Cutting-edge technological developments for design driven world of cellulose

Pirjo Heikkilä, Kirsi Kataja, Juha Salmela, Jani Lehmonen, Jukka Ketoja, Tuomas Hänninen, T. Härkäsalmi, Pia Qvintus, Ali Harlin

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference PosterScientific


    Cellulose is most abundant polymer in the world and has been utilized in textiles. Natural cellulosic fibres such as cotton, flax and hemp are still in use, but also man-made fibres from cellulose derivatives such as cellulose xanthate ester used in viscose process and cellulose acetates have been commercially available for a century. Newer process options include commercial Lyocell process and not yet as well adopted technologies including cellulose carbamate, enzyme assisted dissolution and ionic liquid spinning routes. However, there are also other novel approaches that take cellulose processing beyond these existing technologies. Tekes - the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation has granted funding for project targeting new approaches for using of wood-based cellulose. Project 'Design Driven Value Chains in The World of Cellulose' (DWoC) launched by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Aalto University and Tampere University of Technology integrates design and design processes into the strategic development of businesses operating in the field. The aim is to create a business ecosystem to serve both existing industry and a new, growing cellulose-based industry, and brand Finland as a producer of refined, cellulose-based products. Combining Finnish design competence with cutting-edge technological developments provides many new possibilities suitable for technical textiles and/or consumer products. Shortening of the manufacturing chain of existing textile products enable savings in production and faster responding to customers changing needs. On demand production enable creating customized products combined with the best qualities of materials. Monomaterial approach enables easier and complete recyclability of used cellulosic textile products. This presentation aims for introduction three processes utilized for cellulose processing at VTT, and giving examples of first results obtained from experimental work within DWoC project. Processes selected for the introduction include: 1. Fibre yarn process that produces yarn directly from cellulose pulp fibres without traditional spinning process using novel wet extrusion technique (figure on right). 2. Foam forming method for manufacturing of nonwoven fabrics with excellent formation even as thin webs with less water intense process compared to wet-laying. 3. 3D-printing technology enabling customizable on demand production of various structures using modified cellulosic raw materials. Possibilities include fibres and fabric materials like as well as other components needed in final textile product.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    Event8th Aachen-Dresden International Textile Conference - Dresden, Germany
    Duration: 27 Nov 201428 Nov 2014
    Conference number: 8


    Conference8th Aachen-Dresden International Textile Conference


    • cellulose
    • fibre yarn
    • foam forming
    • 3D printing
    • DWoC


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