New Labs Highlight Materials Innovation

Toray launches Technorama G III weather simulation chamber.

Investment in textile science brings to life new R&D facilities from leaders in the performance arena: Toray’s Technorama Weather Simulation Chamber, and the Lycra Company’s Advanced Textile Innovation Center, are designed to provide up-to-the-minute methods and the latest research capabilities to encourage and evolve next gen functional fabrics.

Seta, Japan is the home of Toray’s Fibers & Textiles Research Laboratories’ new Technorama GIII facility, an advanced laboratory specializing in reproducing climates from around the world.

Previous Technorama iterations were focused on functional evaluations of thermo-physiological factors, like heat, cold and humidity. Technorama GIII’s vastly expanded compliment of evaluation equipment makes it possible to measure sensations like fabric feel, using “sensitivity engineering” to track human comfort through a range of motion and conditions.

The Technorama GIII is comprised of three chambers, allowing Toray research testers to quickly move between radically different environments, measuring the reaction of materials and products by reproducing everything from a mountain summit to a stuffy, crowded subway car. This provides Toray with unique insight into the performance of everyday casual clothes, as well as high-performance sports textiles.

The testing chambers offer a wide range of conditions including: Variable wind speeds up to 67mph; Rainfall simulation up to 200 mm/hr; Temperatures from -22 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit; Humidity levels of 20 to 80%RH; Solar Radiation levels to 1.16 kW/m² and more.

Lycra Lab Extends Global Capability

The Lycra Company’s Advanced Textile Innovation Center (ATIC) is a 4,500-square-meter Research & Development laboratory in Nanhai, China. Scientists at the R&D center will help mills, brands and retailers throughout Asia, as well as Western-based companies with local sourcing offices, create innovative fabrics and garments using The Lycra  Company’s branded textile solutions -- Lycra fiber, Lycra HyFit fiber, Coolmax fiber and Thermolite fiber.

“Our investment in ATIC not only enhances our global R&D capabilities, but also demonstrates our commitment to providing exceptional service to our customers based in Asia,” said Bob Kirkwood, chief technology officer.

ATIC is fully equipped to simulate real world manufacturing processes including knitting, weaving, dyeing and finishing. In addition, the lab has garment engineering, fabric certification and analytical testing tools.

As part of the company’s Virtual Lab network, ATIC researchers will be able to collaborate seamlessly with colleagues in labs located across the globe.

“By integrating science with apparel market research, ATIC staff will help guide the development and commercialization of innovative garment solutions designed to meet global apparel market needs,” said Julien Born, president, Apparel. “Co-locating ATIC and our South China sales office will enable tighter integration between R&D and our commercial team and help our customers accelerate speed-to-market.”

The Lycra Company, formerly INVISTA’s Apparel & Advanced Textiles business, has operated as an independent subsidiary of Shandong Ruyi since January 31.