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Real solutions

December 1, 2014

Medical and biomedical textile breakthroughs were presented at IFAI Advanced Textiles Expo. It might be a process that starts at the fiber level or one that uses a material in a new way, but there is no question that textiles are playing an important role in the treatment of many types of medical conditions. New …

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Makers on the move

November 1, 2014

The Makers Coalition and IFAI join forces to train— and place—a skilled workforce. Talk to just about any manufacturer of sewn products and you’ll hear the same thing: finding skilled sewers is one of the most difficult things about running this kind of business. Now, thanks to The Makers Coalition (TMC), Minneapolis, Minn., and its …

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Invisibility technologies

September 1, 2014

A challenge with very new technologies is to predict with any accuracy how—much less when—they might be applied and what materials would be used to create a functioning product. Invisibility technologies fit into this scenario. By Janet Preus First, it is important to note that an invisibility “cloak” has nothing to do with textiles, per …

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Designer protection

July 1, 2014

From t-shirts to suits, antiballistic garments go high-fashion. By Janet Preus, senior editor When President Barack Obama strolled down the street following his inauguration in 2009, it was a bold move in the eyes of many. Although details of the President’s attire were not made available to the press, we do know that he was …

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Mist methodologies

June 1, 2014

NCSU lab rethinks chemical/biological hazard protection testing and derives important new conclusions. By Bryan Ormond, Ph.D. When you ask first responders if they are more concerned about having enough protection against flash fire exposures, ballistic and physical hazards, heat stress, or chemical and biological threats, more times than not they are going to say they …

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New frontiers

May 1, 2014

Improvements in radiation protective textiles for earth and beyond. With close to $1.46 billion in investments since 2008, the commercial space industry is blasting ahead at speeds close to their supersonic vehicles. Key players include former Paypal co-founder Elon Musk, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and Virgin’s own celebrity Sir Richard Branson. Promises of breathtaking views …

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Tent safety in severe weather

April 1, 2014

Storm safety and evacuation is a matter of planning, preparation and communication. Weather is a way of life in the tent rental and event industry. We are the “rain or shine” people. Tent and structure professionals deliver a finished product when most other people have decided it’s too hot, cold, rainy or windy to work. …

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Textiles and trade

NCTO supports Textile Enforcement and Security Act (TESA), Yarn-Forward rule. The Yarn-Forward Rule spurs investment in the U.S. textile industry, according to information from the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO). The U.S. textile industry has seen a surge in foreign direct investment over the past eight months. No fewer than eight foreign companies have …

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Award-winning geosynthetics

Two IAA-winning projects demonstrate the benefits of geotextile tubes for marine engineering. Award of Excellence TenCate Geosynthetics, Pendergrass, Ga., USA The Embraport Container and Bulk Liquid Terminal was permitted for construction on the north shore of the port of Santos, Brazil, estuary in a tidal zone that would require importing approximately 1.5 million cubic meters …

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The energy around us

March 1, 2014

Energy harvesting researcher Dr. Shashank Priya, Virginia Tech, responds to questions about the status of kinetic energy harvesting technology. What is your assessment of the commercial viability of kinetic energy harvesting? Kinetic energy harvesting prototypes have been demonstrated by several research laboratories and large companies, such as Exelis Inc. There are a variety of platforms …