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Author Archives: Tex Tech Industries

  1. Airship Applications of Polyurethane-Coated Fabrics

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    The aviation landscape is continuously evolving, increasing the demand for advanced materials to serve new projects. A leading material in the industry is polyurethane-coated fabrics, which offer various properties that make them an exceptional choice for airships. They are high-performance fabrics that can advance the field of lighter-than-air (LTA) vehicles safely and sustainably.

    Although airship technology is not new, it is getting renewed attention due to its low carbon emissions and ability to load or unload cargo without requiring costly ground infrastructure like roads or airports. Using hybrid-electric power and helium for lift, modern airships are key to the future of sustainable travel and transport, particularly for delivering cargo to remote areas. Key players in the airship industry, such as Flying Whales and LTA Research, are poised to make airships more accessible within several years.

    Learn why polyurethane-coated fabrics are an ideal material to support this burgeoning technology.

    A Shift Towards Polyurethane-Coated Fabrics

    The airship industry traditionally relied on PFAS-coated fabrics, including perfluorooctane sulfonates (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). However, these coatings have become known as “forever chemicals” that do not break down in the environment or human body, where they can cause health and environmental problems. These findings have prompted a transition to safe and sustainable options like polyurethane-coated fabrics.

    Why Polyurethane-Coated Fabrics for Airships?

    PFOA- and PFAS-free materials like polyurethane-coated fabrics deliver a combination of unique properties to offer an ideal solution for airship applications:

    • Highly Durable: Polyurethane-coated fabrics can withstand the harsh environments present in air travel, resisting wear, tearing, and abrasion damage.
    • Impenetrable to Helium: The fabrics have a long lifespan and maintain buoyancy in the air by providing a leakproof, helium-tight barrier.
    • Weather-Resistant: Polyurethane-coated fabrics allow the airship envelope to withstand harsh environmental conditions, including extreme temperatures and UV exposure.
    • Flame-Retardant: The polyurethane coating can be made with flame retardancy to enhance the safety of the airship.
    • Flexible and Lightweight: Polyurethane-coated fabrics are flexible and lightweight, permitting airship manufacturers to produce aerodynamic shapes and minimize overall vehicle weight.
    • Non-Breathable: Fabrics coated with polyurethane are impermeable to moisture and air, meaning that they maintain optimal air quality and prevent condensation inside the airship.

    Tex Tech: Leading the Way in Polyurethane-Coated Fabrics

    At Tex Tech Industries, we are a leader in developing polyurethane-coated fabrics for the manufacture of advanced airship envelope materials. Our polyurethane coatings are flexible, lightweight, and non-breathable to deliver optimal helium retention, which supports prolonged flight times. Our commitment to sustainability and innovation has made us a trusted leader in supplying high-performance materials to airship manufacturers.

    The Future of Airship Technology and Polyurethane-Coated Fabrics

    As the airship industry evolves, polyurethane-coated fabrics will be a driving force in sustainability and the creation of versatile LTA vehicles. Polyurethane-coated fabrics are crucial in growing the capabilities of airships and unlocking new airship applications, including scientific research, passenger travel, surveillance, and cargo transportation.

    Learn More About Polyurethane-Coated Fabrics

    As the airship industry expands, manufacturers are seeking PFAS- and PFOA-free fabrics to reduce the environmental and health impact of their operations without compromising the safety and performance of their vehicles. Polyurethane-coated fabrics are a leading sustainable alternative that offers performance similar to traditional PFAS- and PFOA-coated fabrics. The material is durable, weather- and flame-resistant, leak-free, and lightweight. The growing adoption of polyurethane-coated materials will help expand the applications of LTA vehicles in the future.

    Tex Tech is a specialty fabric and textile designer and manufacturer. We develop innovative material solutions for critical industries, including aerospace, defense, automotive, filtration, and medical. Contact us or request a quote to speak with a specialist about our polyurethane-coated fabrics for the airship industry.

  2. What Does a Heat Shield Do?

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    Space exploration involves exposure to incredibly harsh conditions, and missions involving re-entry face the biggest challenges of all. Whenever spacecraft and payloads must re-enter the earth’s atmosphere, special solutions must be in place to ensure it can withstand the high temperatures and speed it will be exposed to. Heat shields provide this protection, and play a multifaceted role during re-entry. 

    In this article, we’ll answer the question, “What does a heat shield do?” and take a closer look at the design components that make heat shields able to withstand space environments. 

    What Does a Heat Shield Do? 

    A heat shield’s role is to protect the spacecraft during the re-entry phase of a mission. Heat shields act as insulators – redirecting, reflecting, or absorbing the extreme heat generated as the spacecraft re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere. They also help the spacecraft slow down to below supersonic velocities. This is the first and most crucial phase of landing a vehicle safely, either to protect human passengers or to ensure a passengerless vehicle can later be reused.  

    Understanding the Environmental Conditions of Re-Entry

    During the re-entry phase of a mission, the spacecraft is exposed to high levels of radiation, drastic temperature variations, and friction from atmospheric particles. During this time, the spacecraft will exceed speeds of over 7 kilometers per second and experience external surface temperatures of over 1,600 °C. Reliable shielding mechanisms are needed to ensure these conditions do not destroy the spacecraft and its payload. 

