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2005-11-15. Recent and future developments in European Standardisation concerning testing of multifunctional textiles. Luís Almeida Department of Textile Engineering School of Engineering – University of Minho Guimarães - PORTUGAL. INTRODUCTION.

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Recent and future developments in European Standardisation concerning testing of multifunctional textiles

Luís Almeida

Department of Textile Engineering

School of Engineering – University of Minho

Guimarães - PORTUGAL


  • European Standardisation has assumed an important role especially after the emergence of the Single European Market in 1993.

  • Unlike ISO standards, CEN standards are to be compulsory adopted by all the CEN members (even if the country has voted against).

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  • Members of the European Committee of Standardisation (CEN) at present are:

  • All the 25 European Union members

  • Switzerland, Iceland and Norway

  • Affiliated members:

  • Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey.

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  • There are about 300 Technical Committees within CEN.

  • Within textiles, the most relevant are:

  • CEN/TC162 – Protective clothing including hand and arm protection and life jackets

  • CEN/TC248 – Textiles and textile products

  • In this presentation, the main emphasis will be given on CEN/TC248.

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Cen tc248

  • CEN/TC248 has been created in 1990.

  • The scope of CEN/TC248 is:

    Standardization of the following aspects of textiles, textile products and textile components of products:

    1) test methods;

    2) terms and definitions;

    3) specifications and classifications;

    4) equipment relevant for the testing and use of textiles.

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Cen tc2481

  • Since its creation, a total of 17 plenary meetings took place.

  • 276 European Standards have already been developed and published since 1990.

  • 195 of these standards were adopted simultaneously by CEN and ISO, under the Vienna Agreement.

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Cen tc248 structure

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Cen tc248 working groups
CEN/TC248working groups

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Cen tc2482

  • One of the major tasks for CEN/TC248 is the development of an European sizing system for clothes.

  • Two mandates from the European Commission have also recently been allocated to CEN/TC248:

  • Flammability of nightwear

  • Safety of children’s clothing.

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Cen tc248 wg9

  • In 1994, CEN/TC248 has created an working group called “Prioritization of research topics”, with the following scope:

  • “Establishment of priorities in terms of needs of research, in order to apply for possible funding of projects in the field of the EC Programme SMT (Standards, Measuring and Testing) through dedicated call for proposals.

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Cen tc248 wg91

  • Several projects have been analysed by CEN/TC248/WG9 and later submitted to CEN/STAR for publication of “dedicated calls” for pre- and co-normative research.

  • The following projects have been financed under the 4th and 5th EU Framework Programmes for R&D:

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Cen tc248 wg92

  • Burning behaviour of curtains and drapes: flame spread measurement using a large ignition source

  • Development of standards for testing the launderability of textile items in wet cleaning systems and drycleanability of textile items hydrocarbon solvents - Machine test

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Cen tc248 wg93

  • Two other dedicated calls have been published in 2001:

  • Identification and quantification organic flame retardant components on textile materials

  • Antibacterial and antifungal properties of textile materials

  • Unfortunately, the projects presented to the call, although rated quite well, have not been financed, due to budget cuttings.

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Cen tc248 wg94

  • Many other projects have been discussed; some of them have lead to new standard methods, such as:

  • Verification of the detection limits of certain arylamines derived from azodyestuffs using chromatographic methods.

  • Test method for assessment of UV protective properties of textiles.

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Cen tc248 wg95

  • In 1999 the scope of WG9 has been redefined as:

  • To define research needs in support of ongoing (co-normative) and future (pre-normative) standardisation and to prioritise them in line with the guidelines of CEN/TC248 Business Plan.

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Cen tc248 wg96

  • Since 2003, WG9 started to give more emphasis on the development of new areas of standardisation.

  • WG9 has then proposed a new strategy for the future standardisation activities, namely in the area of high added value textile products, including for instance health care and well being, multifunctional textiles, interactive textiles, sustainable development, etc.

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Cen tc248 wg97

  • A link with the EU promoted MAXIQUEST project has been established.

  • MAXIQUEST - Maximising Quality and Efficiency of Standards through Normative Research.

  • www.maxiquest.net

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Cen tc248 wg98

  • After an enquiry made in 2004, it was found that there are no relevant national standards which describe appropriate test methods in the area of new functional textiles, including:

  • cosmeto-textiles

  • electrostatic and electromagnetic barrier textiles

  • relaxing or massaging textiles

  • thermoregulatory textiles, etc.

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Cen tc248 wg99

  • In 2004 it was decided to create a Task Group “COSMETO-TEXTILES”, to study the development of test methods for the effectiveness, toxicity, durability and chemical analysis of textiles with cosmetic properties.

  • This group, convened by Robert Biguet (IFTH), has had two meetings in 2005 and arrived to the following conclusions:

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  • Definition ofCOSMETOTEXTILE:

  • Textile product with cosmetic properties.

  • Examples of cosmetotextiles:

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  • Moisturising

  • Slimming

  • Perfume

  • Energizing

  • Refreshing

  • Relaxing

  • Vitalising

  • UV protection ….

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  • Aspect to be considered in future standard(s):

  • Chemical analysis

  • Efficiency of the product

  • Toxicity of the product

  • Durability of the product

  • Labelling of the cosmetotextile, information to be provided

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  • Chemical Analysis

  • The cosmetic formula is covered by cosmetics industry test methods.

  • The means of fixing the cosmetic to the textile (microencapsulation, binder, cyclodextrin, etc) is a textile property – however, all additives have to comply with the cosmetics directive.

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  • Toxicity

  • Cosmetic products are again covered by the directive.

