Ganesh Srinivasan feels functionality textiles isneed ofhour

Ganesh Srinivasan feels functionality for textiles is the need of the hour

9:48 AM, 14th June 2016
Ganesh Srinivasan feels functionality for textiles is the need of the hour
Ganesh Srinivasan, CTO, Resil Chemicals Pvt Ltd.

In an interview Ganesh Srinivasan, CTO, Resil Chemicals Pvt Ltd with Shivani Mody, Editor, Chemical Today magazine, talks about product innovation and the changing dynamics of the textile chemical manufacturers.

Over the years, how has the traditional textile industry changed and how do you see it shaping up in the future?

In terms of trends, lot of advanced materials based on core areas such as material science are getting incorporated into the textile industry. Some of the value-adding materials used dominantly in cosmetics and pharmaceutical sectors are finding their way into the textiles. It is mostly about bringing in functionality into textiles and giving better value to the customers.

There are two major changes which has changed the way traditional textile industry functioned. One is the e-retailing business which is becoming big in today’s market place. People are buying online through websites and mobile apps, which is replacing conventional stores into e-stores. Since the touch and feel aspect is missing, it becomes a challenge to communicate the properties and characteristics of the material to the customer. And to attract business, this information has to be communicated to the customers.

The other change is in the thought process, wherein textiles are now being considered as an interface between human being and his/her gadgets. With the growth of internet of things or rather internet of everything, we need to start thinking of ways in which textile/ clothes as an article can be used as a medium to communicate a person’s health and hygiene aspects. The shift is towards developing wearable technologies that will essentially communicate the health and wellness of the person.

Furthermore, wearable technologies are to be embedded into the textiles. While creating these materials, one needs to consider the chemicals used, washing cycles, sensing and measuring devices to make them useful for consumers. These are long-term projects that are being carried out with research institutes. A lot of thought goes into the usage of these textile articles and then comes in the design elements. Along with manufacturing, we have to consider the entire chemistry & design aspect and even look at materials that will be used for these modern day technologies.

What is your work on silicone polymers and formulations?

Our strength lies in building functionality onto the silicone backbones and creating new molecules from it. This is a complex task and as a company, we have developed expertise in this area.

The challenge is about taking these molecules and applying them on the textile’s surface while considering the formulation technology and chemical properties that will play an important role while using the molecules and polymers onto the textiles. Considering the environmental aspects, silicon polymers are completely biodegradable.

One of the major challenges in the textile industry is to manage water usage. Most of the textile processes- be it dyeing, finishing or general washes similar to a laundry system, use water as the core medium for application. Hence, the industry is now moving in the direction of reducing the wet processes. This, in turn had led to enhancing our capabilities and developing new silicone formulations. If you look at the textile value chain, it first starts with fibre – yarn – fabrics – and finally, the garment. Companies are looking at cutting down the water usage from the fibre and yarn stage which needs additional functionality for the textiles. This is one area where research is being done to get the silicon functionality built-in into the material at the time of manufacturing the fibre or the yarn.

There is a major emphasis on ‘sustainable chemistry’ or the usage of biodegradable chemicals. How is the industry moving towards achieving this goal?

Sustainability is definitely a buzzword and it is about saving the environment at the end of the day. Sustainability is also one of the core pillars at Resil and our products and technology works on the policy - save energy, save water and save chemicals.

 Our products help customers save energy by reducing the number of washings or by cutting down water required during processing cycles. Also we use natural raw materials for our products making them biodegradable.

Our effort is to build sustainability as a complete package and offer it as a value-addition for customers. Major brands and retailers have sustainability as their core mission, which makes the entire supply chain shift from non-sustainable to sustainable products.

 One of our highly appreciated product is the n9 pure silver. During washing cycles, most of the chemicals get washed out which pollute the environment. With the usage of n9 pure silver we ensure that it does not get removed while washing and hence prevent environment pollution.

 The other important aspect is to consider how much chemicals does one load onto the textiles. The minimum amount of chemicals is always suitable as over a period of time the chemicals will eventually go into the environment in one form or the other. It is important to create chemicals that require minimum dosage, to deliver maximum performance. Here the need is to pass the efficiency onto the end consumers and also to the processors in the supply chain.

What are the research projects going on in your company?

Currently, we are working with many technologies such as the cooling and heating technologies for textiles. Considering the Indian climate, perspiration is common in the country especially during summers.