    The Function of Heat Shields in Space

    Heat shields can be thought of as the first line of defense for a spacecraft during re-entry. During descent, an immense amount of kinetic energy is generated. Heat shields help safely dissipate this, preventing extreme overheating that would result in structural damage. There are multiple types of heat shields currently used in space missions, as well as experimental technology still in development. 

    Thermal protection systems, radiative cooling, and ablative shields are three different methods of efficiently managing thermal loads:

    • Thermal protection systems (TPS). Using a variety of insulating materials, such as ceramics or carbon composites, these systems provide a protective barrier against high temperatures. 
    • Radiative cooling. Radiative cooling is a passive cooling method that dissipates heat to ensure optimal internal temperatures.
    • Ablative heat shields. This type of heat shield features a layer of plastic resin that burns off during re-entry, creating a gaseous reaction that lifts heat away from the shield’s outer wall. 

    Key Components and Design Configurations

    Heat shield design involves careful consideration of aerodynamics, spacecraft structure, and mission-specific requirements. To begin, the heat shield must be designed in an aerodynamic shape that will minimize drag and compression during descent. 

    When an object enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it experiences friction, or drag, that creates extreme mechanical stress. The heat shield should feature a structure that mitigates these effects. Material durability and shield structural integrity are other important considerations. Heat shields must be made from high-performance yet lightweight materials that minimize the spacecraft’s overall mass while being able to withstand the rigors of space travel. 

    Challenges and Innovations in Heat Shield Technology 

    While many advancements have been made in heat shield technology, there are still many challenges that persist. Developing solutions that meet weight restrictions while providing reliable thermal protection is an ongoing issue. However, research has been driving innovation in this field, and there are many promising new technologies. 

    Advancements in materials science are creating new, more lightweight, and durable composites that can enhance heat shield performance. At the same time, additive manufacturing allows for the creation of more complex geometries and highly customized heat shield designs. At Tex Tech, we develop advanced thermal protection systems using innovative textile products.

    Heat Shield Solutions From Tex Tech

    Space heat shields are essential for protecting astronauts and spacecraft during the re-entry phase of space exploration missions. As one of the most thoroughly researched areas of the aerospace industry, there are many options available to create a reliable thermal protection system, and new innovations are being made every day.

    At Tex Tech, we’re committed to delivering the most advanced heat shield solutions, backed by over a century of experience. To learn more about our products for the aerospace industry, contact us or request a quote today. 

  3. Where to Find PFOA and PFAS-Free Fabrics

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    Sustainability is a critical consideration in developing textiles for the dry filtration and aerospace industries. Many textile manufacturers are growing more conscious of the coatings used in their materials and are looking for more sustainable alternatives to fabrics that contain perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Here, we’ll explore what PFOA/PFAS-free fabrics are and where you can find them.

    Understanding PFOA/PFAS Chemicals

    PFAS includes various per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluoro octane sulfonate (PFOS), and more. While these chemicals were once approved by the EPA, they have recently been under rigorous scrutiny. Emerging studies have linked PFAS/PFOA to unwanted health and environmental effects.

    At Tex Tech Industries, we are leading the way with PFOA and PFAS-free textiles made with environmentally friendly coating materials. These fabrics offer a sustainable solution for aircraft and dry filtration applications without sacrificing performance.

    What Are PFOA/PFAS-Free Fabrics?

    PFOA and PFAS-free fabrics are textiles manufactured with alternative materials to PFOA and PFAS chemicals. These fabrics offer numerous benefits, such as being non-toxic, eco-friendly, and sustainable. PFOA/PFAS-free fabrics come in various types, ranging from natural options like organic hemp or cotton to synthetic alternatives made with highly advanced, safe coatings.

    Where to Find PFOA/PFAS-Free Fabrics

    PFOA/PFAS-free fabrics are commonly found in various industries, including:

    • Aerospace. PFOA/PFAS-free fabrics are widely used in the aerospace industry for applications like aircraft interior components and flame-resistant upholstery. The textiles provide enhanced safety without introducing hazardous chemicals into critical aerospace environments. Newer alternative textiles feature similar water, stain, and oil repellency to PFAS fabrics.
    • Dry Filtration and Separation. The dry filtration and separation industry requires quality fabrics capable of trapping and filtering particles from the air as it passes through the filter. These fabrics are commonly made with PFOA/PFAS-free materials to reduce harm to people and the environment.

    Tips for Identifying PFOA/PFAS-Free Fabrics

    If you need PFOA/PFAS-free fabrics for your application, there are a couple of key things to look for. Be sure to select materials that feature certifications on their labels, such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) or OEKO-TEX Standard 100. These certifications signify a commitment to safe and sustainable textile manufacturing practices.

    PFOA/PFAS-Free Fabrics From Tex Tech Industries

    PFOA and PFAS chemicals can harm the environment and negatively impact personal health. As such, textile manufacturers like Tex Tech Industries have moved away from these chemicals in favor of safe, sustainable, and eco-friendly alternatives. With nearly a century of experience in the textile industry, the experts at Tex Tech can work with customers to deliver high-performance PFOA/PFAS-free fabric solutions for aircraft and dry filtration applications.

    To aid in contributing to a greener and healthier future, contact Tex Tech today to learn more about our PFOA/PFAS-free fabrics. You can also request a quote to get started on your custom textile solution.

