26 May 2010
Advanced textiles lab unveiled
The laboratory will strengthen research and development in high-performance textiles.
Federal Member for Wills, Kelvin Thomson MP, with Head of the School of Fashion and Textiles, Keith Cowlishaw, Director TAFE and Vice-President, Allan Ballagh and RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, at the launch.
A thermal mannequin will enable researchers to study how skin responds to different textiles.
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Australia’s textile industry has received a technological boost through the launch last week of a $2 million Advanced Textile Materials Laboratory at RMIT University.
Featuring state-of-the-art testing and development equipment including gas analysis, spectrophotometery and devices to measure the moisture and air permeability of different textiles, the laboratory was officially launched by Federal Member for Wills, Kelvin Thomson MP.
Mr Thomson joined RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, and Head of the School of Fashion and Textiles, Keith Cowlishaw, for the launch at the University’s Brunswick campus.
The construction and equipping of a controlled environment textile laboratory within RMIT’s existing advanced materials testing studio was supported through a 2009 Training Infrastructure Investment for Tomorrow grant.
Mr Cowlishaw said the conditioned laboratory would allow RMIT to develop research, testing and education capabilities focused on the sustainability of textiles.
"Sustainability and green certification are the future for textiles and fashion, and this new laboratory will help Australia’s textile industry enhance and develop products that are both high-performing and environmentally-friendly," he said.
"We are focusing on performance apparel, the analysis of contaminants in textile materials and the establishment of a testing regime to inform environmental textile and clothing standards in Australia.
"The new equipment will be used to teach students about the impurities in textiles as well as the durability and performance of products using alternative resources, and to apply this knowledge in designing 'green' textile products.
"We will also work with industry to provide in-depth, quantitative assessment of sustainability by analysing carbon emissions, water quality, contamination and energy management in textile and garment designs."
Researchers and students will also have access to a Weather-Ometer for simulating the impact of the natural environment on textiles and a thermal mannequin to simulate the skin response of human bodies to different textiles.