High Performance

Development of self-regulating textiles to protect fruit, vegetable and berry plantations from increased solar radiation.

Saal B
Freitag, 13.09.2024, 11:50 - 12:15 Uhr

Development of photochromic fibers to produce woven and knitted fabrics for fruit growing. By implementing these fibers, a darkening effect is created in the textile, which serves as UV protection for the plants covered with it. In addition, the choice of appropriate fabric weaves within the textile enables the use of yarn to be minimized while providing the maximum amount of shading required.

Enrico Putzke (Institut für Materialwissenschaften der Hochschule Hof (ifm))
Frank Ficker (Institut für Materialwissenschaften der Hochschule Hof (ifm)), Roxana Miksch (Institut für Materialwissenschaften der Hochschule Hof (ifm))
To be able to react to the emerging changes caused by climate change, increasing UV exposure must be taken into account, particularly in the area of fruit, vegetable and berry plantations, and the harvest must be protected accordingly. Conventional protection systems are reaching their limits, which must be overcome by new concepts such as intelligent, self-regulating textile components or a hybrid design. Today's protection systems for the above-mentioned applications are mostly designed for protection against weather events (hail). A change in fruit protection is necessary as damage, and thus yield losses, are increasingly attributable to sunburn in the crops grown. The trigger responsible for this is increasing UV exposure. In Germany, there is a clear trend in terms of increased sunshine duration (as an indicator of UV exposure). The implementation of modified protective nets, which can react actively to changing environmental conditions thanks to new materials in yarn development, can help to solve this problem. The yarns required for this are produced by mixing in additives during the manufacturing process (melt spinning) that exhibit photochromic or thermochromic behavior at corresponding threshold values. This means that the yarns modified in this way can change their light permeability and allow more or less sunlight to penetrate to the plants.