Circular Economy

Development of Smart 3D Spacer Fabric Composite

Principal Investigator:Syang-Peng Rwei, Ph.D. of National Taipei University of Technology

The production and research of 3D light-weighted knitted/woven structured fabrics conducted by some companies in Taiwan were led by NIKE Co. five years ago. Initially high-cost warp knitting was used in 3D fabric production and currently the low-cost flat knitting method and the circular knitting method having the advantages of the high yield and low capital investment have been developed to be applied to the production. Currently, the 3D fabric technology in Taiwan is still in the lead worldwide.

    • (A) development of short Z-axis (<0.8mm) smart 3-D spacer fabrics. 

The sub-item (A) plans to purchase sandwich mesh fabrics or 3-D spacer fabrics and then coat a specifically designed polymer composition to manufacture 1.shape thermoplastic 3D mesh fabrics, which can be easily re-shaped repeatedly via hot air or hot water. 2.shape memory 3D spacer fabrics. Specifically, the target products include (a)shape thermoplastic 3D mesh scaffolds (thermoplastic cast or spine correcting clothing); and (b) shape memory brassieres. The core technology of this project can also develop (c) a wrinkle free coating material to produce wrinkle free cotton shirts/cloths by adjusting or modifying the shape memory coating composition.

    • (B) development of long Z-axis (3-20 cm) smart 3-D spacer fabrics.

The sub-item (B) will take longer time to develop and need longer verification time. The target product of (B) is preset to one having a high market demand only, that is, (d) a high-pitched heavy-duty airbag jack.

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Team Introduction
Goals and Plan

Figure.(a) shape thermoplastic 3D mesh scaffolds

Figure.(b) shape memory brassieres

Figure.(c)Wrinkle free coating for cotton T-shirt

Figure.(d) a high-pitched heavy-duty airbag jack

Entry Barrier
  1. New Polymeric Material Synthesis To have polyester , TPU, or Nylon possess the melting temperature or glass transition temperature roughly above room temperature. Many new synthesis techniques are thus required.
  2. New coating technology need to be developed. 
Market Scope

3D light-weighted knitted/woven structured fabrics can be applied in novel applications, such as clothing, shoe materials, transportation, buildings, geotextiles, agricultural and medical use. According the report from Transparency Market Research Co., the global market production yield of 3D fabrics for industrial use was estimated to reach about 7,670,000 tons in 2018 and the product value was then estimated to about 3.845 billion USD.