In such a situation, technologies that help cool the fabric when it is hot are becoming essential. Keeping in line with this, we have developed some of the cooling polymers which can help reduce the temperature of the textiles upto 3 degrees C. Our product, Innocelle, an aqueoushydrophilic micro-emulsion, is designed to impart hydrophilicity on textiles with remarkable moisture management properties. We will witness a growth in the market trend for these materials in times to come. We are also working on technologies for quick drying of textiles. We are trying to develop appropriate coatings for textiles that will help the fabric dry faster.

 At Resil, we are also working on a natural and herbal mosquito repellent for textile substrates on non-woven products that will repel mosquitoes and other insects. Nearly, 40 percent of the world’s population is at risk from malaria. A typical mosquito repellent is synthetic in nature. But, nowadays we find various naturally derived insect repellents such as PMD and products based on citronella, which work by interfering with the chemical sensors of mosquitoes and confuse or drive them away. Using textiles treated with repellant technologies, we can prevent the spread of diseases by mosquitoes.

Another interesting technology that we are working on is the use of sunlight as an enabler to clean textiles. Conventionally, people clean fabric using washing machines, that leads to the use of detergents, heat energy and mechanical energy to complete the machine cycles. But we decided to use the freely available, clean energy source sunlight to clean clothes at just 1 to 2 percent of the energy required during a normal wash.

The technology we developed is the solar cell technology which helps to clean the textiles when it is exposed to sunlight. Instead of a harsh wash, a milder wash will remove the dirt from shirts. This is based on the titanium dioxide coating technology- the microsphere technology. It is also called the self-cleaning technology because it cleans when exposed to sunlight and it is in line with the sustainability concept of using natural resources to clean a garment.

In what ways can textile technologies change the dynamics of the industry?

There are a lot of innovative chemistries that is becoming a part of textile industry. One such chemistry is that of n9 pure silver which looks into hygiene requirements and can be very useful for hospitals and hospitality industry. In hospitals, majority of the infection is spread due to the environment and ignorance about the cleanliness. Working with hospitals, we are trying to build in hygiene aspects into the textiles. The bed linens, bed covers, pillows, curtains, gowns, aprons, accessories worn by doctors and nurses are all treated with the anti-microbial technology. This has helped to avoid cross contamination between patients, doctors, nurses and the ward staff to a greater extent and control the overall hygiene in hospitals. Similarly, we are creating hygiene awareness in the hospitality industry, especially in hotels.

Nowadays, people are travelling more for work and pleasure. To ensure safer hotel facilities, we are working with well-known chains to improve the hygiene conditions of linen, bedsheets, towels and other laundry items. Promoting the use of anti microbial technology for hotels helps them enhance their image and also improve customer satisfaction in the long run.

 With changes that are taking place in the marketplace, textile chemical manufacturers are constantly creating products for the future fabrics used specially for medical, construction and functional interior textiles as well.

Tell us about the innovation award received for your anti microbial technology.

Last year we received an award from the government of India for our anti-microbial technology based on silver-based technologies. Silver is one of the oldest possible materials known to mankind and is as old as 3000 years. In ancient times, people used silver utensils and ornaments as an anti-bacterial element.

We extended this naturally-occurring anti-bacterial technology of silver to textiles and won an award for building the silver molecule composite which helps in treating textiles with anti-bacterial properties. This builds hygiene and wellness into textiles.

The other advantage is that silver can be used for its anti-malodour property, for a variety of articles. The treated textiles will be useful for all apparels whether it is inner wear, outer wear and hence many companies have adopted these technologies.

How can the country’s SMEs add to the growth of the Indian textile industry?

As far as SMEs are concerned there is a major scope for new products and innovations that can be beneficial for the industry. These SMEs can work closely with research institutes and collaborate on developing commercial aspects of products. With innovative solutions, pilot-scale capability, testing and large-scale production also needs to be considered. The SME strength in terms of skills, knowledge and industry network can help bring new products into the market.The other aspect is that SMEs need to look at products that have a global perspective and is not secluded for domestic markets. The export potential also needs to be on their agenda. To grow in the international markets, SMEs will have to carefully look at the standards, rules and regulations before they can actually build global companies.

© Chemical Today Magazine


  • Watch the Video Interview with Ganesh Srinivasan on WOC TV.

https://www.worldofchemicals.com/chemicaltoday-tv/ganesh-srinivasan-cto-resil-in-conversation-with-shivani-mody-of-woc-tv-worldofchemicalscom/6082.html 

  • See the Interview Coverage in Chemical Today magazine

https://www.worldofchemicals.com/digitalissue/chemicaltoday/chemical-today-january/1 

  • View the interview on Mobile, download the Chemical Today magazine app

http://bit.ly/21W5H0z

http://apple.co/1ZwID77

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