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Cover Story | October 2014

BTRA: A leader for 60 years in textile R&D

The Bombay Textile Research Association (BTRA) was set up in the year 1954 as a Co-operative Research Association. BTRA is a premier institute for R&D in textiles and allied sciences with over 60 years of glorious service to the textile and allied industry.The aim of the organisation is to provide day-to-day technological inputs to the industry and meet the science &technological objectives set at the national level. BTRA provides all types of services related to testing, training and consultancy to the textile industry in a cost effective and stipulated timeframe. BTRA carries out research in frontier technologies such as plasma application to textiles, conductive textiles, technical textiles such as filters, waddings, nonwovens, geotextiles and microbial textiles. Some of the recently completed projects are given below.
  • Multi-functional finishing of cotton through plasma-nano technology
  • Development of wear comfort index for selection of suiting fabrics
  • Plasma technology for textile processing
  • Studies on textiles doped with conducting polymers
  • Development of method for testing and analysing the formaldehyde content in textile auxiliaries
  • Studies on fire retardant finishing of apparel and home textiles towards meeting the export requirement
  • Eco-friendly chemical processes for functional finishing of textile fabrics
  • Studies on eco-friendly wash and wear finishing of cotton fabrics

Over the years, BTRA has developed very good and up-to-date infrastructure comprising pilot plants for conducting various types of trials and evaluation, sophisticated testing and measuring instruments under different specialised testing sections [for geotextiles, technical textiles, microbiology, eco-parameters, polymers, flammability and various mechanical and chemical tests] and well-equipped Information Resource Centre to service the various segments of the industry. During the course of last three decades, BTRA is working actively with manufacturers for development of non-woven products, trouble shooting chemical processing problems and providing assistance to manufacture to meet specifications and their testing since 1987. In 2008, the Ministry of Textiles, the Government of India, recognised BTRA as a Centre of Excellence for Geotech, based on its earlier experience, expertise and facility in this field. BTRA has a modern laboratory with all testing facilities to conduct all types of geosynthetic products.It is accredited by Geosynthetics Institute (GSI), Folsom, Pensylvania, USA under the GAI-LAP Accreditation Programme. It is pertinent to mention that BTRA is the first institute in India to get this coveted accreditation from Geosynthetics Institute (GSI), Folsom, Pensylvania, US. What this means to the geosynthetics producers and users is that they can get their products tested in BTRA with utmost confidence and the accuracy of the results are as good as any other GAI-LAP accredited laboratories.

Testing at BTRA is performed as per various international and national standards viz., ASTM, AATCC, BS, ISO, EN, DIN, EDANA, INDA and IS. Testing of textiles at BTRA has the additional advantage of a strong back up of specialists for consultancy. BTRA testing laboratories is accredited as per ISO 17025-2005 standards. In the area of conformance testing against customer´s specifications, BTRA reputation is well established, maintaining the highest levels of integrity and confidentiality with respect to the reports issued.

Since last three years, it has filed three patents and received a prestigious innovation award under DST-Lockheed Martin India Innovation Growth Programme 2014. It has signed many MoUs with other agencies notably in the last two years with (i) CSIR-Tech, Pune (ii) GSI, USA and (iii) CSIR-CRRI, New Delhi for collaborative research and technology commercialisation.

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