  4. How Do You Extinguish a Lithium Battery Fire?

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    Today, lithium-ion batteries are found in many electronics, from smartphones to medical devices to cars. They provide reliable power with recharging capabilities. However, the popularity of this type of battery requires knowledge of what to do in the event of a lithium battery fire. Specializing in flame-retardant materials and fabrics, Tex Tech is an industry expert in handling this type of hazard.

    Learn the risks related to lithium batteries, how to prevent a fire, and what to do to put out a lithium battery fire.

    CarbnX Non Flammable

    Discover Our Non-Flammable Textiles

    Why Do Lithium Batteries Catch Fire?

    If a lithium battery overheats, it can burst into flames. This thermal instability, referred to as thermal runaway, happens when flaming gases are vented from the lithium-ion cells in the battery. The overheating of one failing cell causes a chain reaction in the other cells. The reaction can happen within milliseconds to hours, depending on how quickly each cell fails. The exothermic heat given off during the reaction may be sufficient to start a fire.

    Triggers for lithium battery fires include:

    • Short circuits. Improper storage, damage, and metal dust left over from manufacturing can cause circuits to short, leading to combustion.
    • Overheating. Extreme temperatures on loading docks, cargo holds, or tarmacs can lead to overheating or fire during transit or storage.
    • Rough handling. Dropping a battery or jostling it excessively during transport or use can set off thermal runaway.
    • Physical damage. Damage from shredding or dismantling a battery during recycling operations can result in an explosion.
    • Wet/humid conditions. Rainwater, salty air, and humidity might cause short circuits and trigger thermal runaway even without prior damage to the battery.

    How to Put Out a Lithium Battery Fire

    In the case of a lithium battery fire, there are several ways to extinguish it based on the size and type of battery.

    Class D fire extinguishers are effective against lithium-metal battery fires. Lithium-ion battery fires are Class B fires, indicating the presence of flammable liquids, so a standard dry chemical or ABC extinguisher can put them out. Lithium battery fire extinguishers counteract the liquid electrolytes in the battery that create conductive pathways.

    Small lithium batteries contain very little lithium, so they can be doused with water. To put out large lithium-ion battery fires, use a foam extinguisher containing CO2, powder graphite, ABC dry chemical, or sodium carbonate.

    In battery pack fires, each cell may burn on a different timeline. Place the battery pack in a protected outdoor space to allow it to completely burn out.

    If a fire cannot be extinguished, let the battery burn out in a controlled way. Prevent the fire from spreading by soaking the surrounding area with water.


    How to Prevent a Lithium Battery Fire

    Recognizing the warning signs of a failing lithium battery is paramount to preventing a fire. Unusual heat, noise, smoke, odor, or swelling are all indications that the battery is failing.

    Follow these tips to prevent a lithium battery fire from taking place.

    1. Buy batteries from reputable manufacturers.
    2. Never try to recharge non-rechargeable batteries.
    3. Once a charging cycle is complete, disconnect the battery from the charger.
    4. Use the charger that came with the battery or one approved as compatible by the manufacturer.
    5. Keep batteries away from extreme temperatures.
    6. Charge batteries in a fire-safe charging bag, if possible.
    7. Inspect batteries after they are first installed and periodically after recharging. If they appear damaged, do not recharge.
    8. Remove lithium-ion batteries from items before storage.

    If a charging device emits excessive heat, unplug it from the power source and store it away from combustible objects until the device has cooled down. If necessary, replace the battery or call the fire department.

    Choose Tex Tech for Lithium Battery Fire Safety

    Lithium-ion batteries allow us many conveniences. To use these power supplies responsibly, we should be aware of how to prevent and put out lithium-ion battery fires. Though these events are rare, it is best to be prepared.

    Tex Tech is a leading manufacturer of high-performance industrial textiles, including flame-retardant fabrics for high-temperature or fire applications. Contact us or request a quote to learn more about how our products and capabilities can serve you.

  5. Thermal Protection Systems and Materials

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    The term thermal protection system (TPS) refers to various materials applied externally to the outer structural skin on an orbiter to maintain acceptable temperatures, especially for the reentry phase of a mission. Materials used for a TPS are selected for their high-temperature stability and weight efficiency.

    Space vehicles that enter the earth’s atmosphere require thermal protection systems to protect them from aerodynamic heating. The TPS system used by space vehicles inhibits the conduction of heat on the interior of the vehicle by combining an underlying layer of thermal insulation with high-temperature resistant surface materials.

    Aerospace And Thermal Protective Systems

    Thermal Protective Systems & Materials

    Thermal Protection System Materials

    Friction with the atmosphere during re-entry produces extreme temperatures that require specialized shielding systems to protect space vehicles. In addition to heat, space vehicle thermal protection systems also shield systems and the airframe from the extremely cold conditions that occur during parts of orbit. A TPS is produced using the following materials:

    Reinforced Carbon Carbon (RCC)

    RCC is a strong all-carbon composite. It is light gray and able to withstand the aerodynamic forces of launch and re-entry, which reach up to 800 lbs per sq. ft.

