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The scientific themes developed in the group « Multifunctional Textiles and Processes » have globally for ambition to confer to textile structures (fibres, woven and knitted fabrics, nonwovens) new functional properties, to contribute to the sustainable development of the textile materials, and at last to understand and master the relationships between the manufacturing processes and the properties of materials
Keywords: Surface functions, Interfaces, Sensors Actuators, Smart textiles
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The basic constitutive element of a textile structure remains fundamentally the fibre. With the development of technical textiles and the idea to give to the textile material a strong added value, the strategy consisting in functionalizing the material in order to offer him original properties has gradually emerged. Whether it is of natural, artificial or synthetic origin, the fibre became the object of numerous transformations, either in bulk or on its surface. Moreover, the exploitation of nanotechnologies applied to textile since a dozen years, as well as the development of smart textiles allowed a very important development of this kind of materials and their applications.
Technical textiles are more and more extensively used in the field of medical applications. Since 2007, GEMTEX laboratory develops activities concerning the functionalization of textile structures which will be in contact with a living environment (bacteria, proteins,…), either for antibacterial purposes or for the delivery of drugs and medicines.
The functional properties of a textile product are given by the application field. In order to enhance the main property, to get new properties, or to go to multifunctional textiles, the process needs to be fully understood. The main parameters for the design of new products concern the use of new fibres, and the development of structures with different fibres association, multilayered or with different organization. This has been studied in the field of yarn spinning, knitted fabrics and mostly nonwoven fabrics. The different applications of textile structures include structural composites, thermal and acoustical isolation, filtration and separation, liquid management, biological applications and non-structural mechanical properties. From an environmental point of view, improvements may be provided by the use of new raw materials, which in turn will change the process, or by the use of best available technologies, which have to be developed.