How Linum was invented
A new line of textiles has been invented that could have an enormous impact on the world of textile manufacturing.
Linum, the first textile that is made from the fibrous polymer cellulose, is made by a group of Swiss researchers who worked with materials scientists at the University of Zurich.
It was created by applying a process called thermoplasticity, where the polymer material is treated with an electric field to generate a high-temperature, ultra-thin layer.
The polymer layer is then heated to a temperature of up to 200 degrees Celsius and then cooled to -300 degrees Celsius, to generate the fibres, which then form a layer of silica.
Linums are made in large quantities by combining the polymer with a thin layer of fibres called an elastomer.
The elastomers can be used for making other types of textiles.
This is the first time a textile has been created from cellulose and it could have significant advantages over other technologies.
“Linum is one of the first fabrics that are made from materials with the highest mechanical properties, such as carbon, titanium, magnesium, and silicon,” says Silvia DellaVigna, professor at the Department of Textiles and Materials at the Università di Torino.
“The advantages are that it is flexible, flexible with elastic properties, it is extremely soft and lightweight, it can be printed on a variety of materials and it is relatively inexpensive.”
In fact, it cost the Swiss company around €6.5 million ($7.6 million) to make this particular material.
It is currently being tested on several types of textile and textile fabrics, including textiles that are being used in a range of applications, such to garments for furniture and footwear, and also for industrial products such as shoes, furniture and medical devices.
“We have demonstrated a very good result, in terms of a high yield, that could lead to a very significant market,” Silvia says.
The main advantage of using the material is that it can produce a high number of fibro-cotton fibres at a relatively low cost.
That is because it is very difficult to make fibro in a high volume.
It is also extremely stable, with a low surface tension and a very low thermal expansion rate.
It also has a high moisture content and is extremely resilient to heat.
Silvia explains:”The properties of the material are quite good, and the material can be very strong in terms [of] its elasticity.
It can also be very soft and flexible, which makes it a very useful material for textile production.”
This is why Linums are being developed as a replacement for traditional textile fibres and not a replacement to cotton in general.
Linuums are extremely versatile, and can be made to be flexible, strong, durable, and easy to work with.
This is particularly important in the field of texturising.
Silvinia Giovanone, a textile professor at Vassily Polytechnic University in Moscow, explains:”[Linuum] is also very lightweight, because it can easily be woven into clothing, so it is a very promising material for a range [of applications].”
The researchers are working on creating a second polymer layer that could potentially replace cotton in the future.
Silviana Giovanones says:”Our work has led us to the realization that it would be possible to develop an entirely new polymer-polymer composite that would have very low molecular weights.
It would be a completely new material, but it is not yet ready for mass production.”
The process to make Linums can be easily automated, and costs only around €1.2 million ($1.8 million).
It will be the first of its kind in the world.
Silvia says that Linum could be used in everything from clothing to shoes to medical implants.
It has also been used in the manufacture of medical implants for the first ever time, making it possible to produce the first synthetic implant for humans, which will be implanted in the body.
The research has been funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (Fonds Universitaires de l’Informatique).