    Felt Reusable Surface Insulation (FRSI)

    Felt Reusable Surface Insulation (FRSI) is a type of protective blanket material that shields orbiter surfaces from high temperatures. It protects surfaces from heat between 350 °F to 700 °F.

    Reusable Surface Insulation Tiles

    Space vehicle tiles come in two types: white for low-temperature applications, and black for high temperatures. High-temperature reusable surface insulation tiles utilize a black borosilicate glass coating that has an emittance value higher than 0.8. They protect areas of the vehicle which reach temperatures up to 2,300 °F.

    Low-temperature reusable insulation tiles are coated in a white substance that contains the necessary optical properties to maintain on-orbit temperatures. These low-temperature reusable insulation tiles are placed on vehicle areas that have the potential to reach a maximum of 1,200 °F.

    Tile Bonding

    The bonding agent that attaches tiles to the vehicle surface is a type of silicone adhesive. Silicones are an ideal bonding agent for these types of applications. They retain excellent bond strength during the high temperatures of re-entry and are also flexible at the low temperatures experienced during orbit.

    Legacy TPS Products

    Legacy materials are often difficult to source due to low volumes, and lack of demand for years, or even decades. Tex Tech is the only US company that has re-created these types of products to NASA specs to provide exceedingly well characterized materials that orbital vehicle designers can utilize with confidence.

    Infused Stabilized Ablative Insulation Felt

    Our system replaces a traditional single use cork TPS with a higher performance multi-use composite system that relies on a fiber reinforcing structure to increase the erosion resistance. Tex Tech produces low temperature ablative systems using felts that have been stabilized with a high char yield silicone. This silicone can also be customized further to meet low out-gas requirements when needed.

    Multi-layered Felt Hybrids (MLF)

    MLF takes the concept of MLI (Multi-Layered Insulation) and adapts it for use with needle-punched hybrid structures rather than laminated films. Carbonizing Assembly may be used to fabricate unique precursor structures for C/C or C/SiC. Within this assembly a non-woven felt is sandwiched between two or more woven fabric layers. Once converted to C/C or C/SiC, the assembly becomes a highly insulating composite with high thermal stability.

    Aerospace And Thermal Protective Systems Video

    Requirements of a Thermal Protection System

    The amount of pressure and aerodynamic heating that occurs during launch and re-entry varies according to vehicle type, shape, and trajectory. To provide adequate protection, the following requirements must be met for all thermal protection systems.

    • Heat load. Regulating the flow of heat into and out of the vehicle is the main role of thermal protection systems. In most situations, a TPS is designed around the aerodynamic heating during a vehicle’s re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. The TPS system must be able to withstand high temperatures without excessive degradation of material properties.
    • Mechanic loads. Extreme aerodynamic pressure, as well as in-plane inertial, dynamic, and acoustic loads, are all mechanical loads on the TPS. The TPS must withstand these loads without failure.
    • Deflection limits. The TPS shapes the vehicle’s aerodynamic profile. Surface deflections of the TPS need to be below a certain limit to maintain this aerodynamic profile and prevent local overheating and system failure.
    • Impact loads. The TPS can be subjected to many types of impact during installation, launch, flight, and landing. Having adequate impact resistance is an important requirement of a TPS.
    • Chemical deterioration. High surface temperatures during re-entry make the TPS susceptible to oxidation. It may also be altered during maintenance.
    • Low-cost operability. A TPS will require maintenance throughout its life, in addition to the initial fabrication and installation costs. A TPS should be easily replaceable or repairable as well as designed to withstand a certain amount of damage without requiring immediate repair.
    • Lightweight. Due to the large amount of space that a TPS occupies, it makes up a majority of the launch weight. To prevent the need for increased fuel requirements, a TPS must be as lightweight as possible.

    TPS Solutions from Tex Tech

    Tex Tech Industries is proud to be an industry leader in high-performance textile manufacturing. Since 1904, we have been delivering the highest quality products available for the most challenging applications. Our expert research and development team and state-of-the-art facilities allow us to provide the high-performance textile solutions the aerospace industry demands. For more information about our advanced TPS solutions or our other textile products and services, please contact us or request a quote today.

  6. What Are Coated Fabrics?

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    The coated-fabrics industry has realized significant growth in the past decade, largely propelled by the rising safety standards in the aerospace, protective clothing, and transportation industries. This discussion goes into depth about coated fabrics, highlighting the different types of coatings for specific applications.

    Coated Fabrics Explained

    Coated fabrics can be made from woven, knit, and non-woven textiles to which a polymer or resin is applied to impart additional characteristics. This can be done to:

    • Generate greater protection such as corrosion resistance, strength, thermal resistance, durability, abrasion resistance, etc.
    • Coatings can also be used to make materials capable of being welded or to make them air or water-holding or resistant.

