Climate change has undoubtedly had a negative impact on the environment and places around the world, from India to California, are experiencing intense drought that threatens their economy and way of life. The apparel and textile industry especially relies on water to survive.
In the drought-stricken country of India, one company claims to have a solution to the water shortage problem.
Geratex Machinery Private Ltd. recently announced its first-ever sustainable textile processing machine that can handle multiple duties, including mercerizing, bleaching, desizing or washing.
The industrial-size machines, which will be presented at the upcoming ITMA show in Italy, use ultrasonic technology to help save space and energy as well as increase the overall efficiency of washing compared to conventional fabric processing machines.
Perhaps most importantly for the water-reliant industry, the new technology helps decrease water and chemical consumption.
Here’s how: During the desizing process, it uses zero wetting agents, which lessens water consumption by 25 to 35 percent—especially important in India, where the country is increasingly desperate for water.
Geratex said the machine also cuts chemical use in bleaching by 30 percent and finishes the job in half the time it takes standard machines. When mercerizing, most washers use 300 to 320 grams per liter of caustic soda; the company said its innovation provides equal results while using only 200 to 220 grams per liter.
In addition, the machine’s compact size helps save up to 60 percent of space. Installation is also 40 percent lower than common fabric washers because the cost is lower and it has smaller accessories.
Whereas standard washers heat water to 95 degrees before washing, Geratex’s new machine requires water only be heated to 65 degrees, thus providing energy savings of up to 35 percent.
Due to the ultrasonic technology, water molecules in the washer move much more quickly than normal; up to several thousand times in a second. The result is a sort of turbulent effect that cuts the washing process time in half, which save money and energy.
It also helps textiles when treated with anti-bacterial or flame-resistant properties as the speed helps the fabrics absorb the washing chemicals more, which allows them to maintain the functionalities for a longer period of time.
On the Tegewa scale—which measures the efficiency of washing—conventional washers score between four and six points out of 10 after desize washing. By comparison, Geratex’s ultrasonic technology scores between seven and eight points.