Where TenCate distinguishes itself in innovation from its peers in the market
Groundbreaking technological innovations are the driver of everything within TenCate, the motor of the company. The trick is to link new materials to megatronics, in which electronics are connected to high-tech fabrics. In this way integral systems are created that ensure sustainable markets. Several of TenCate’s recent innovative successes include:
- Water management. GreenSource™, a recyclable synthetic turf system with a recycled synthetic sub-base that collects and treats rain and other water. TenCate joined forces with Pentair and Wavin in order to develop this product in open innovation: TenCate with its knowledge of synthetic turf systems, Pentair with its knowledge of water filtration, and Wavin with its knowledge of water transport.
- Recyclable synthetic turf. Weaving synthetic turf carpets is a new technology developed by TenCate which makes it possible to recycle synthetic turf. Since in its production a single sustainable type of material (TenCate XP Blade™) can be used for the fibres, backing as well as adhesion (formerly with Latex), it is possible simply to take the synthetic turf carpet apart at the end of its lifespan and to reuse it in the production of fibres and backing. In principle, a fully-fledged system (3D) can now be woven, including sport layers and sub-base.
- Geotextile containers. The use of TenCate Geotube® containers for coastal protection and water management results in a greatly reduced CO2 footprint (a difference of approximately 50%). Thanks to major reductions in sand dredging, destruction of the natural environment, transport costs and the time required, geotextiles can develop into a formidable competitor for dredging firms and companies involved in hydraulic sand filling. Work is still being carried out on a bio-based variant. A combination of this with TenCate GeoDetect™ measuring equipment (such as at the IJkdijk in the northern Netherlands) is already available.
- Thermoplastic composite. Cloth is woven from carbon, aramid or glass fibres, which is pressed into laminate in multilayered structures. The thermoplastic composite substantially reduces the weight of the aircraft, reduces fuel consumption or structurally increases the radius of action. In addition, this composite contributes to noise reduction in aircraft engines. It is reusable, remouldable and recyclable. It is currently being used in the manufacture of more than 50% of the interior parts and secondary structural parts of passenger aircraft. Work is being carried out on a growing number of primary structural parts (including with Airbus in TAPAS and Boeing in TPRC).
- IED protection. TenCate ABDS™, the active blast countermeasure system, is a recently introduced part of the complete protection of military vehicles by means of passive armour and active armour. TenCate ABDS™ protects the vehicle and its passengers against the devastating effects of exploding roadside bombs, thus defeating the upward acceleration of the vehicle, while the vehicle structure remains intact. This provides passengers with maximum protection. In addition to TenCate ABDS™ a wide range of fabrics and ceramics based on laminates is available for bullet- and fragment-proof applications on and in vehicles (vessels, aircraft and helicopters).
- Protective fabrics. The protection of industrial employees is enjoying growing interest worldwide since the risks they face are great (explosions caused by static electricity and flashovers). The inherently flame-resistant fabric TenCate Tecasafe® offers optimal protection against heat, fire, electric arcs and chemical splashes. At the same time it provides maximum comfort and freedom of movement. Following on from the success of TenCate Defender™ M fabric for military protection, this further development is the new product champion, now for industrial protection in North and South America, Asia and Europe.
- Digital finishing. TenCate developed nano-process technology based on inkjet, which allows fluids to be applied with great precision (on a nanoscale) and speed (approx. 6 million drops per second) to a specific or extremely small surface. This represents an important step in the development of smart textiles and, in fact, the transition from analogue to digital textile finishing.
TenCate is a member of various technology and innovation networks and plays a prominent, often leading role in them (for example, European Textiles Technology Platform, Digitex, open innovation centres such as OICAM, eTAC, AMMON, BETON, TPRC with Boeing and TAPAS with Airbus). It also collaborates with numerous universities and institutions both at home and abroad. On the basis of its historic international development TenCate has been able to secure a global position that is unique among the industries in which TenCate operates.