    Commonly used coatings include:

    • Urethane
    • Silicone
    • Solvated rubber
    • PVC
    • Acrylic

    Depending on their end-use, coated fabrics can offer numerous benefits. For example, they can be anti-fungal, anti-static, or antibacterial. They can also provide the following:

    • Resistance to environmental challenges
    • High visibility
    • Enhanced elasticity
    • Improved weldability

    Polymer Coated Fabric

    Depending on specific material requirements, different substrates can be selected to cater to desired end-product attributes. The correct polymer system can then be selected and the coating can be applied to one or both sides depending on their intended use.  Examples of such fabrics are:

    • Wovens (2D and 3D)
    • Non-wovens
    • Weft-knits
    • Warp-knits
    • Circular knits

    Polymer coatings represent a wide selection of polymer-based materials with unique functions. Popular polymers include:

    • Rubber polymers
    • Silicone
    • Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)
    • PVC

    Coated fabrics are used to enhance the properties of dynamic fabric products, providing benefits such as antimicrobial properties, metallic or electrically conductive attributes, and even phase-change capabilities. With the advancement of coating technology, smart textiles are becoming increasingly prevalent, allowing fabrics to be more reactive to electrical impulses and electronic commands.

    Rubber Coated Fabric

    Rubber-coated fabrics are manufactured using calendar coating or spread coating processes. Bonding agents are applied to the fabric substrate. Different rubber compounds can be used to coat the fabric depending on the product’s intended use.

    The coated fabrics then undergo a curating process to strengthen the bond between the rubber and the fabric. Advantages of rubber-coated fabrics include:

    • Great stability
    • Durability
    • Low penetration and diffusion
    • Electrically non-conductive
    • Temperature, oil, and weather resistant

    Silicone Coated Fabric

    Silicone is an outstanding polymer for enhancing a fabric’s heat resistance and providing anti-stick or anti-slip properties. It is also chemically inert and can resist water absorption.  Popular uses include aerospace Thermal Protection Systems, gaskets, airbag fabrics, thermal insulation barriers, medical coatings, and more. Some of the top benefits of silicone-coated fabrics include:

    • Silicone has superior dielectric properties
    • Silicone offers excellent resistance to weather, chemicals, ozone, and aging
    • Silicone is neutral, non-toxic, and non-stick

    Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) Coated Fabric

    Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is a very versatile polymer that offers increased durability, flexibility, tensile strength, or make your coated fabrics hold air or water, and many other performance enhancements.  Depending on your specific requirements, the compound can be designed using softer TPU’s, such as polyether or polyester, or harder compounds utilizing aromatic or aliphatic urethanes.  

    TPU coating compounds can be water-based or solvent-based. Solvent-based coatings have strong adhesion to fabrics which is ideal for products that will utilize welded seams.  These PU-coated materials are ideal for applications that need to be air or water holding.  PU-coated fabrics are commonly used in medical fabrics (blood pressure cuffs, cold therapy devices, etc), defense materials for air/water sealing (ballistic vest heat weldable materials, anti g-suit bladders, life vests/rafts), recreation markets (SCUBA buoyancy compensators, life vests, sporting pads).

    PVC Laminated Fabrics

    PVC coatings offer enhanced abrasion resistance, durability, flexibility and weather resistance.  These materials are commonly used for architectural applications, tents, geomembranes, or inflatable structures. PVC offers a cost effective solution that is a good solution in acidic applications or applications involving food or drinking water. 

    Note that applying a finishing topcoat offers better resistance against dirt particles. Other finish coatings offer UV resistance, making the fabric more durable.

    High-Performance Coated Fabrics from Tex Tech

    At Tex Tech, we pride ourselves in our ability to seamlessly integrate process engineering and material design to produce a final coated product that will make your product stand out in today’s marketplace.

    We specialize in coating fabrics with a wide selection of polymer-based materials such as PVC, polyurethane, silicone, rubber, and more. Contact us today for more information about our services and to request a quote

  7. Tex Tech Partners With NASA to Provide Thermal Protection for the SLS (Space Launch System)

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    NASA utilizes thousands of materials to build the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft. As part of the Artemis program, Tex Tech is a supplier of materials used as a thermal ablative material in the Space Launch System’s solid-fueled rocket nozzles on the SRB (solid rocket booster) and Orion’s LAS (launch abort system).

    What is a Thermal Protection System?

    Thermal protection systems are crucial components in aircraft and space orbiters, serving to regulate temperatures, especially during reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere. Made up of a combination of high-temperature-resistant surface fabric and thermal insulation, these systems protect the outer structure and its contents from both intense heat and cold temperatures encountered at high altitudes. The TPS helps maintain appropriate temperatures, preserving the airframe and ensuring safe and successful missions.

    Thermal protective systems are produced using:

    • Ablative assemblies
    • 3D textiles
    • Current TPS products
    • Legacy TPS products
    • Felt Reusable Surface Insulation (FRSI)
    • Tile Bonding
    • Reinforced Carbon Carbon (RCC)
    • Infused Stabilized Abrasive Insulation Felt
    • Multi-layer Felt Hybrids (MFH)

    Tex Tech Industries supplies material used to form an ablative structure inside solid-fueled rocket nozzles. It protects the metal structure of the vehicle from the extreme heat generated during the launch.

    Why Thermal Protection is Critical for the Future of Orion and the Artemis Program

    NASA’s Artemis program is an effort to put astronauts on the lunar surface with the goal of developing an ongoing presence there. The most challenging objective of the Artemis mission is to utilize the moon as a stepping stone for a future mission to Mars.

