New smart fabrics and protective gear innovations keep first responders safer

December 1, 2018

First responders—from firefighters to law enforcement to emergency medical services technicians—need to be ready to handle any situation they encounter, and they need the appropriate gear to respond quickly to emergencies. Responders draw on their experience to make sound decisions in the chaos of a crime or accident scene, or in the heat of a …

New products: Savvy textile solutions

Breathable textiles Teijin Frontier has developed a polyester high-gauge knitting material laminated with a breathable film to produce thin, lightweight and breathable textiles. Textiles laminated with breathable film are widely used for high-functional sportswear due to their waterproofness and stretchability. The new material is compact as well as stretchable, form-stable and moisture-permeable. It has a …

Motorized shades for customer comfort

People often agree that a meal tastes better outdoors. That’s why restaurant patios never go out of style. Not only is it enjoyable for patrons, the restaurant benefits from a larger service area with more tables. Princi Italia, a casual dining spot in West Plano, Texas, is one of three locations owned and operated by …

Long-term clearspan tent installations offer a clear advantage

For Jeff McInnes, what better proof of the validity of clearspan structures being used for permanent buildings than having his recently installed aquatic center survive Hurricane Florence in North Charleston, S.C. “We often install permanent structures that sometimes need to be in place for extended durations; anywhere from three to 30 years,” says McInnes, North …

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The development of the membrane structure industry in China

In past decades, with the rapid development of the Chinese economy, noticeable progress has been made for both theoretical research and practical applications of spatial structures in China. New forms of shell and spatial structures have been used in sports facilities, convention and exhibition centers, hangars, manufacturing plants and warehouses. Membrane structures, with the unique …

Washing bag fights plastic pollution

The millions of tons of plastic pollution that end up in the oceans and other waterways each year is quickly becoming a global crisis. One of the culprits is clothing made from synthetic textiles. With each laundering, numerous small plastic fibers make their way from the washing machine down the drain and into oceans, lakes …

IFAI’s Manufacturing for Good booth assembles duffel bags for homeless recovery center

IFAI’s Manufacturing for Good booth made its second appearance at Expo 2018 held in October in Dallas, Texas. Workers at the live manufacturing booth assembled 74 red duffel bags from start to finish. The bags, made from 14 oz. vinyl, were donated to The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, a North Texas-based organization devoted to helping …

Tuft love for natural carpets

Industrial textile designer Liset van der Scheer enjoys the challenge of taking traditional materials and using them in an innovative way. For a recent collection of carpet and poufs for Casalis, a Belgian designer and producer of contemporary interior textiles, van der Sheer explored the idea of bringing the outdoors inside. As she imagined the …

Sustainability, industry trends, and rooftop revels

“It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.”  ~Ansel Adams Just in case you missed the recent announcement: IFAI’s offices in Roseville, Minn., have just installed solar energy panels on the (flat) roof to reduce energy usage, and possibly even sell some of it back to the grid. …

Heat-conducting graphene jacket

Part jacket. Part science experiment. That’s how the makers of a new graphene-coated jacket describe their garment. Only a single atom thick, graphene is invisible to the naked eye. It’s lightweight, highly conductive, and is the strongest material known to humankind. But graphene also comes with challenges. It’s hard to work with and very expensive …