(P.B. Agrawal and M.M.C.G. Warmoeskerken)
Digitex is a joint research and innovation initiative of the European textile and clothing industry which will attempt to develop and implement new ways of optimal fabric preparation for clothing production. The plan aims to insert into the world market a technology breakthrough based on a novel ECO-friendly flexible digital process aiming at micro-disposing on demand small quantities of multi-functional fluids over textile substrates by mean of a multi-nozzle jetting heads technology in a continuous process at atmospheric conditions and room temperature in order to replace the wet and high temperature conventional process. Digital microdisposal has the ability to accurately localize and pattern functionalities in multilayer textile substrates integrating advanced thermo and hydro regulation, sensorics, actuating and controlled release functionalities, based on nano-technology and multifunctional materials. Digital microdisposal of fluids will alter textile economics in terms of production speeds and on demand production. It unleashes the transformation of the textile sector to a knowledge intensive industry that can differentiate by adding value to the users of protective equipment. It has a broad social impact in terms of increased safety in hazardous environments with more attention for needs of specific users (gender) and non-toxicity, leading to a drastic reduction of environmental pollutions in functionalization process. Research at the Univ. of Twente focusses on the development of slow- and controlled release systems.