FET is celebrating a year of achievements since its new Fibre Development Centre was first opened. This period has shown a marked acceleration in the number of client technical trials conducted, involving the ever-increasing development of new polymers.
Since its inception in 1998, a major part of FET’s service portfolio has always been to collaborate with industrial and research establishments in testing, evaluating and developing high value materials with diverse, functional properties. FET’s previous Process Development Laboratory presided over the development of about 60 new polymer types in multifilament, monofilament and nonwoven formats.
Since the new Fibre Development Centre came on stream, this process has accelerated and the number of new polymers has now increased to over 70, with considerably enhanced facilities more than doubling capacity and increasing efficiency. Clients frequently spend several days on site participating in development trials and technical sales meetings, so the new Centre is designed to make their stay even more efficient and comfortable.
“In the last year we have supported more than 35 clients to conduct trials, many of which have gone on to conduct further trials or place orders for equipment”, explained FET’s Research & Development Manager, Dr Jonny Hunter. “The sheer variety of customers is considerable, we’ve developed new yarns for markets including: novel food products, robotics, aerospace, sportswear, sports equipment, automotive, defence and medical products, to name but a few”.
Hunter continues. “Over these 12 months, interest has ranged significantly from massive multinational companies to start-ups and spin-out companies. It is particularly encouraging that an ever-increasing proportion of new polymer trials relate to sustainable fibres, with more than 25 polymers now being from a sustainable source.”
With more new trials booked for the rest of the year and well into 2024, it is expected that many more cutting-edge new polymers will be developed, with sustainable fibres leading the way.