Trützschler OPTIMA – Multi-filament yarns for functional textiles

Cover story Technical Textiles

Jutta Stehr

Functional fabrics are everywhere from A (as airbags) and C (as carpets) to V (as vehicle tires). Many durable end products rely on top quality yarns made from synthetic fibers such as PP, PET and PA. Trützschler Man-Made Fibers’ OPTIMA platform for manufacturing multi-filament yarns serves all these applications.

Functional textiles are not a new invention. Since ever, people made floor coverings, nets, ropes, slings and belts from whatever materials that suit the purpose. The early hand looms not only produced fabrics for clothing – they also delivered carpets as well as fabrics for water filtration, transportation or construction.

Over time, fiber materials changed as well as the production methods and speed. And still today, the world cannot do without woven, unwoven, knitted or tufted functional textiles.

This article is about opportunities given by Trützschler Man-Made Fibers’ OPTIMA solution. This platform brings extruding and spinning of carpet as well as industrial yarns from PET, PA and PP to a new level of flexibility and efficiency.

The OPTIMA platform

What began as a single extrusion system for BCF (Bulk Continuous Filament) carpet yarn in 2019, soon developed into a flexible platform serving many yarn producer’s needs. OPTIMA machines are high-capacity extrusion systems implementing the following process steps:

  • Extruding: chips from thermoplastic polymers are melted and filtered to remove even tiniest dirt particles
  • Spinning: the melt is forced through spinnerets to form bundles of single, continuous filaments
  • Quenching: process air cools down the multi-filaments
  • Drawing: the filament bundles are heated up again and fully drawn. Molecule chains are oriented which give the yarn the desired strength
  • Texturing (for BCF carpet yarns only): crimping the still hot filaments to generate the bulk needed for voluminous carpets
  • Winding: winding the filament bundles onto a bobbin for further processing

OPTIMA for BCF carpet yarn

Bulk continuous filament yarns, or short BCF, is the yarn type of choice when tufting or weaving rugs and carpets. Most carpets are durable products with a lifetime of 3 to 5 years in the contract business and well above 10 years in private households. When carpets still look good after a couple of years in use, the reasons are top-quality BCF yarns. A yarn resistant to abrasion and UV-light sets the basis for a good, long-lasting visual appearance. The main quality-defining property however is a good, homogeneous and long-lasting crimp.

Trützschler Man-Made Fibers’ HPc texturing unit with the succeeding cooling drum is exactly the component needed for an outstanding crimp. The lamella-less HPc unit forms an extremely stable yarn plug leading to a higher, more uniform crimp and thus to better coverage in the carpet. The optimized cooling drum diameter guarantees excellent crimp fixation. HPc textured multi-filament yarn quality is both reproducible and consistent from position to position.

Today, three OPTIMA for BCF systems are on the market:

  • MO40-C – a compact system for standard and low dpf yarns from 500 to 6.000 dtex
  • MO40-E – the extended version for standard and high-count yarns up to 1.200 filaments per yarn end. This version answers the increasing demand for silky soft and velvety carpets (see picture above)
  • TO40 – the OPTIMA version for tri-colour BCF yarns for moderately or vividly coloured carpets

OPTIMA for BCF has been introduced in 2019. The biggest advantage for BCF manufacturers is the high productivity OPTIMA systems deliver. 4 yarn ends are extruded simultaneously – there is no need up to speed up the manufacturing process to uncomfortable production speeds. The compact MO40-C system with a footprint of just 2 x 2 meters delivers a productivity per square meter that is unrivalled in the market.

OPTIMA for IDY (InDustrial Yarn)

Many heavy duty and safety relevant applications rely on industrial or technical multi-filament yarns. End products cover a large spectrum of raw materials and yarn characteristics – and often require extreme yarn tenacities, elongation or shrinkage properties.

Car tires, airbags, conveyor belts, fishing nets, climbing ropes and even durable travel bags and parachutes are all made from or include industrial yarns. In June Trützschler Man-Made Fibers introduced the OPTIMA for IDY, a flexible extrusion system serving all essential segments of the large technical textile market:

  • HT – high-tenacity – yarns are used for all kinds of ropes, nets, narrow and broad woven fabrics. Each of the three polymers, Polyester (PET), Polyamide (PA6 and PA66) and Polypropylene (PP) serve specific applications.
  • Low shrinkage (LS) yarns’ most prominent property is low residual shrinkage under heat. These thermo-mechanically stabilized yarns are the basis for coated fabrics such as tarpaulins, billboards or tire cords. Depending on the end use, PET or PA are the polymers of choice.
  • Low-denier industrial yarn is the name for multi-filaments with a titer of below 500 denier. Such qualities are needed for lightweight, durable woven functional fabrics, for instance nets, tents, parachutes and even airbags.
  • Semi-industrial yarns provide durability. Outdoor applications such as awnings often require not highest yarn tenacity but weather and UV light resistance.

OPTIMA for IDY is outstanding in regard to flexibility:

  • 3 to 5 heated godet duos provide the optimal drawing process for high- and super-high-tenacity as wells as for low- and super-low-shrinkage yarns
  • Different winder types allow for the production of 4 or 8 yarn ends per position. There even is an easy applicable conversion kit to allow the 4-end winder to wind 8 smaller bobbins.
  • Of course, yarn ends can be plied to manufacture high-denier yarn qualities

More than machines: the “my OPTIMeye” package

Nowadays information becomes a crucial element in being ahead of the game. My OPTIMeye is an Industry 4.0 package delivering all information needed for analyzing and optimizing production performance. Actual production data, energy consumption as well as trend and alarm archives become easily accessible on a protected web server

Even older Trützschler Man-Made Fibers lines can be retrofitted and integrated into a digitalized production planning process to minimize converting costs.

Future fitness with OPTIMA systems

The OPTIMA program is the perfect choice for manufacturing carpet or industrial yarns on a high level. The tailor-made, ergonomic solutions are perfectly suited for your production program today – and tomorrow. Trützschler Man-Made Fibers loves to support the industry worldwide to turn ideas about innovative end products into reality.

Since 2012, Trützschler has been developing highperformance extrusion lines for carpet yarns and industrial yarns made of polyester, polyamide and polypropylene.