Techtextil 2022 Frankfurt / Residence Textile Auto Roofs

Techtextil Trade Fair: Automotive Industry Smart Materials and Functions

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Will air conditioning and media in cars soon be controlled via textile surfaces in the center console? The companies will showcase their technology at Techtextil.

The embroidery fabric is designed to show the touch control and non-contact function of smart textiles for car interior decoration as well.

(Photo: Itlin)

“A lot has happened in the textile business since Infineon integrated an MP3 player into clothing in 2002,” says Richard Muller, head of development at Ettlin AG in Ettlingen, Baden-Württemberg. Much of what seemed unexpected at the time can now be implemented technically – including its use in cars. According to Ettlin, it has already implemented smart textile display vehicle projects with major auto manufacturers from Germany and Asia.

At Techtextil 2022, the company wants to showcase, among other things, a new type of embroidery fabric equipped with interactive electronics. The exhibition will take place from 21 to 24 June 2022 in Frankfurt am Main.

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Touch control fabric in the car

“Textiles have always been the human-machine interface in the car, so naturally it also does smart jobs,” Muller explains. He sees a growing interest in smart textiles among car manufacturers: “Developers, designers, designers and buyers from well-known car manufacturers are now frequent visitors to our booth.” Many projects have been paused during the Corona epidemic, but Mueller is convinced that new smart textile jobs will appear in cars in the next few years.

Sustainable paint made with sugarcane for the interior

Whether it is the center console, seat cover or floor mat: if textiles are used in the car, they are usually covered. Manufacturers of coatings and textile finishing materials will showcase innovations from this field at Techtextil. Among them is Carl Meiser GmbH from Albstadt in Baden-Württemberg. The company packages textile and synthetic leather materials for seats, door panels and headrests on behalf of suppliers. “Our products are found in the cars of many premium manufacturers,” says Jens Meiser, managing director.

The continuous decorative surface of Shy Technology aims to mask the character of the display and provide the driver with specific information and warnings according to the situation.

At Techtextil, the company will offer, among other things, sugar cane coating. According to Meiser, the innovation developed with suppliers should be able to replace classic paint by up to 50 percent. “The main challenge during development is achieving the same proprietary characteristics as with petrochemical-based products,” says Meiser. Plant-based paint must also be as reliable as conventional alternatives in terms of resistance to hydrolysis and aging.

“Green” paint is currently being tested in various combinations with classic coatings in prototypes of various car manufacturers. “Our goal is the series,” Meiser says. Especially since the interest in sustainable textile materials has increased significantly due to the increased requirements of environmental protection and sustainability.

PET material is recyclable

At Techtextil, model Freudenberg Performance Materials from Weinheim primarily focuses on sustainable lightweight construction. “Increasingly stringent emissions restrictions in many international car markets and increasing electrification of transportation are forcing manufacturers to downsize their fleets,” says Angela Weik, Director of Strategic Research and Development at Freudenberg. Therefore, the company in Frankfurt / Main offers, among other things, polyester non-woven fabrics with a patterned surface for luggage compartment covers – according to Freudenberg “one of the lightest solutions on the market”.


A new PET bottom panel will also be on display. It is said to be 700 grams per square meter lighter than a similar injection molded component. According to Weik, Freudenberg proves that vehicle components can contribute to a circular economy. For example, the bottom panels of Freudenberg’s cars are made from 100 percent PET fibers with 50 percent recycled content. At the end of its useful life, the entire bottom can be recycled.

(ID: 48403522)

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