Advanced Fibro-Science

Realizing People- and Environmentally-friendly Manufacturing

The title of our independent program features the word “fibro” as we explore “fibro-science” a discipline which covers the research fields of fibro materials and their applications. In this program, we provide opportunities for students to study textile science engineering, thereby fostering human resources who can realize people- and environmentally-friendly manufacturing and who can think independently and approach the unknown through their practical skills.

Incorporating Perspectives from the Natural and Social Sciences

Our research activities include the development of fibro-products that are comfortable for people to wear and are environmentally friendly; the creation of highly functional fibro materials; the development of fibro-materials appropriate for use with people and other living organisms on a daily basis; effective use of natural fibro-resources with consideration given to the environment; sustainability of fibro-products; and the development of fibro-elements that can be applied to smart textiles. Incorporating natural science and social science perspectives, we are engaged in education and research regarding the development, design, and evaluation of environmentally-conscious fibro-materials. In addition, we research the preservation of cultural dyeing and weaving properties as historical heritage. Moreover, from an information/engineering perspective, we design information media and products that directly appeal to the senses and analyze perceived textures, aesthetics, impressions, and other responses. By utilizing analytical findings, we develop methods for evaluating fibro-products from the perspective of sensitivity. We apply textile science to advanced material development, conducting research for the development of safe, durable, flexible, and environmentally-compatible materials.

Our educational program is designed to develop human resources who can independently plan and implement proposals. Courses include Textile Science and other fundamental courses; New Advanced Fibro-Science, in which students can learn directly from society by participating in the Kyoto Venture Competition; and a poster symposium conducted by volunteer students.

Laboratory Information

Textile Science Soft Material Design
Our laboratory develops methods for evaluating human perception and physical properties in the characterization of materials. Human tactile and other sensory response factors are important when providing pleasing textile and other materials. We primary evaluate fiber, yarn, cloth, non-woven fabrics, fur, paper, and films which we commonly touch with our hands. In the case of textiles, the sensory data verbally expressed as “softness,” “hardness,” “coolness,” “warmth,” “moistness” etc. are translated to physical values. We analyze, quantify and index sensations unique to humans to help develop value-added materials. Students from various countries contribute to a cooperative atmosphere in our laboratory. Materials deform under stress. Detailed examination of deformation enables us to design high-performance structures and systems, and scientifically elucidate biological movement and medical technology. In this context, with a major focus on the theoretical pursuit of “softness,” a deformation property of materials, our laboratory identifies factors governing deformation phenomena that can be observed in familiar materials, and reproduces those deformations using computer simulation, taking nonlinearity into account. In our research we use what we find in our immediate surroundings, from natural materials, resins, food, and metals to our physical bodies. Our research results are used in evaluating core industrial technology, medical diagnostic technology, and everything in between to determine what may be useful in designing things that have never existed before.
Textile Dyeing and Finishing Fibro-design Engineering
This laboratory conducts comprehensive studies and research on a range of topics from design to fiber preparation, that meet today’s need for the creation of fibers to make our lives safer and more fulfilling. At present, in keeping with the government’s efforts to diversify energy sources, we are conducting joint research projects with companies and research institutes in Japan and abroad with the aim of creating energy producing fibers and developing processes to produce energy from fiber. Through these research projects, we identify needed materials, design target fibers, and find ways to create the designed fibers. Designing and implementing processes that combine fiber processing techniques developed in our laboratory and using new methods enable us to create new fibers. With the rapid advancement of information processing devices in recent years, computer-aided design, manufacturing, and engineering (CAD/CAM/CAE) have become mainstream in manufacturing. Our laboratory conducts research on design methods using computer simulation technology with a focus on materials and processing methods. Our research is conducted on woven fabric structures, fiber reinforced composite materials, and polymeric materials, such as polymer film. Research covers a wide range of themes, including optimal methods for applying these materials to actual products and optimization of the molding methods used to process them into products.
Science on Lifetime Prediction Composite Engineering
Our research focuses on the reliability and durability of industrial products, such as fiber-reinforced plastic, resin moldings and rubber materials. From an environmentally conscious perspective, people demand products with extended life spans that can be used easily and safely over a long period of time. With a particular focus on infrastructure facilities, housing facilities, safety devices, storage media for photographs and CDs, and other products that are expected to have a long life, we study how they deteriorate through use over time and identify deterioration mechanisms to establish methods to accelerate deterioration factors so that we can scientifically assess “durability.” Papers on our joint research projects with companies have been presented at scientific conferences held in Japan and abroad High performance composite materials have dynamic properties superior to those of metals, but with roughly one-fifth the mass. Because of these properties, their use in sports gear, airplanes and sports cars has been increasing. However, due to a lack of established mass production methods, they have not been widely applied in fields where mass production and high performance are needed, such as in producing structural elements for ordinary mass-produced vehicles. We research design, molding and assessment of composite materials reinforced by continuous fiber, which have significantly higher performance among composite materials. We manufacture products using composite materials to study the mechanisms of impregnating resin into reinforced fiber bundles and the mechanisms behind developing the interfacial properties of fiber and resin. We also research composite material design taking into account ingredients, structures, and joining components, elements which will become essential when composite material use becomes widespread.
Media Engineering Fibro-environmental Engineering
A super-aging population such as Japan’s, requires environments where elderly and disabled people who wish to work can play an active role. How can we help them improve productivity? In response to this important question, we research information support technology using people to people and people to machine media to help elderly and disabled people participate in social activities. Specifically, we research:
1) motorized vehicles for indoor use to enable physically disabled people,
2) bidirectional translation systems converting Japanese sign language to text – to support communication between hearing-impaired and hearing people,
3) interfaces that are easy for elderly and visually-impaired people to use, and
4) engineering technology to support people with dementia and memory disorders.
We also research technology supportive of people with a combination of physical, sensory and cognitive disabilities.
The conservation of resources and energy, and environmental issues are major concerns today. Our laboratory conducts interdisciplinary research to develop environmentally-friendly fiber materials and textiles for industry, with emphasis on: the development of new recycling methods mainly for waste fiber materials, the development of environmentally-friendly green composites sourced from natural materials, and the development of functional paper made by two-dimensional-type intertwining of natural and synthetic fiber. Our students are encouraged to improve their presentation skills and present their research findings participating in scientific conferences held in Japan and abroad. They are also provided opportunities to collaborate and communicate with other laboratories and companies.
Bio-functional Materials Smart Textile
We identify the relationships between the structures and functions of biomaterials such as polysaccharides and proteins in solution and gels, using X-ray measurement and molecular modeling methods. We also develop materials using cellulose nanofibers. Our results are used in applied research and the development of new fiber and functional materials. We also look at dyeing and functional processing of hair and fiber using bio-based materials. The properties of bio-based materials, such as sustainable availability, low environmental impact, and high safety, are important factors for materials expected to come into wide use. We also continue to examine the properties unique to certain materials with the purpose of developing materials that take advantage of those properties. Internet of Things (IoT), that mounts sensors on various things and utilizes the large amount of information from the sensors with the connection to the Internet, has been attracting considerable attention as a technological innovation that will lead to the fourth industrial revolution. Especially, sensors are one of the indispensable elements that support IoT. Smart textiles, that mount sensors to textiles or clothes, have been also attracting considerable attention as the tools of wearable biological sensing because they enable to collect biological information with conventional clothing. Our laboratory is working on the development of functional polymer nano/micro fibers and their application to smart textiles.

