Huntsman Introduces High IQ Sun Protect

Huntsman Textile Effects has extended the High IQ performance assurance scheme to help mills, brands and retailers meet consumer demand for garments and accessories with built-in sun protection.

High IQ Sun Protect provides an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of up to 50 and above, providing the wearer with the highest level of protection for the lifetime of the garment, according to the manufacturer.

Consumers around the world are increasingly aware of the harmful effects of sun exposure. Children are known to be particularly vulnerable, but all those who work outdoors or who enjoy outdoor activities are at risk. Tested against the highest industry standards, High IQ Sun Protect has been developed to guard against damaging UV-A and UV-B rays to ensure maximum protection. It does not impair the natural aesthetics of the fabric, and prolonged exposure to sunlight and multiple laundering will not degrade the protection or fade the colours, the company explains.

“Consumers today want maximum protection from the sun’s harmful rays, especially when it comes to protecting children. With Huntsman’s High IQ Sun Protect assurance programme, we offer peace of mind when outdoors and exposed to the sun. Our innovative technology ensures protection at the highest levels in textiles that carry the High IQ Sun Protect label, while remaining durable over the lifetime of the garment,” said Lee Howarth, Global Marketing Manager, Huntsman Textile Effects.

 Only mills that meet Huntsman’s stringent requirements earn the right to use the High IQ performance assurance hang tags as point-of-sale product branding. High IQ Sun Protect is said to be ideal for a broad range of fabrics and garments, including clothing for children and babies, swimwear, sportswear, workwear and school uniforms, as well as hats, pram covers, umbrel- las and other accessories.

The technology used to produce the High IQ Sun Protect effect complies with the requirements of bluesign for safe and sustainable textile production. Furthermore, fabrics produced with High IQ Sun Protect effect are suitable for Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex.

Our Priority is Nonwoven Production with Biodegradable Polymers

With the advancements of textile technology and synthetic fibers, smart textiles now covers the fields of nanotechnology, material science, design and textile engineering. Emerged as a result of interdisciplinary researches in electronics and computer engineering and medicine, smart textiles started to occupy  have begun to gain an important place in the textiles and ready-to-wear industries study such as medicine.

Starting its education services in 1966 as İzmir Textile Technical High School, today the Department of Textile Engineering boatsts to be one Turkey’s oldest, modern and comprehensive textile education institutions. Since its inception, it has been training problem-solving engineers for the Turkish textile industry, who are equipped with an up-to-date and high quality education, open to improve, creative, aware of responsibilities, and have a strong communication engineers.

We present to you as the Textile Technology Magazine, the informative interview we have made with Assoc. Prof. Deniz DURAN of the Department of Textile Engineering at Aegean University, on smart textiles and nonwoven surfaces.

Can you tell us about your studies in your laboratory, smart textiles and what innovations it has brought?

In our laboratory, researches are conducted on both smart textiles and nonwoven textiles. Our studies on smart textiles has mainly concentrated on the areas of conductive and electromagnetic protective textiles. Conductive textiles are textile structures that have the ability to transmit electrical charges unlike conventional textile structures. Demand for conductive fibers and textile structures is increasing every day. Researches on conducting polymers have become very important in the last 20 years,. One of the functions that the electrical conductivity brings to textiles is the electromagnetic protection

Why is it necessary to have electromagnetic protection and what is its importance for public health?

Radiation spread from the electromagnetic fields (EMF) in high tension lines, such as high voltage lines, is a social problem. The electrical and electronic devices we use in the daily lfie and in the professional area are emitting electromagnetic waves. There are reports about exposure to the electromagnetic field, causing people to have various health problems. For this reason, electromagnetic protection is an important issue for public health.

What kind of studies are you carrying out in the laboratory to provide electromagnetic shielding?

Our research in this area is carried out by undergraduate and graduate dissertations and the R&D projects supported by the Ministry of Industry and the Scientific and Technological research Council of Turkey.

Conductive and electromagnetic protective textiles are made with production of conductive yarns, woven and knitted fabrics, nonwoven production methods on conductive textiles and coating/lamination techniques. Electromagnetic shielding effectiveness measurements are tested in our laboratory with electromagnetic shielding effectiveness measurement system, which is produced in the frequency range of 30 MHz-6 GHz in a frequency range of 30 MHz-6 GHz, in accordance with EN50147-1 standard. In this way, the closest results are achieved.