    As the exploration vehicle for the program, the Orion spacecraft has been designed with the utmost care and attention to detail, incorporating over 50 years of spaceflight research and development. The first integrated mission, Artemis I, will see an uncrewed Orion venture thousands of miles beyond the moon over a period of about six weeks. Artemis I will lay the foundation for future missions, including the launch of Artemis II, where the Orion spacecraft will serve as the crew’s transport to space. The Orion will not only transport the astronauts, but it will also provide the necessary support for their missions and offer emergency abort capabilities in case of an unforeseen event. The spacecraft is designed to ensure a safe return from deep space with its capabilities for re-entry from high velocities.

    One of the most critical components of the Orion spacecraft is its thermal protection system, which is responsible for protecting both the spacecraft and the future astronauts it will carry from the dangers of deep space travel. The success of the thermal protection system is essential to the success of future missions.

    Learn More About Thermal Protections Systems with Tex Tech

    The aerospace and aviation industries rely on thermal protection systems to guard against the extreme heat and cold associated with the launch of spacecraft, high altitudes, and atmospheric re-entry conditions. Tex Tech Industries develops thermal protection systems that meet rigorous demands and can perform reliably under intense conditions.

    For over a hundred years, Tex Tech has been a leading manufacturer of technical textiles. The company continues to be at the cutting edge of innovation in high-performance textiles. We deliver individualized solutions for the most challenging applications.

    Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities or to request a quote.

  8. A Closer Look at the High-Performance Materials Used for Chlor-Alkali Processing

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    High-performance materials, specifically high-performance textiles, have a wide range of applications across various industries. Manufactured with the use of traditional fabric-making processes — such as spinning, weaving, and knitting — these fabrics can be designed to meet specific strength and corrosion-resistance requirements and can be made to provide superior protection against natural elements.

    These cutting-edge textiles find applications in areas including protective-clothing manufacturing for military and firefighting applications, stain- and moisture-repellent coatings for industrial applications, and corrosion-resistant membranes for corrosive chemical processes. Thanks to this great versatility, the high-performance textile industry is showing sustained annual growth rates close to 20%.

    In chlor-alkali processing, in particular, high-performance fabrics play a critical role in ensuring optimal efficiency.

    Understanding Chlor-Alkali Processing

    Chlor-alkali processing is essentially the electrolysis of sodium chloride (NaCl), allowing for the creation of chlorine and sodium hydroxide, along with hydrogen. All three of these chemicals have many large-scale industrial applications.

    The chlor-alkali process makes use of brine and a membrane cell. The anode oxidizes the chloride ion, which loses an electron to become free chlorine gas. The hydrogen ions are pulled from water and reduced at the cathode, forming hydrogen gas. The semi-permeable membrane at the center permits the sodium ions to travel to a second chamber, where they react with water to produce sodium hydroxide.

    All of the materials involved in chlor-alkali processing — both raw materials and final products — are highly reactive and corrosive. Therefore, inert materials are essential for successfully carrying out the process.

    Tex Tech produces an array of high-performance fabrics specifically suited for such applications. These carbon fiber-based woven materials are resistant to corrosion and can be significantly stretched, improving flexibility and formability. These nonporous woven textile membranes can greatly improve the efficiency of the chlor-alkali process.

    Common Applications for Chlor-Alkali Materials

    It’s critical to work with a fabric that is compatible with chlor-alkali processing to ensure optimal quality of the resultant chemicals. As mentioned earlier, all three products produced — chlorine, hydrogen, and sodium hydroxide — are widely employed across various industries.

    In fact, chlorine is used in roughly 55% of all industrial chemical processes and has applications in the manufacturing of plastics and resins, water purification processes, and the production of pure silicon, which is used in electronic components and solar panels.

    Similarly, sodium hydroxide, or caustic soda, is widely used in food manufacturing, aluminum manufacturing, and the textile industry, in addition to serving as a cleaning agent.

    Hydrogen, as a combustible gaseous fuel, is used in fuel cells, and in the manufacture of ammonia and hydrogen peroxide.

    Learn More

    Given the critical nature of chlor-alkali processing and the corrosive nature of the materials involved, it’s essential to make use of a woven fabric that is completely compatible with the process.

    As an industry leader in cutting-edge, high-performance materials, Tex Tech offers a wide range of innovative products to suit all types of industrial needs. With over a century of experience and over 7,000 textile products under our belt, we are uniquely qualified to assist clients in the material selection process.

    To learn more about our high-performance textile products, including those for chlor-alkali processing, contact the team today.

  9. Inherent vs. Treated Flame Resistant Fabrics: What’s the Difference?

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    Many workers are presented with thermal hazards such as molten metals, arc flash, hot liquids, and flame. In environments where these hazards are present, flame-resistant (FR) personal protective equipment (PPE) is of paramount importance. When selecting such gear there are many important terms that one may be confronted with. The most common distinction is inherent fabric vs. treated fabrics.

    A piece of protective equipment can be classified as an inherent fabric if it is woven using some percentage of a fiber that is itself chemically flame-resistant. These are generally oxidized fibers or fibers synthetically derived from petrochemicals that have been chemically altered. In such garments, the flame-resistant properties are inherently present in the fiber’s polymer structure and can never be lost due to washing the garment.

