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Nanotechnology Centre to research multifunctional fibres
May '08
The National Nanotechnology Centre (Nanotec) has set aside a budget of Bt300 million to set up the country's first bi-component fibre pilot plant to produce a new kind of fibre with special properties, in an effort to support the country's vision of becoming a centre of fashion.

The production of bi-component fibre uses a technology that combines two different polymers, with their own distinct chemical properties, to get a new kind of fibre that offers varying functionalities.

It is expected that the technology will help the local textile sector in building competencies in the upstream industry by producing various kinds of new functional fibres and add to the local textile value chain.

Nanotec's director Wiwut Tanthapanichakoon said the Bt300-million budget would be used to run the project for five years. In the first year of establishment, the centre will spend around Bt60 million to set up the plant.

The centre has collaborated with the Rajamangala University of Technology Krungthep (RMUTK) to establish the pilot plant. The plant, which will be located at RMUTK's campus, will have a group of scientists who will conduct bi-component fibre research to develop new kind of products for the local textile industry.

Since bi-component fibre is new to the industry, Wiwut said the pilot plant would be a place where the industry can conduct experiments on the new fibre before commencing mass production.

The technology brings two different polymers with different properties together in the spinning process and extrudes them into a bi-component fibre. The technique combines the two polymers, thereby offering fibres with several new properties. The centre is in the process of setting up the plant.

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