There are few materials as integral to such a diverse range of market sectors than textiles. Their ability to branch across such a varied range of roles is indicative of their versatility.
Careful selection/engineering of the variables, outlined in Figure 1, directly influences the resultant properties, allowing textiles to display properties that they do not inherently possess. Allowing them to fulfil functions such as hydrophobicity, flame resistance, conductivity and abrasion resistance, the ability to fulfil these functions widely broadens their uses and therefore their value.
Figure 1. Variables for selection in engineering Textile Properties in Heirarchical order
Their functional qualities are based on a structure-property relationship whose determination begins at an atomic level with the initial polymer chemistry. The polymer structure will bear influence on subsequent, fibre, yarn and fabric structure, with the selection at each stage determining the resultant properties, figure 1 demonstrates this hierarchical behaviour. A function relates to a role, for example the properties of a fabric will influence its suitability to a specific function, the properties of a textile are engineered to meet a specific function.
In this section you will find outlined a range of textile functionalities, and how textile materials are engineered to fulfil these functions based on the structural/properties relationship. Under each function heading you will find information on their uses across the technical textiles sectors, explanations of the fundamental science behind these functional roles, and how they are being developed and implemented into innovative products/solutions. There are a range of links to support this content and to enable you to explore the subject further. The information presented is interactive so you can submit a question via the notice board, or share information with other users