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Photochromic and thermochromic applications

With thanks to SDC member Adam Pursell for reviewing this recent North of England region event, which took place at the University of Leeds.

The evening started out with a tour of the School of Design, led by Prof Chris Carr. Attendees were shown around the state of the art facilities that the School had to offer, including a testing house, fibre spinning facilities, weave/knit facilities and ultra-modern design spaces. The tour was enjoyed by all, and proved Leeds University to truly be a world leader in the field of fibre/fabric technologies.

2015-10-20 19.49.00A short refreshment break was then offered, which gave people from all aspects of related industry to network; engineers, chemists, physicists, design students, dyers and weavers to name but a few.

Guests were then invited to listen to the first of the two lectures.

Robbie O'Brien in action

Robbie O’Brien in action

Robbie O’Brien of Vivimed, a multinational organisation that develops dyes/pigments for the pharmaceutical, personal care and colour chemistry markets. He explored the idea of the application of ‘industrial photochromism’, focusing in on how Vivimed’s products are used in transition lenses, and explaining the science behind the application. Guests were given the chance to interact with the ideas, through the use of table demonstrations and free samples of polymer chips that change colour when exposed to UV light.

Kate Lloyd

Kate Lloyd

The next speaker was Kate Lloyd, of Textiles Intelligence. She discussed the use of thermochromic dyestuffs, and how they can be used to influence the design of a wide range of modern garments, from safety wear, to camouflage, to high end fashion. Kate covered all the things that designers need to consider to ensure that the end user has the best product available. She offered a refreshing insight into the whole scope of the development process of a garment including; dyestuff selection, fibre blend, fastness issues, care labelling, testing methods etc., and how every selection could influence the whole project.

The speakers were thanked by Dr Ian Holme. The two lecturers opened up ideas proving that ‘future technologies’ had very real applications in today’s world.

With thanks to all our speakers and guests, and to Adam Pursell of D P Dyers for this review.

This was part of a regular programme of SDC events. Future SDC events at the University of Leeds include ‘Discovery or Invention? 60 years of Reactive Dyes to the present day’, which takes place on 10 February 2016.

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