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Crosstexnet Textiles at the Crossroads of New Applications
ECOBLOCK: Development of UV curable hydrogel coatings for yarn used as protective component in optical fibers.

ECOBLOCK is a two year European CrossTexNet project, started at January 1st, 2011 and is funded by IWT. It is a co-development between ChemStream and Cousin Composites in cooperation with the Hogeschool Gent, Textiel opleidings- & ontwikkelingscentrum, CTO/TO2C

The objective of the project is to develop high swelling PES and PP‐yarns capable to absorb up water to many times their own weight in a very short time. The project relates to an efficient method to manufacture new UV‐curable hydrogels as well as to an adapted application method to coat these hydrogels on different yarns. The hydrogel‐coated yarns will be used for protective (water blocking) purposes in a reinforced matrix of optical fibres (purpose: telecommunications). In contact with water the hydrogel‐coated yarns swell strongly forming a barrier in order to protect the optical fibre cable against accidental water penetration. ChemStream will be involved in the designing and prototyping this new UV curable hydrogels
The actual yarns are based on PVC, incorporated with SAPs. They show inferior to competing products. Furthermore, PVC and phthalates are currently the subject of considerable media, legislative and scientific debate as they pose a risk to human health or the environment. The use of new UV‐curable hydrogel systems would allow an eco-friendly approach, eliminating the use of phthalates and PVC. Furthermore, this breakthrough would allow Cousin Composites to be a major player in increasing its market shares in a competitive and aggressive business sector, thanks to a new efficiently and economically competitive process.


For further information visit the website: Success stories – Call 1 – CrossTexNet