Technical textiles save lives: 3. Transport
You will find technical textiles in mouth masks, quarantine curtains, triage tents, mattress protectors, medical intervention clothing, decontamination tents, temporary storage areas, aprons, in the construction of emergency hospitals, ... Technical textiles protect, save lives and make the difference.
What is technical textile
Technical textiles are the third pillar of the textile industry, next to fashion textiles and interior textiles. It is a collection of textile products that solves a wide range of social and industrial challenges.
Today, there are more challenges than ever. The Corona Covid-19 virus keeps the world in its grip. We fight with all our might against this evil beast Technical textiles play a crucial role in this. How, what and why is discussed in this series. In this article we highlight trucks.
More than you think
In this exceptional period of lockdown, where the whole world seems to be turned upside down, trucks and their drivers are rock solid. Not that they do anything other than what they did before the corona crisis. They ensure that goods move from place A to place B. It is really special that they continue to do so during this crisis. Congratulations and thanks!
That they do this is, of course, entirely their merit. Yet, there is a little bit of technical textiles in the story, so that they can do it safely. After all, most truck trailers contain much more technical textiles than you might think.
It starts with what you see: the sliding curtains that are closed during the ride, but that can be opened and closed in an instant to load and unload goods. The driver loosens the buckles at the bottom of the curtain and he can slide it aside to reach the loading area.
Once unloaded or loaded, the sliding curtain closes again and the buckles are re-tensioned. Where those buckles are located, a lot of tension is put on the sliding curtain. This is absorbed by a second type of technical textile, the straps. Fabricators weld these strips of specially designed technical textiles to the rear of the sliding curtain and they reinforce the zones where the buckles are tensioned.
As a commoner, we rarely see a third type of technical textile: the technical textiles for the roofs. This is also an example of technicality. After all, the roof has to absorb a lot of force and is an integral part of the strength of the trailer.
Did you know?
During this Corona crisis, it is important that trucks can be easily washed and, if necessary, decontaminated. Places that are often touched by different drivers must be disinfected easily. The technical textiles we make allow for all of that to happen.
This is, of course, in addition to the standard specifications, which are in any case common in "normal" times. For each of the trailer applications above there are variants and each application has its own specific technical requirements such as strength, color fastness, water resistance, tear and abrasion resistance and temperature resistance.
Did you know that the material used for a sliding curtain weighs 900 grams per square meter? A curtain for a trailer with a length of 13.6 meters and a height of 2.7 meters soon weighs 33 kilos.
Did you know that a truck roof almost always has a light color? That way, the light outside can shine through it and the load can be seen more easily.
Did you know that some roofs are reinforced with aramid? This extra reinforced technical textile ensures more stability of the truck trailer.
How is it made?
Producing technical textiles for truck trailers requires a lot of experience and technology from people and machines. In a coating process called “direct coating”, a PVC paste (that looks like paint) is placed on a Polyester fabric. Then the whole gets a few more layers of varnish.
It sounds complicated and it is. Keeping the machine under constant tension is a challenge, as is keeping the temperatures of the ovens constant, as well as the shrinking behavior of the yarns. We therefore chose to do all aspects of the industrial chain ourselves.