What is your clever textile application for an infrared-absorbing fiber?
math & sciences product development materials science ideation energy efficiency energy idea generation textiles fiber science
$800
top 12
110
submissions
DONE
20 days ago
Small pic kaneka ideation

Top 4 people will win $100 each; 8 runners-up will win $50 each.

Kaneka is a chemical manufacturing company that has the resources of a traditional textile fibers production facility.  Today, we are focusing specifically on one of the materials that we manufacture: a flame-resistant fiber which absorbs infrared energy better than any other fiber we know of.  

We have already developed this fiber to be used in protective apparel exposed to high thermal energy events.  For example, this fiber has been developed for use in military uniforms, firefighting gear, and industrial safety apparel to protect against flash fires, electrical short circuits at high voltages, etc.   

We believe this fiber's ability to efficiently absorb and/or redirect infrared energy better than other materials opens up potential textile applications beyond protective apparel.  Today, we want YOU to think outside of these more extreme use cases to new and creative textile applications in which thermal energy might simply be managed or optimized.  For example, think about materials that receive ample sun exposure, such as an awning on a building. 

Deliverables

We are interested in new and creative uses for this infrared-absorbent fiber.  Propose a unique idea for how this fiber could be used by answering the following:

  1. What is your outside-of-the-box use case or application for this fiber?  
  2. How does your idea take advantage of this fiber's ability to absorb infrared energy better than other fibers?  
  3. What textile form of this fiber do you envision to make your use case / application possible?

Important things to consider before solving:

  • Avoids - Please avoid ideas around protective clothing, flame resistance, etc.  We are not looking for textile uses that involve high thermal energy events.  These are obvious applications that are already in development.
  • This fiber can take on many textile forms: It can spun into a yarn or processed into a woven, knit or non-woven fabric structure in the same manner as a fiber such as polyester  So, please do not feel limited in terms of fabric formation.  Also, we are most interested in your ideas for a new market for this fiber product.  We will have the ability to tailor the form of the product to fit the market later, so it is alright if you aren't sure which textile form would be best.  
  • You will primarily be judged on creativity!  Begin by asking yourself, in what area could this fiber product be helpful / interesting? For example, you may want to think of materials that receive a lot of sun exposure. 
    Submissions will be graded on the following criteria:
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