Specialty Fabrics Review April 2022 - 48

[ MARKETS ] ADVANCED TEXTILES
Innovations in advanced textiles
Innovations can be broadly classified
as either incremental or disruptive.
While disruptive technologies lead
to exponential growth and sales of
breakthrough products, incremental
development that caters to the needs of
a particular sector or end user can also
function effectively.
Cameron Smith, Office of
Disruptive technologies
hold the greatest
potential for economic
impact, establishing new
markets and economies
in some scenarios.
Cameron Smith
Texas Tech University
Research Commercialization at
Texas Tech University, offers this
insight: " Disruptive technologies can
have significantly greater barriers to
market entry than typical industry
improvement technologies. However,
disruptive technologies also hold
the greatest potential for economic
impact, even establishing their own
new markets and economies in
some scenarios.
" For example, Gatorade® with its
trailblazing of an entire sports drink
and supplement market was originally
met with opposition. Or, most recently,
5G technology opening the door for
unprecedented wireless connectivity,
and requiring networking services
and device industries to implement
5G capabilities to keep up. Disruptive
technologies also disrupt economies,
abruptly sunsetting some, while rapidly
expanding others to accommodate the
new technology. "
Another interesting example is the
Joint Services Lightweight Integrated
Suit Technology (JSLIST) designed
to provide toxic chemical protection,
reduce the logistical burden on
warfighters and improve comfort.
As developing the enhanced JSLIST
is a long-term goal, the U.S. Dept.
of Defense has been successful with
incremental innovation. The use of
spherical activated carbon resulted in
enhanced surface area while reducing
the weight of activated carbon and
enhancing the adsorption of toxic
48 SPECIALTY FABRICS REVIEW / April 2022
vapors. This is the approved technology
in chemical protective suits by all four
branches of the U.S. military.
The next step is to develop
a chemical and biological
countermeasure capability in a single
protective suit. Such technology
has to be disruptive. The need for
such advanced textile products will
keep R & D entities and small- and
medium-sized operations occupied
with applied research. Developing
such advanced products needs
multidisciplinary investments.
There are interesting developments
on the horizon, which may not be
yet in scale for mass consumption.
Natural product chemistries are
getting good attention due to their
sustainability benefits, and may be
another opportunity in textile markets.
Chennai, India-based Asthagiri
Herbal Research Foundation has been
active in this arena. " Herbal productinfused
textiles possess cosmetic and
therapeutic potential, " says Srinivasan
Narasimhan, Chairman of Asthagiri
Herbal Research Foundation.
Interesting developments in
research conducted by Narasimhan
include a product for disinfection and
decomposing bloodstains in sanitary
napkins. Another product has been
made as " Mask Mate " which on fusion
with masks, provides relief from nasal
infections and also disinfects filtered
microbes. Also, a non-alcoholic
sanitizer has been made which can
be infused into textiles for various
antimicrobial applications.
Platform technology
Evolving disruptive technologies
may be few and far between, but
opportunities in incremental
improvements and developing
platform technologies are relatively
plenteous. Again, in the recent past,

Specialty Fabrics Review April 2022

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