  • Textile finishing has to be considered. The whole system needs to be looked at.

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  • Efficiency

  • It is a feature of the cosmetic product

  • It might be that a special method, relative to cosmetotextiles, needs to be developed rather than utilise a cosmetic test method.

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  • Durability of the active ingredient on the textile

  • e.g. how many wash (or dry clean) wear cycles can the product withstand.

  • Issues such as rubbing, sweating and heat need to be considered.

  • As durability (presence) of the cosmetic is totally textile related this parameter can be addressed immediately for standardisation.

  • Durability of the effect of the cosmetic is a more difficult subject.

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  • Environmental Aspects

  • It is not yet clear which environmental aspects need to be considered.

  • Components before application are the concern of either cosmetic or chemical directives.

  • Aspects during and at the end of the textile product's life should be considered.

  • However, environmental aspects are considered to be less critical than the other four criteria.

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  • In the last meeting of CEN/TC248 in Vilnius, it has been agreed to create a new working group to develop a new standard

  • WG25 – Cosmeto-textiles

  • A call for experts is now open.

  • The first meeting will take place in Paris in February/March 2006.

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Uv protection
UV protection

  • UV protection can be considered as a success in terms of European Standardisation.

  • In fact, within CEN/TC248 two standards have been developed which include:

  • Definition and test method

  • Labelling.

  • This method is expected to be adopted as EN ISO standard.

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Electrostatic properties of textiles
Electrostatic properties of textiles

  • In 2005, a survey about the electrostatic properties of textiles has been made by Fred Foubert (Centexbel).

  • It was found that this subject is already extensively covered by:

  • CEN/TC 162 - protective clothing against accumulation of electrostatic charges

  • CENELEC TC 78 - risks of working with live electrical installations

  • IEC/TC 101 - electrostatic properties of all kinds of products – methods for garments and for floor coverings are being developed.

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Electrostatic properties of textiles1
Electrostatic properties of textiles

  • It was concluded that:

  • Electrostatic properties of textiles are not a suitable work area for CEN/TC 248

  • In terms of conductive properties of textiles in view of new uses such as “smart textiles”, further studies should be made

  • A study on this subject will be developed in 2006.

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Thermoregulatory properties of textiles
Thermoregulatory properties of textiles

  • A survey about the Thermoregulatory properties of textiles has also been made in 2005.

  • The following test methods exist in the area of textiles:

  • EN 31092:1994 – Textiles – Determination of physiological properties. Measurement of thermal and water-vapour resistance under steady-state conditions (sweating guarded-hotplate test)

  • EN ISO 15831:2004 – Clothing - Physiological effects - Measurement of thermal insulation by means of a thermal manikin

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Thermoregulatory properties of textiles1
Thermoregulatory properties of textiles

  • The following test methods exist in the area of footwear:

  • EN 12784:1999 Footwear - Test methods for whole shoe - Thermal insulation

  • EN 13521:2001 Footwear - Test methods for uppers, lining and insocks - Thermal insulation

  • EN ISO 20344:2005 Personal protective equipment - Test methods for footwear (includes a test method for insulation against cold)

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Thermoregulatory properties of textiles2
Thermoregulatory properties of textiles

  • It was concluded that existing test methods are quite complicated and mainly related to protective clothing or footwear.

  • The development of simpler test methods can be a relevant and interesting topic to be further developed within CEN/TC248.

  • A more detailed survey of existing test methods, namely for foot wear and also of national or non standardised test methods should be made.

  • Similarly to the cosmetic properties, a special “Task Group” has been created, which will start its activities in 2006.

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Chemical analysis of textiles
Chemical analysis of textiles

  • Especially in view of detection of harmful substances, it is very important to have standard methods for extraction of chemicals from textiles.

  • Aspects to be standardised include sampling and extraction methods.

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Chemical analysis of textiles1
Chemical analysis of textiles

  • Two important standards have been developed within CEN/TC248 in 2003, related to the EU Directive that forbids the use of certain azo dyestuffs:

  • EN 14362 - Textiles - Methods for the determination of certain aromatic amines derived from azo colorants

  • Part 1: Detection of the use of certain azo colorants accessible without extraction

  • Part 2: Detection of the use of certain azo colorants accessible by extracting the fibres.

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Chemical analysis of textiles2
Chemical analysis of textiles

  • The method of sampling has not been adequately thought out, with the result that some laboratories base results on the whole garment and others on the area containing the harmful chemical.

  • The sampling method should be defined so that all users will use the same criteria and results from different sources will be comparable.

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Chemical analysis of textiles3
Chemical analysis of textiles

  • In terms of extraction of chemicals from textiles, there are different possible approaches.

  • For instance, Öko-Tex 100 Standard limits are based on an extraction with an organic solvent, a simulated sweat or saliva solution.

  • The analysis of the extracts is common to most existing test methods.

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Chemical analysis of textiles4
Chemical analysis of textiles

  • The following decisions have been taken:

  • a) within CEN/TC248/WG9, Irene Häglund (IFP) will make in 2006 a survey in the area of chemical analysis of textiles.

  • b) within CEN/TC248, a new working group - WG26 - has been created,under the convenorship of Stefan Posner (IFP), to develop a Method of Test for Phthalates.

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  • The development of new functionalities in textiles leads to the need of standardisation in terms of

  • Terms and definitions

  • Test methods

  • Labelling…

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  • Within textiles, CEN/TC248/WG9 will continue to promote these developments.

  • Hopefully, the 7th EU R&D Framework Programme will devote a specific budget for actions related to pre- and co-normative research.

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Maxiquest future
Maxiquest Future

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