OPTEX, a new applied research project to improve and expand the use of luminescent fabrics in sectors with greater added value
From the Digital Industry Area of CETIM Technology Centre, in collaboration with the family business Textil Roig, we have launched the OPTEX project to develop optical-luminescent fabrics for applications in various market sectors. After improving technique and technology, one of the objectives is to apply luminescent fabrics to new sectors with greater added value such as sanitary, safety, home textiles or automotive, in addition to traditional fashion and decoration.
The insertion of fibre optics into tissues allows adding new functionalities based on the ability of these materials to conduct light. One of its most direct applications is the creation of luminescent fabrics that, although they already exist in the market, due to the limitations of current production processes (labour-intensive, few compatible materials, lack of finishes, …) have limited its potential applications to the fashion and decoration sectors. In this way, the challenge of OPTEX will be to apply the advantages of luminescent fabrics to new sectors with greater added value.
The activities that CETIM and Textil Roig will carry out during the 24 months of the project will address a series of unresolved technological challenges, which will give rise to various international innovations, such as: the processing of fiber optics in Jaquard looms through the creation of patterns directly on the tissues based on previous programming; automated fiber optic abrasion; the application of textile finishes for the improvement of tissue properties (fire retardant, hydrophobic, antibacterial) and thus enable new applications; and the development of these new applications, always focused on sectors with greater added value: health, safety, home textiles, and automotive.
Within these activities, CETIM will work primarily on the design, development and characterization of light sources for demonstrators and the design of an automated method for controlled fiber optic abrasion.
Textil Roig (Terrassa, Catalonia) is a company with more than 60 years of experience in the design, manufacture and production of upholstery fabrics for the home textile sector. From the beginning of its activity, it is committed to technological innovation as a differentiating element against competition and as a way to increase the added value of its products and open new market sectors.