    Protective equipment may be labeled as a treated fabric if fibers have been chemically treated to achieve FR properties, either before weaving or as a chemical finish on the garment. Some treated fabrics can lose their FR capabilities over time or with frequent or improper washing, although advances in the FR field have produced treated fabrics that retain their protective qualities for the entire lifetime of the product. The first such treated fabric was introduced in 1987, and the difference in efficacy between treated and inherent FR fabrics has been shrinking ever since. Even so, many purchasers of FR equipment turn instead to inherent fabrics or inherently flame retardant fabric due to the ongoing misconception that all treated FR garments will lose their protective properties over time.

    Inherent vs. Heat Treated Fabrics

    Inherent vs. Treated FR Fabrics

    Heat-treated fabrics are materials made from the addition of flame-retardant chemicals to provide some level of flame resistance. The additive forms a strong bond with the polymer of the fiber, which is often itself not flame-resistant. This bond is difficult or impossible to remove when proper laundering and care is applied. One potential pitfall of such gear is that there is no way to visually inspect that the FR quality of the equipment is intact. If outside the useful lifetime of the equipment, or if improperly laundered, the FR qualities may be reduced or removed with almost no way to determine that this has happened.

    This problem is not present with inherent FR fabrics, as the chemical properties of the fibers themselves cannot be washed out. This may cause inherent fabrics to sell at higher costs since they typically offer longer useful lifetimes. Since there is no regulatory body governing the use of this term, however, it has often been applied loosely—often to garments containing no more than 15% FR fibers blended with naturally flammable fibers. Some garments that are woven of natural fibers treated before the weaving process have even been marketed as inherent, so to some extent, the term has lost meaning.

    Inherent FR Fabrics: Pros and Cons

    The primary advantages of inherent FR fabrics include:

    • High level of protection from thermal hazards
    • Often present higher thermal protective performance (TPP) scores than treated fabrics
    • Long service life
    • FR properties will never wash out
    • Garments will not ignite in normal O2 concentrations
    • May char or expand (typically garments created with oxidized fibers) to provide increased thermal resistance under continuous exposure to a thermal hazard
    • Lightweight

    The most notable disadvantages of inherent FR fabrics include:

    • Higher upfront cost (albeit offset by longer useful lifetime)
    • Purportedly less comfortable than some treated fabrics of cotton or other cellulosic origins
    • Inconsistency in application of the term ‘inherent fabric’ or ‘inherently flame retardant fabric’ that is often driven by marketing motives, rather than science and metrics relating to performance

    Treated FR Fabrics: Pros and Cons

    Here are some of the primary advantages of treated FR fabrics:

    • Cheaper than most inherent garments
    • Many available treated fabrics now provide life-of-garment FR protection
    • Generally considered more comfortable
    • Many available treated fabrics now only char similar to inherent fabrics, rather than combusting when exposed to a heat source
    • Most treated fabrics will spontaneously extinguish a flame when the source of heat is removed

    The largest disadvantages of treated fabrics include:

    • Some treated fabrics will lose their protective qualities over time
    • Some treated fabrics off-gas as a method of flame retardancy, producing harmful gases that in some cases include gaseous cyanide
    • Many treated fabrics use increased mass as a means of increasing FR metrics such as TPP, which can increase heat strain and decrease comfort when wearing a heavier garment for extended periods
    • Some 88% cotton, 12% nylon (88/12 FR) and 100% cotton blends, in particular, lose their protective qualities over time with even proper laundering
    • If the flame-resistant capabilities have diminished, there is no way to tell upon visual inspection

    Tex Tech: The Industry Leaders in FR Fabric Technology

    Even with an understanding of the differences and usages of terms such as treated and inherent, the key factor is ultimately the safety and protective value offered to the wearer. In this regard, a more important distinction is proven vs. unproven. Tex Tech and our CarbonX brand have repeatedly proven effective in laboratory testing, as well as in the field—all with the added benefits of comfort and affordability. We work primarily with inherent fabrics.

    • CarbonX’s range hoods, gloves, undergarments, and other protective garments for industrial, motor-racing, and firefighting are superior in comfort and durability and made with inherent FR fibers.
    • Tex Tech provides aircraft seat fire blocking with only inherent fibers—and nothing else blended in—that lasts for many years on an airplane
    • Tex Tech offers high-tech Thermal Protection System (TPS) fabrics and materials for space launch vehicles to withstand rocket burn and the thermal stresses of re-entry

    Tex Tech Industries has been a leader in the advanced textile industry for over a century. Throughout this time, we have devoted enormous resources to research and development in the areas of textile and fiber solutions. We have pioneered more than 7,000 of the best performing products in the marketplace and a wide range of high-performance materials.

    We provide innovative solutions for all individual fabric requirements, backed with best-in-class customer service. We invite you to contact our experienced material scientists to discuss how to discuss how Tex Tech can provide the material solutions you need.

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  10. 10 Ways Polymer Coatings Improve Textile Performance

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    10 Ways That Polymer Coatings Improve Textile Performance

    The textile industry manufactures products from a wide range of natural and synthesized materials which have typically been derived from one or more of four primary sources: animal, plant, mineral, and synthetic. These textiles are treated and shaped into myriad products, including but not limited to clothing, upholstery, and industrial fabrics.

    The addition of polymer coatings in the manufacturing process greatly enhances the value of textile materials by extending their useful life and preserving their aesthetic appearance. Coating methods and technology have evolved alongside the increasingly stringent needs of manufacturers and material scientists.

