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Renovation of warp knitting machine for jute-based products

It is known to all that once sweater manufacturing industry used to be our glory; millions of people lived in this industry but now the scenario has changed.

History behind the new development of warp knitting machine for jute

In 2017, a technical team visited the Sweater Knitting mills at Gazipur. It was found that there are 546 local knit manufacturers producing sweaters by V-bed Flat Knitting machine and 1 million people with 250 shops related to machine-supply.

Renovation-warp-knitting-machine-jute-products
Figure 1: Local mills need a new approach to renovate the conventional flat knitting industries in Bangladesh and explore huge scopes in geo-textiles.

According to BKMEA, all are on the verge of ruin due to modern automated machine with which conventional machines cannot compete with.

Also Read: Next export diversification frontier for Bangladesh

This has revealed a new approach to renovate the conventional flat knitting industries in Bangladesh and explore huge scopes in geo-textiles.

Reason for selecting jute as yarn

Bangladesh is the 2nd largest producer of Jute with an annual production of around 1.349 million tons (Hossain et al. 2016) and USD 10 million is invested by the government.

Moreover, present net fabrics from jute are woven and need lots of investment whereas developing new fabrics by warp knitting machines will replace traditional synthetic products.

Jute warp knitted products will be the easy choice for replacing the synthetic products because of their availability as raw material and eco-friendliness. Again, as a raw material Jute is very easy to manage by unskilled and skilled laborers.

Bangladesh-jute
Figure 2: Bangladesh is the 2nd largest producer of Jute in the world.

The demand for diversified jute-based products is increasing day by day in the present world.

Features of modified warp knitting machine

Most importantly compound needle is replaced by Latch needle for jute being a thick yarn and brush is used for the opening latch. Flange bobbin takes the place of warp beam for yarn supply. For supporting fabric, a bar is designed.

Features of the product

The product is eco-friendly, bio-degradable, stretchy, breathable, voluminous. The average strength of the fabric is 426 N which is close to woven jute geotextiles (Arun et al.). In a relaxed stage, it has found that the fabric has an average pore of 18.3875 sq mm which can easily retain soil or other large particles that uses in geo-constructions (Arun et al.)

Potential uses and opportunities of the fabric

The product is highly recommended for civil engineering is known as ‘geotextiles.’ geotextiles are designed for separation, reinforcement, filtration, drainage, and protection/erosion control functions and here Jute as an eco-friendly and biodegradable material has gradually replaced synthetic fibers where durability is not a foremost concern, for example, in soil erosion control and slope protection.

Scopes of jute geotextiles

  1. Biodegradable jute geotextiles are cheaper than any other type of geotextiles – natural and synthetic.
  2. Jute being an agricultural crop, jute geotextiles are eco-friendly and mixes with the soil causing no adverse effect on the environment.
  3. It is very easy to install, even an unskilled or semi-skilled person can do the job.
  4. A wasteland can be converted into a useful land thus increasing the value of the land.
  5. Frequent repair of the road and railway slopes with problematic soil is reduced significantly. expresses the picture of such geonets. (no image attached)
  6. No water and air pollution.
  7. With a minimum investment, the water storage capacity of dams and reservoirs can be maintained.
jute-geotextiles
Figure 3: Biodegradable jute geotextiles are cheaper than any other type of geotextiles.

Global demand for geotextiles

Currently, the global demand for geo-textiles is about 100 million of jute geotextile fabrics in North America, Western Europe, Japan and Australia. The construction and properties of some jute soil saver fabrics are meant for different applications.

Bangladesh is the 2nd largest producer of Jute with an annual production of around 1.349 million tons (Hossain et al. 2016) and USD 10 million is invested by the government.

So, the developed jute-based warp knitting frame may take the opportunity of grabbing the geo-market of the world and change the present scenario of the warp knitting industry in the future.

Other uses of jute

The eco-friendly nature of jute products may replace the use of polythene. In the packing industry, bags for fruits, net bags for various purposes. Jute net can also be used as a sports net in football, badminton, etc. replacing synthetic fibers. A great number of applications may be used for home tech as carpet, home furnishing net cloths, upholstery fabrics, etc.

Conclusions

Before the abandoned equipment can be set back to life, comparing and combining all the scopes and solutions available made the project went well. Therefore, geotextiles, the target area is highly efficient with low cost and serves huge employment opportunity to the rural people as well as the modified old equipment suits here to eliminate the current falls of flat-bed knitting sectors.

Reference:

Faisal Abedin, Assistant Professor, Bangladesh University of Textiles.

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