Research themes: Functional polymer nano/micro fibers and their optoelectronic applications
Keywords: Electromechanics/Sensor/Electrospinning
Visual psychology studies of textiles Environmental and exercise physiology
There are always needs for improvement on the wearing items around us for examples, medical garments and protective clothing, in terms of function performance, fit and comfort. With the large variety of textiles materials giving various physical and mechanical properties, we aim to find the possibilities and solutions to bring improvement to the current wearing items or even develop innovative textiles products.
We carry out evaluation on raw materials, design and create novel 3D knitted fabric structures to achieve the desired fabric properties. We improve the fit of wearing items by investigating human anthropometry and considering human ergonomic in pattern making and apparel fabrication. Establish of prototypes is always essential in the product development process. We conduct experimental design and evaluation in the aspect of fit and comfort, as well as physiological and psychological responses of human participants.

Research themes: Development of medical garment, protection clothing and functional gloves
Keywords: 3D knitted structures/Hand ergonomics/Garment comfort and fit
Our laboratory is performing physiological and biomechanical analysis in human response during exercise under several environmental conditions. For instance, energy supply and thermoregulatory response are measured under extreme hot or cold conditions, and optimal work environments for humans are evaluated using those measurement values. In addition, limiting factors for exercise and acclimation capacity in humans are clarified and planning work performance development under specific environmental conditions is considered. Furthermore, daily activities and physical exercise levels are measured by physiological and biomechanical experiment and/or investigation, and important points of athletic conditioning and prevention of sports injury are revealed using questionnaires and motion analysis. These individual response related studies are vital to evaluate the machines and clothing made by and/or used by humans.

Research themes: Preventive measures against exertional heat illness, strategies for mitigating body temperature elevation and effective body cooling methods, thermoregulation strategies for maximizing aerobic and anaerobic exercise performance
Keywords:Heat illness/Heat disorders/Thermoregulation/Aerobic exercise/Anaerobic exercise/Clothing