Reserch & Development Organization
Fibers & Textiles
The following year of Toray's foundation, the Research Division for viscose rayon was established. In 1969, the Fibers & Textiles Research Laboratories was established, integrating the former laboratories on fiber research located around Japan.
Ever since then, the laboratories has been conducting a wide range of research on fibers and textiles - including polymer design, fiber spinning, and textile processing technologies - and creating brand-new fibers and textiles.
The Fibers and Textiles Research Laboratories has yielded new apparel products, high-performance fibers for tire cord, ECSAINE® suede-texture artificial leather, TORAYSEE® high-tech wipingcloth and other breakthroughs. Also emerging are carbon fibers, hollow fibers for use in artificial kidneys and other fundamental technologies to spearhead new business. At present, the laboratories are deepening fundamental technologies for the polymers and spun fibers used in new products for apparel.
They are also creating novel types of environmentally-friendly fibers, and conducting research to achieve higher functionality of fibers designed to pursue the limits of what is possible.
ECSAINE® is a suede-texture artificial leather using micro-fibers produced through the "islands-in-the-sea" conjugate spinning process.
Due to its outstanding quality and functionality, it is used in a variety of fields including the fashion industry, and as a material for interiors and precision equipment.
- SILLOOK DUET®
SILLOOK DUET® is a new silky textile surpassing the texture of conventional "Shingosen", emerging from the pursuit of state-of-the-art fiber structure control technology.
This textile has a smooth texture in addition to an elegant sense of luster and gloss, and superior color development.
*Winner of the 2004 Senken Gosen Award, Material Division
One approach to deepening fundamental technologies for new products used in apparel is polymer research to improve functionality through polyester modification. The LOCII cation-dyeable polyester used in products such as HEATTECH® from Uniqlo was developed here at the laboratories,and we are broadly expanding these efforts through integration with our unique yarn-making and advanced processing technologies.
*HEATTECH® is a registered trademark of FAST RETAILING CO., LTD.
Create environmentally-friendly fiber materials
Examples of new environmentally-friendly fiber materials include ECODEAR®, a polylactic acid fiber made from plant raw materials; FITTY®, a polyester 3GT fiber using diols derived from biomass, and textiles made from that fiber; and FORESSE®, the world's first cellulose-based fiber which can be manufactured with the melt spinning method.
The Fibers and Textiles Research Laboratories are working to create environmentally-friendly fiber materials which are expected to be increasingly important going forward.
FORESSE® is a world's first thermoplastic cellulose fiber which doesn't require harmful chemicals used in the producttion of conventional cellulosic fibers.
This is also a breakthrough that opens the door to the manufacture of modified cross-section filaments, ultra-fine fibers and other fiber types that conventionally impossible in the past.
*Winner of the 2007 Senken Gosen Award, Grand Prix and Technical Division
World's first nanofibers with modified cross sections
As part of research to achieve higher fiber functionality, we are conducting research on nanofibers, which have only 1/1000th the diameter of a human hair and pursue the limits of fiber fineness, and research to boost strength and achieve process rationalization by controlling factors such as fiber molecular orientation and crystal structure.
Concerning nanofibers, wolrd's first fibers with modified cross-section have been successfully obtained.
World's first nanofibers with modified cross sections
Another important challenge is the creation of new fibers with previously unavailable types of high functionality. Efforts are also being focused into research on super fibers which use liquid crystal polymers or heat-resistant polymers such as PPS (polyphenylene sulfide). We have also sucsucceeded in creating the polyester conductive fiber, which has world-class conductivity performance and potential for application in the IT field.
These areas of research make use of the polymer technology, yarn-making technology, fiber structure control technology and textile high-level processing technology that the Fibers and Textiles Research Laboratories have accumulated over many years, but as research moves forward, these component technologies are evolving day by day. In the future, we will maintain our determination as a research facility supporting the world's fiber industry, and continue to create new value backed up by technology.
Milestones in Toray R&D
|1927||Research Division for viscose rayon was established.|
|1941||Succeeded in mobilizing original technology to synthesize and spin Nylon-6 fiber.|
|1964||Commenced production of SILLOOK® silk-texture polyester fiber.|
|1969||Fibers & Textiles Research Laboratories was established.|
|1970||Commenced production of ECSAINE® suede-texture artificial leather.|
|1987||Commenced production of TORAYSEE® high-performance multipurpose wiping cloth.|
|2002||Commenced production of composite fiber using 3GT polymer.|
|2005||Created FORESSE®, the world's first cellulose-based fiber employing the melt spinning method.|
|2013||Created ultra-fine nanofibers (150nm) and nanofibers with highly-modified cross-sections (e.g., Y-shaped).|