    For example, textile coating technology has begun to incorporate eco-friendly options as manufacturers seek more sustainable and efficient coating solutions. Textile coatings can be custom-designed to provide specific benefits and enhancements that improve the performance of textile products, which makes them useful in a wide range of industries.

    Benefits of Polymer Coatings for Improving Textile Performance

    Textiles may be subject to a number of external pressures and abrasive elements during everyday use. For this reason, a number of coatings have been developed to reduce the wear of textile materials. Polymer coatings, in particular, offer enhanced protection on the surface of textile products while still allowing for water evaporation through the fabric—a process that is often hindered by other coating materials. Here are the 10 primary benefits of polymer textile coatings:

    1. Abrasion Resistance

    Abrasion resistance is measured by rubbing flat materials against the fabric in question to determine the rate at which the fabric erodes. Polymer coatings create a layer on top of the textile fabric to add increased resistance to abrasion. It is particularly useful for materials that experience a great deal of friction, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), power transmission belts, backpacks, footwear, and synthetic leather products.

    2. Adhesive Qualities

    Textile fabrics can be coated with polymers to increase their adhesion and tack to other surfaces or polymers. For this reason, rubber polymer coatings are ideal for use in high-performance vehicle tires, power transmission belts, and seals and gaskets.

    3. Air-Holding Capabilities

    Polymer-coated textiles can incorporate resistance benefits to stop items like air or water from passing through the material. This makes them particularly useful in products that need to be capable of holding air, this would include items such as SCUBA buoyancy compensators, life vests, airlift bladders, blood pressure cuffs, pressure infusor bags, aerostates, etc.

    4. Antimicrobial Properties

    Polymers such as chitosan—a naturally occurring biopolymer derived sea creatures—display measurable antibacterial activity, sometimes with a reduction of up to 99%. Since surfaces coated with these materials remain clean and virtually free of bacteria, they are particularly useful in medical textiles, such as bandages, blood pressure cuffs, braces and prosthetics.

    5. Flame Resistance

    Polymer coatings may be combined with flame-resistant agents to create highly flame-resistant materials, which make them important in the manufacture of protective clothing for firefighters, fabric used in vehicles and airplanes, thermal ablatives for rockets, and safety curtains and carpeting.

    6. Durability

    Polymer coatings make textiles more sturdy and corrosion-resistant, significantly extending the service life of finished products ranging from household goods like towels and sheets to outdoor camping equipment and outerwear.

    7. Noise Abatement

    Textiles coated in polymer blends possess sound reduction properties. When sound waves are directed toward the materials, they are absorbed due to its porous nature, thereby preventing the movement of sound. This can be particularly useful in soundproofing layers in automotive, aerospace, and industrial applications.

    8. Thermal Resistance

    Materials coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) or perfluoroalkoxy alkane (PFA) blends are able to withstand temperatures of up to 500° F. Like flame-resistant coatings, these polymer-coated textiles are particularly useful for safety products, automotive and aerospace fabrics, and firefighting apparel.

    9. Waterproofing

    Polymer coatings provide an excellent means for waterproofing textiles. Their hydrophobic nature ensures that materials coated in certain polymer blends easily repel water and other liquids.

    10. Weldability

    Polymer coatings may need to be bonded through the use of adhesives, RF, ultrasonic or hot air weldable. These types of fabrics are ideal where a durable sealed seam is required and normally sewn seams create unwanted holes in the surface. These weldable coated textiles are ideal for items such as weatherproof outerwear, inflatable vests, rafts, medical devices, and recreational BC vests.

    Polymer Coating Applications

    10 Ways That Polymer Coatings Improve Textile Performance


    Polymer coated textiles are used throughout a wide range of applications and industries, including:

    • Aerospace
    • Agriculture
    • Construction
    • Clothing
    • Geotextiles
    • Home furnishings
    • Industrial and manufacturing
    • Medical
    • Transportation
    • Sports and leisure
    • Protective materials
    • Packaging

    Superior Polymer Coatings From Tex Tech

    At Tex Tech, our knowledgeable and experienced specialists possess an exceptional understanding of fabric manufacturing and treatment processes, allowing us to offer a wide range of material processing capabilities. Our advanced equipment can apply multiple coating applications in a single pass using multi-surface and impregnation coating methods. Our film lamination services offer up to 8 films per pass, and we can process materials with widths up to 100 inches. We offer surface enhancements such as embossing and peel ply, and a wide range of custom processing options, including bias shifting, edge treatments, and slitting.

    In addition to our extensive experience and wide range of services, we are proud to maintain the following:

    • IATF 16949 Quality Registration
    • ISO 14001 Certification
    • Zero-Landfill Status
    • Six Sigma Black Belt Certification
    • A2LA Accreditation

    For more detailed information on our outstanding textile products and services, download our eBook, “The Essential Guide to Textile Coatings.” Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about our products or capabilities.

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Tex Tech Experts

Tex Tech Industries Inc. is a leading developer and supplier of high-performance materials globally, and we are committed to providing innovative solutions for each of our customers. We serve wide-ranging industries, including aerospace, protective apparel, automotive, law enforcement, coatings, filtration, 3D weaving, and high-performance materials. Contact us today to learn more about our offerings, or request a quote to get started.