that will drive developments to improve materials and make possible new products. The final selection of topics and presenters will be determined by the National Textile Center at a later date based on the status of the projects and relevance of the work, but it is anticipated that research currently being done in the fields of biomedical textiles, energy, biohazards, environmental, and textile manufacturing (high-tech process control) will be presented.

This topic has always been one of the most successful in the history of the symposium and will once again be led by Eugene Wilusz, Ph.D. from Natick Soldier RD&E Center. Subjects under development include a variety of ballistics, chemical, FR, etc. A special talk will focus on customization of nonwoven military uniforms is this the future?

In this recessionary time, every forward thinking company is, or should be, focusing on developing new products. What will be the next product or variation needed to continue, compete, and grow? Often misunderstood and poorly done, the question is how to do it most effectively which will be the focus of this special session. Product development will be presented as a way of expanding a company's base, preparing for the future, and "growing where you are planted".

The role and impact of nonwoven fabrics to our industry will be covered in many sessions as well as two dedicated ones. The first will focus on the developments and opportunities for nonwovens in a broad range of technical filtration applications. The second will offer a fresh look at some of the techniques involved in producing high performance nonwoven fabrics- and what impact they may have on the end product and promise of products with new/improved properties.

These fabrics are more than wires woven into a garment, they are materials that "do something", by reacting to an outside stimuli to conduct electricity, change color, emit medicines, become FR, or even change form. This session will delve into the fast growing world of smart fabrics/textiles.

Other sessions include: High Performance Narrow Fabrics, Unique Fiber and Yarn Developments, Protective Textiles, Technology and Medical Textiles/Biotechnology.

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