Up To 95-Percent Light Reflectance: Kelheim Tests New IR-Reflecting Viscose Speciality Fiber

KELHEIM, Germany — January 29, 2016 — Kelheim Fibres, a manufacturer of viscose specialty fibers, has completed the next step in the development of infrared (IR)-reflecting fibers.

During the last months, the incorporation of mineral IR-reflecting particles has been tested in several spinning trials. Different levels of these particles were integrated into the fiber’s core, thereby preserving the fiber’s inherent properties, rather than being added as a topical finish using additives based on titanium oxide or other metal-based compounds. The effects of the new method are permanent and cannot be washed out.

The trials showed that the new fiber delivers a level of IR-activity that could be proven in measurements of the Total Solar Reflectance Value (TSR). Visible light is reflected by 90 to 95 percent, while in the near infrared range, a reflectance of up to 90-percent is reached, depending on the wavelength spectrum. This proves a clear benefit in the reflectance of direct sunlight, where the fiber is capable of providing a cooling effect, for example by protecting the human body from outside radiation.

At the same time, the fiber may also be used in warming applications, where the thermal radiation emitted from the body is reflected by these particles back to the body, reducing the cooling effect and keeping the person warm. In the mid IR-range an increase of reflectance of about 20 percent of m-IR radiation was achieved in tests compared to normal viscose.

The fiber can be used for both textile and nonwoven processes, where the fabric can either protect against outside influences or reflect the IR-radiation back to the inside source. “Comfortable feel-good clothes and functional special clothing are just two obvious applications for our new IR fiber,” says Dr. Daniela Bauer of Kelheim Fibres’ R&D team. “The level of loading can be adapted according to the requirements of the final product, which provides high versatility. As a next step, the fiber will be tested for its effectiveness in various end-applications in cooperation with our partners.”

Posted January 29, 2016

Source: Kelheim Fibres GmbH