Apex Mills

ENGINEERED INNOVATIVE PERFORMANCE

Customers use our products in mission critical situations and must have the confidence that our fabrics will perform to the standards they’ve established. When we created a gold-coated fabric for the stealth bomber, minimizing its radar detectability, there was no room for error. When we were called upon to create a low infrared signature textile for military gear, soldiers’ lives were depending upon us. Time after time, Apex Mills meets the performance challenge. Our fabric is an essential component in the lightweight, highly efficient multi-layer insulation systems used by space vehicles. Every vehicle that launches into space needs insulation to ensure continued operations. Our fabric plays a key role in helping to moderate the extreme temperatures in space. [+][-] Within the medical field, we created a fabric for joint replacement products. When physicians learned that smooth stainless steel does not stimulate bone growth into the artificial insert, Apex Mills developed a coarse, high strength yet flexible, fabric to shroud the insertion, thereby promoting adhesion and reducing integration time. In textiles, there are basic properties that repeatedly come into play: strength-to weight ratio, elongation and stretch, durability, porosity and thickness. The secret to consistent performance is finding the perfect balance between these properties to meet our customers' needs. We’ve been doing it successfully for 70 years.
PERFORMANCE TEXTILES CASE STUDIES |
  • Style: ALTO

    Design Goal:
    INNOVATIVE

    Weight: 0.28

    Aerospace/Composite Materials

    PROBLEM SHARED

    A manufacturer of composite materials for aerospace structures was experiencing shrinkage in the netting substrate that carried an adhesive used to join aircraft components.

     

    PROBLEM SOLVED

    Apex analyzed the directional tensions used in applying the adhesive to the current netting substrate. The solution to the shrinkage problem was eliminated when we modified the temperatures and finishing tensions applied to the fabric.


    RESULTS REALIZED

    The newly improved fabric no longer shrank and the customer no longer was faced with potentially failing composite parts.

  • Style: D51A

    Design Goal:
    PERFORMANCE

    Weight: 3.28 +/- 5%

    Recreational/Sporting

    PROBLEM SHARED

    A leading supplier of life jackets was experiencing two problems with the fabric it was using as a liner. The mesh was too coarse and abrasive against skin, and the thickness of the fabric made it difficult for the sewing operators to work with, ultimately reducing production efficiency. An additional consideration was that the fabric required Underwriters Laboratory approval.

     

    PROBLEM SOLVED

    After extensive consultations with the customer, the existing fabric was knitted on a coarse gauge machine with large openings, thick stitches, and heavy yarns — the combination of which made for a very rough fabric. Using a finer gauge knitting machine and lighter weight yarns, we produced a smoother mesh with a smaller opening that still allowed for ample water drainage. The fabric was dyed and finished to meet UL standards and was a less expensive alternative to the original mesh.

     

    RESULTS REALIZED

    The customer evaluated, approved and adopted the fabric, which continues to remain less expensive than the cost of the original fabric.

  • Style: NW96

    Weight: 9.6 +/- 15%

    Institutional/Home Healthcare

    PROBLEM SHARED

    One of the nation's largest suppliers of patient lift slings had a fabric problem that was creating a potentially dangerous condition for the patients using them.

     

    PROBLEM SOLVED

    After analyzing the four main requirements of the sling—fabric strength, stability, drainage and surface smoothness—we concluded that the fabric construction and the yarn choice required reengineering. We designed a stabilized, non-stretch fabric using high tenacity yarn chosen for its strength. The fabric was knitted to create a smooth, non-abrasive seating surface that promoted drainage. The new textile was also rated 30% stronger. All of this was accomplished with no price increase. An option to use an anti-microbial finish offered the added feature of improved sanitary conditions.

     

    RESULTS REALIZED

    The patient lift sling supplier replaced the fabric of the sling seat, and significantly reduced their risk exposure while at the same time offering a more comfortable seating surface.

  • Style: PL85

    Design Goal:
    INNOVATIVE

    Weight: 4

    Aquaculture

    PROBLEM SHARED

    A clam farmer was suffering a significant loss of clams he was growing in bags placed on the sea floor. Predatory animals were chewing through the mesh in order to feed on the immature clams. Prior attempts to strengthen the mesh, while successful, were not environmentally compatible.

     

    PROBLEM SOLVED

    Apex analyzed the strength of the current mesh the clam farmer was using, with a special attention paid to the tenacity of the yarns being used.

    Apex then created a fabric identical to the one being used, however, incorporated a high tenacity monofilament yarn into the mesh.

     

    RESULTS REALIZED

    With this newly developed fabric, strengthened by a yarn similar to fishing line, the customer is now positioned to employ clam bags offering significantly lower clam loss.

  • Style: Bioweb

    Design Goal:
    INNOVATIVE

    Weight: 11.5

    Environmental

    PROBLEM SHARED

    The City of New York's water treatment facility was using a technology that was limiting the ability to remove nitrogen from waste water, a process which allows the water to return to streams and rivers.


    PROBLEM SOLVED

    Understanding that the effectiveness of the media was first and foremost dependant on the amount of bio-mass given opportunity to grow, we concluded that the fabric must at the same time balance a maximization of surface area and porosity for water flow.

    After several different designs were evaluated, we developed and created an innovative, highly fibrous fabric, exhibiting more surface area than any it had previously produced, that more effectively removed nitrogen from waste water.


    RESULTS REALIZED

    Apex's patented Bioweb system not only achieved the customer's target effectiveness and was environmentally safe, but also offered the added benefit reducing the sludge bi-product. The Bioweb system addresses the needs of growing population centers. It can be installed in existing water processing facilities without the need for plant expansion.

  • Style: XT54

    Design Goal:
    PERFORMANCE

    Weight: 0.6

    Military/ Government Contract

    PROBLEM SHARED

    A military contractor was in need of a high strength, light-weight fabric for a new counter-chemical/ biological warfare garment utilizing nanotechnology. This fabric was needed as part of a special test to take place in Germany within two weeks.


    PROBLEM SOLVED

    We took into account the customer's tenacity requirements and thickness limitations in the process of selecting the most appropriate specialty yarn for the application. This yarn was then modeled into a fabric with the knit construction which addressed the customer's other functional needs to ensure the weight requirements would be met.

    After collaboration with the client, we developed an ultra-high strength yarn using a unique knitting pattern that met the customer's performance requirements. Once designed, we warped, knitted and finished the material in 8 days, in time for the contractor's trip to Germany.


    RESULTS REALIZED

    After collaboration with the client, we developed an ultra-high strength yarn using a unique knitting pattern that met the customer's performance requirements. Once designed, we warped, knitted and finished the material in 8 days, in time for the contractor's trip to Germany.

  • Style: NH43

    Design Goal:
    PERFORMANCE

    Weight: 2.75

    Safety/ Transportation

    PROBLEM SHARED

    One of the largest manufacturers of reflective tapes used by police, firefighters and other safety personnel, needed a substrate fabric incorporating a costly flame retardant treatment to meet its flammability standards.

    PROBLEM SOLVED

    The specification was reviewed focusing on the flame retardant characteristics of the component yarns, finishes and reflective substances being applied by the customer. With the customer's cooperation, untreated versions of the substrate were tested.

    When the inherent flammability characteristics of the polyester substrate fabric were combined with those of the customer's reflective substances, the fabric passed all required tests. The costly flame retardant treatment was found unnecessary.


    RESULTS REALIZED

    The resulting simplification of the legacy specification allowed the customer a significant cost reduction for its substrate fabric.

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