Polyfunctional Technical Textiles against Natural Hazards


The project aims to develop new multifunctional technical textiles for use in constructions and earthworks. The multifunctionality comprises not only reinforcement and drainage but also health monitoring of structures. Safibra contributes to the development of means of the monitoring in a form of fibre optic sensors incorporated in the textile.

Duration: September 2006 - October 2010

In order of millions of euro. The project is partially funded by European Community under the "Integrated Research project for SME (Small to Medium Enterprise)" programme.

Textile structures are extensively used in construction in forms of geotextiles for the reinforcement of earthworks and drainage. The retrofitting of existing masonry walls and soil structures gains more and more importance especially in connection with earthquake protection of historic buildings and protection of roads and railroads embankments against landslides. Hence the necessity arises to develop efficient methods for the retrofitting of existing masonry buildings and earthworks and of related monitoring systems to possibly alert/prevent the structural damage, for the planning of the maintenance works, for the evaluation of the structural integrity. More recently composites reinforced with technical textiles have been used for the retrofitting and reinforcement of constructions, in particular for the seismic reinforcement. The possibility to perform additional and different functions at the same time would further stimulate the adoption of such techniques. Polytect scheme

The broader aim of POLYTECT is the development of new multifunctional textile structures for application in construction for the retrofitting of masonry structures and earthworks. The different functions the textile structures need to incorporate comprise a combination of the following:

  • to increase ductility and structural strength
  • to monitor stresses, deformations, acceleration, water level variation, pressure, to detect presence of fluids and chemicals
  • to measure structural health.

Enabling technologies include the combination of warp-knitted grid-like reinforcing basic structure and rope-like reinforcement, the incorporation of optical fibres into textiles, the incorporation of sensors. The proposed breakthroughs include the:

  • use of textile material as load-bearing part of the building;
  • use of multifunctional textiles for stabilisation and monitoring;
  • incorporation of piezoceramics and fibre optics based sensors;
  • development of an impedance-based health monitoring technique.

Safibra role: 
As an optical engineering company, Safibra is coresponsible for the development of fibre optic sensors for integration into technical textiles for point-wise and distributed measurements of mechanical and other physical quantities. Safibra will also participate in the development and manufacturing of optoelectronic devices for the fibre optic sensors and in the development of devices for sensitivity testing of chemical transducers.

List of partners:
In total 27 private companies, research institutes, and universities of which 23 are from European Union and 4 from Switzerland, Norway, Israel, and India. 

  • D'Appolonia DAPP, ItalyPolytect
  • STFI, Germany
  • APC Composites, Sweden
  • Karl Mayer MALIMO Textilmaschinenfabrik GmbH, Germany
  • SELCOM s.r.l., Italy
  • IfMB Karlsruhe, Germany
  • Light Structures, Norway
  • Kassel Univ. Institute of Geotechnics, Germany
  • IMMG, Greece
  • CETMA, Italy
  • Iridex, Romania
  • Centexbel, Belgium
  • Centre for Colloidal and Surface Research (CSGI), Italy
  • SLSpezial-Nähmaschinenbau Limbach GmbH & Co, Germany
  • Alpe Adria Textile, Italy
  • Extreme Materials S.r.l., ItalyPolytect
  • BG Polymers, Israel
  • Safibra, Czech Republic
  • IKH, Greece
  • SMARTEC, Switzerland
  • Grupo Interlab, Spain
  • Polystal, Germany
  • TexClubTec, Italy
  • Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
  • Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Germany
  • Gloetzl, Germany
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India



202225. 4.

Invitation to SENSOR+TEST 2022

Let us invite you to visit us at the international SENSOR+TEST 2022 exhibition, which will take place from 10 to 12 May 2022 in Nuremberg.

News archive