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Fibers & Textiles

Fibers & Textiles Special Features of the fibres are: • antibacterial • pleasant to touch • temperature regulating • controlled shrinkage • natural UV filter • B2 flammability in accordance with DIN 41021 and DIN 75200 • heat resistant up to 200°C • washable up to 60°C • lower density than cotton and silk • non allergic • good moisture absorbance • good colouring performance Antibacterial Activity Qmilk is naturally antibacterial. There is no need to use anti-bacterial treatment. It is another advantage of crosslinked polymers (see above) that textiles made with such fibres cannot mildew and will behave absolutely neutral in terms of their odour. Qmilk also has an antibacterial action against E. coli and even Staphyllococcus aureus. The bacteria cannot multiply in the Qmilk fibre and thus it gives a smoothing freshness throughout the day. Moisture absorption The fibres In a first step the casein powder is mixed with water and melted in an extruder to become a biopolymer-precursor. Already now the material can be dyed. This avoids the additional need for water in a later dyeing step, as is required for example with cotton fibres. Now the biopolymer mass is pressed into a specially shaped spinneret in a continuous process to form the fibres. Since the process temperature is below 100°C the special properties of the milk-casein can be maintained. Water is used as a plasticizer. Qmilk offers a wide range of cross-sections and versatilities in clothing, home textiles and technical textiles. The Qmilk fibre can be obtained as a staple fibre and filament. Because of its smooth surface it is ideal for sensitive skin and gives the feeling of wearing something rather silky. The Qmilk fibre easily absorbs moisture and is therefore particularly suitable for applications in underwear, functional sports clothing, and the home textiles sector, but also for technical textiles. Fire protection class The Qmilk fibre reaches fire protection class B2 according to DIN 4102-1 and DIN 75200 and can therefore be used in home decoration, but also in the automotive industry. The textiles The smooth surface of the Qmilk fibre avoids skin irritation and promotes an optimum skin feeling. Qmilk fibre can be modified in its visual aspects and properties for textile surfaces. “The fibres are very smooth and on my skin it feels like silk,” says Tanja Berthold, fashion tailoress at Qmilk. “I love it for my pyjamas”, she adds. “I don’t want to sleep in anything else – ever!” At night she never feels cold, or sweats, thanks to the excellent moisture properties of Qmilk. 26 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/13] Vol. 8

Fibers & Textiles Qmilk is particularly suitable for underwear, as this kind of apparel is worn directly in contact with the skin. Thus skin kindness and hygiene are of utmost importance. In addition to the antibacterial and moisture regulating properties the Qmilk fibres feel very smooth and, thanks to their smooth surface, skin irritations and itching are effectively avoided Asked whether she feels she has been dressed in a Treehugger-Shop when wearing apparel from Qmilk, Tanja says: “Absolutely not. That kind of fashion in the 70s and 80s wanted to differentiate itself from the conventional fashion of those days. Fashion from Qmilk is not only sustainable, but also beautiful, fashionable and sexy.” Other typical fibre applications are pillow cases, bed sheets and mattress covers. Niten Trasy, purchasing manager of Sunham Home Fashion in New York, is convinced that sleeping in a Qmilk-bed is healthier than in any other textile [2]. Potential applications apart from fibres and textiles can be found for example in toys or in dashboard components for automobiles. Since Qmilk features a natural resistance to diesel, ethanol, E10, polyethylene glycol, acetic acid, sodium hydroxide, and oleic acid, it fulfils many requirements that could be applied in the automotive industry. Qmilk collect Qmilk are working to build the first logistics system for the collection of unused, and so far technically, unmarketable milk. References [1] (Website of Qmilch Deutschland GmbH, last accessed Sep. 18, 2013 [2] Qmilk, natural fibre, Brochure of Qmilch Deutschland GmbH [3] Polymerization: From Milk to Plastic - University of Manitoba, [4] Food wastage footprint: Impacts on natural ressources, FAOreport, Sept. 2013 Technical Specifications: Fineness 1.6 dtex fibre cross section* round colour milky white specific weight 1.17 g/cm 3 cutting length 30-60 mm number of filaments 1400 thermal shrinkage (150°C} 0.4 (ow Fest) decomposition temperature 200 °C loop strength 72% moisture absorption 13.6- 16.3 % *Special cross-sections and titers upon request bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/13] Vol. 8 27

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