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The background: Innovative yarn, intelligent cooperation
Lenzing Plastics GmbH is a subsidiary of Lenzing AG, Austria, and one of the world's leading manufacturers of products made from polyolefins and fluoropolymers. The PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) division of Lenzing Plastics GmbH developed a wire sheathed in PTFE for specific technological applications. To find new areas of application for this yarn, the Fashion study course at Pforzheim University organized a student competition. Eight highly motivated female students took part in it.
The task: New fields of application, tangible benefits
Dimensional stability and strength on the one hand – and resistance to chemicals, ultraviolet light and temperature, ultra-low friction and clean surfaces on the other. The "Lenzing PROFILEN© PPW" yarn developed by Lenzing Plastics combines the properties of wire with those of PTFE yarn.
Under the supervision of Ms. Kerstin Nägler-Bothner, lecturer in concept knitting, and study course director Professor Johann Stockhammer, the eight students who took part were now faced with a complex task. Their job was to find new applications in which the abovementioned properties could be put to optimum use. The focus was primarily on technical textiles, which is why the applications were not exclusively fashion-related.
In cooperation with their professor, the students developed concepts that were all based on knitted fabrics. This is where the Technology and Development Center (TEZ) entered the picture. For implementation of the concepts, Groz-Beckert allowed the students to utilize the Technical Center Knitting in the TEZ, as well as the services of experienced knitting specialists. The enthusiastic students took full advantage of this opportunity in groups of two and three, and spent a busy and exciting day in the TEZ – with expert discussions, practice-based problems, and new insights into the textile industry.
The result: Eight concepts and a win-win situation
The students adopted the most diverse approaches:
- Ms. Maria Fernandes dos Santos developed a cape that acted as a protective cover.
- Ms. Damaris Moos created a multiple-use beach mat.
- Ms. Stefanie Stohwassers produced a flowerpot made of "Lenzing PROFILEN© PPW"
- Ms. Alexia Stohler was inspired by the trend of "city gardening" and developed a portable "Lawn or Flower Mat”.
- Ms. Heike Hilpert contributed a folding origami tent.
- Ms. Verena Lehner modeled a fabric in plissé form (made of "Lenzing PROFILEN© PPW"), and this generated a great deal of interest in terms of its potential architectural applications.
- Ms. Selina Friedmann invented a global raft concept which gained much positive feedback as a marketing impulse.
- Ms. Konstanze Blickle impressed the jury at Lenzing with her illuminated hanging seat, and was pronounced the winner of the competition.
On July 13 and 14, as part of an exhibition at Pforzheim University, the developments were presented to a broad public and met with a very positive reception. The competition has proved how innovations from the industry and the inexhaustible creativity of young junior employees can result in magnificent synergies. Groz-Beckert is proud of having supported this project by supplying know-how, machinery and equipment.
Here's what those involved in the project had to say about it:
Ms. Kerstin Nägler-Bothner: "We were really impressed by the machinery in the TEZ. Without the support of Groz-Beckert we wouldn't have been able to implement the concepts in this form. Thanks very much!"
Professor Johann Stockhammer: "It was very interesting to get a direct insight into the industry, with so much stimulating input. We were especially impressed by Groz-Beckert's quality awareness."
Ms. Stefanie Stohwassers, on behalf of all those who took part in the competition: "The project was definitely a very interesting and very exciting experience. We'd definitely be interested in taking part in a similar project anytime."
Mr. Volker Biladt, Marketing & Sales Director, Lenzing PROFILEN© PPW: "Of course we were aware that our new yarn offers huge potential – but the sheer variety of these first-class application concepts and their implementation still surprised us greatly. We're more than satisfied with the project."
The TEZ and you
Knowledge transfer and training, services and experiments, co-development and co-innovation… the TEZ definitely has a lot to offer! Would you like to help shape the textile future together with Groz-Beckert in the Technology and Development Center? Then just contact the TEZ experts – they look forward to hearing from you!