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Michael Kamm
Michael Kamm

Interview with Michael Kamm

One major challenge in protech segment is to be able to recycle finished products

Sympatex Technologies GmbH has been one of the leading global suppliers of high tech functional materials in clothing, footwear, accessories, protective workwear (Contract & Workwear) and technical applications (Tection). Sympatex develops, manufactures and sells membranes, laminates, functional textiles, finished products and bespoke end products for a range of applications with selected partners all over the world. Michael Kamm - CEO joined Sympatex Technologies GmbH in January 2010. He has over 25 years of experience as entrepreneur and business manager in the field of textile, sportswear and consumer goods industry. Earlier he was CEO at Etienne Aigner AG, CEO at Mistral Sport Group and CEO and owner of North Sails Windsurfing Group. He holds a Diploma in Business Administration from Ludwig-Maximilian University – Munich.

TT: What are membranes and how different are they from similar raw materials (used in same applications as membranes)?

A membrane describes a thin isolating layer. In contrast to raw materials, in functional textiles the use of waterproof and simultaneously breathable membranes ensures on the one hand that the textiles will reliably keep out wind and moisture whilst on the other it ensures a wicking effect, in other words the removal of sweat, which in turn ensures excellent wearer comfort. The ‘guaranteed green’ Sympatex membrane is 100% water- and windproof as well as optimal breathable. A real plus for the Sympatex membrane – it has no pores and instead works on a purely chemical and physical principle. The hydrophilic (water-attracting) components of the Sympatex membrane absorb moisture from the body and transport it to the outside so that it can evaporate. At the same time the poreless structure of the membrane prevents the ingress of rain. This means clothing which features Sympatex products are extremely easy to look after. Since unlike porous membranes, the Sympatex membrane cannot be blocked by either sweat (salt crystals) or dirt.

TT: What are laminates and what are their applications?

A laminate is a material which is made up of several layers. For functional textiles these individual layers are generally one or more textile layers which are combined with a membrane. Sympatex Technologies develops 2, 2½, 3, and 4-layer laminates to suit the specific technical requirements of the users or customers (usage, performance and properties). The Sympatex membrane is the thinnest membrane (5 µm – 25 µm thickness) and the most stretchable one (up to 300%). It is connected to a wide range of possible base materials such as woven fabrics, knitwear, fleece, foam or leather to form a laminate for a specific application. The application of tapes tailored to the specific usage of the laminates is what makes the end product (for example a jacket of shoe) into performance functional textiles. Uniform high quality is assured by the interplay between the laminate, tape and technical processing guidelines. This is the only combination that sets a licensed Sympatex product apart from the rest.

Published on: 10/12/2013

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of


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