Toray Industries, Inc. has opened a new textile and apparel development base at the Advanced Textiles Development Center in the company’s Seta Plant located in Otsu, Shiga (Japan). In addition to expanding the functions of the artificial weather room, new biomechanics evaluation and analysis equipment has been introduced.
According to a Toray official, the new development base will strengthen its system to conduct consistent and comprehensive research from textiles to apparel as well as product developments. Investments in this new base amount to about 1 billion yen.
The new artificial weather room can freely set the temperature between minus 30°C and 60°C, humidity between 20% and 80%, wind speeds between 0 and 30 meters per second, rainfalls between 0 and 200 mm per hour, and solar radiation between 0 and 1.16 kW, reproducing various weather conditions such as the cryogenic low-humidity environment in Antarctica or the Arctic and sudden downpours. With the adjoining sub-chamber that can separately control temperature and humidity, it is possible to reproduce sudden temperature and humidity changes that occur in everyday life, such as moving from the midsummer outdoor heat into an air-conditioned room.
The human body movement measurement and evaluation room is equipped with new evaluation and analysis equipment, such as an electromyograph, perspiration meter and motion capture. In the past, it specialized in analyzing thermal properties based on thermophysiology, and the active introduction of biomechanics and sports engineering has improved motion analysis and exercise physiology analysis.
The development base also has a textile library and a showroom for materials and products. The company has newly introduced a fabric appearance simulation system that reproduces a 3D structure of woven or knitted fabrics from fabric design databases and data on the physical properties of yarns, and a system that simulates wearing a garment by calculating clothing pressure, etc. based on fabric data and information on the human body and clothing.
An open laboratory has also been set up, which will promote joint research and development with apparel and textile firms and other business partners.
Toray also has Toray Fibers & Textiles Research Laboratories (China) Co., Ltd. (TFRC) in China, which will collaborate with the new development base to strengthen the company’s global R&D system for textiles and apparel.