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Kelheim develops viscose fibre that reflects infrared radiation

Kelheim Fibres has announced pilot scale production of a new viscose fibre that reflects infrared (IR) radiation. Viscose fibre can be used to manufacture clothing, and the IR-reflective textile may serve a thermal retention function.


November 11, 2014
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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Kelheim Fibres has announced pilot scale production of a new viscose fibre that reflects infrared (IR) radiation. Viscose fibre can be used to manufacture clothing, and the IR-reflective textile may serve a thermal retention function.

Kelheim explains that the human body releases a large part of its energy via thermal radiation which is mainly composed of infrared light. Thermal radiation leads to a loss of energy and therefore to a cooling of the human body. The newly developed viscose fibre with incorporated IR-reflecting particles can significantly reduce this process: Thermal radiation emanating from a body is reflected by the particles incorporated in the viscose fibre and sent back to the body.

In contrast to a subsequent finish with additives based on titanium oxide, in Kelheim’s fibre the mineral IR-reflecting particles are incorporated into the fibre’s core, preserving the typical fibre properties. The effect is permanent.
First test results of the new fibres that have already been successfully manufactured on a pilot scale, show significant temperature effects in comparison to a standard viscose fibre, states Kelheim. Possible applications, according to the company, are functional underwear, functional sportswear, or warming shoe inserts.

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“Comfortable feel-good clothes and functional special clothing are just two obvious applications for our new IR fibre,” says Dr. Nina Köhne from Kelheim Fibres’ R&D team. For the next step, the Bavarian fibre company is planning physical and physiological textile tests.

Kelheim’s viscose fibres are generally manufactured from eucalyptus pulp.