Tests on electromagnetic shielding efficiency are conducted with electromagnetic shielding efficiency measurement system in our laboratory, by producing real electromagnetic waves in the frequency range of 30 MHz-6 GHz completely isolated from the environment with the anechoic chamber principle, in accordance with EN50147-1 standard and and applying them on textile materials. Thus, we achieve most real-time results.

This way, designing, production and performance tests on many finished textile products for both daily and professional use are carried out. Researches on the conditions in which healthcare staff who are intensively exposed to electromagnetic radiation in the workplace, and the sensitive products for white collar workers or pregnant women and children who should not be exposed to electromagnetic waves.

Which machines do you have in your laboratory and for what purposes do you use them?

We have a meltblown line, an automatic feeder line, an airlaid elbowsheet and binder fixture, a laboratory-type coating and laminating machine, a tufting machine and a recycling line for the nonwoven surfaces. Innovative product development and R&D studies are maintained  by using these machines and relevant methods.

In the needling method, which allows processing of synthetic and natural fibers, fiber bundles are fed to the combs by air-flow after opening and blending. After carding, the cheesecloth are taken to the laying and folding band with the swan-neck apparatus and is laid on top according to the desired thickness. Needling is carried out throughout the thickness of the cheesecloth/padding which is formed by unfixed fibers. The notched needles move fibers from one face of the cheesecloth to the other side to form a complex structure, one part of the fibers which form the cover, which are loose during the needling, stick up to the needles and remain in place, and the fibers are pulled down with the needles reattached. This way, mechanical interlocking of the fibers is completed.

What is the Meltblown method?

The meltblown method is when thermoplastic raw material is melted in the extruder and sprayed in high-speed airflow through the rolls in the form of microfibers on the cylinder, and forms the final surface by self-bonding. In this method, the polymer material/melt dissolved in the extruder is sprayed through the nozzle holes, with a flow of hot air at high speed and the micro-sized fibers, cool and solidify as they move towards the collecting cylinder. The solidifying fibers are randomly orientated in the picking cylinder and form the nonwoven textile surface. The Meltblown method is a single step process, and is the shortest method fpr textile surface production as known currently.

Can you talk about your productions and what areas are they targeting?

In our melt blown laboratory, we conduct production of microfibrous nonwoven surfaces and our studies on this subject. We have some finished and ongoing projects in the fields of medicine and hygiene textiles, insulation, three dimensional sandwich nonwoven textiles, recycling and biodegradation, agricultural textiles, nonwoven-reinforced composites and automotive textiles. By producing surfaces with the combination of melt blowing and some other methods such as needle punching, we focus on nonwoven medical textile products, which speed up the treatment process, increase patient comfort during treatment and facilitate application to healthcare personnel. In addition to all these features, nonwoven surfaces, especially those with microfibers, increase the hygiene by exhibiting very good barrier features thanks to the enlarged surface area and small size pores. We countiue our researches on the meltblown surfaces to increase hygiene.

We have also carried out reserches on the biodegradable nonwoven surfaces for the agriculture field, which are destroyed in nature and do not harm the nature after having fulfilled the function expected of them.

Insulation materials are very important components in terms of both energy saving and enhancing the comfort of life, which are not noticed in the first place by the buyers in the construction and automotive industries. No doubt, nonwoven textile, especially three dimensional sandwich textures, are ideal materials for heat and sound insulation thanks to their random fiber orientation and hollow structure. In this context, we carry out studies in our laboratory to make insulation materials for the automotive and construction industries by combining meltblown, needling and other methods on structures achieved with the methods of needling and lamination.

Today’s most important issues for the automotive industry are energy saving, lightness and recycling, i.e. sustainability. For this reason, the share of textile materials in the automotive industry grows every day. To this end, we are working on nonwoven surface structures and mechanical engineering, which will both lighten the construction and provide insulation in the automotive industry as well as composites with reinforced nonwoven textiles. We also appreciate the use of natural fibers and recycled fibers in this area.

Can you tell us about your researches on recycling and the recycling process in your laboratory?

Sustainability, as it is known, is one of the most important issues in the textiles industry in recent years, as well as in many other industries. We also continue to work on this important issue in our laboratory. All kinds of textile waste are recycled into fibers in the guillotine and chiffon machines in our recycling line.

In the guillotine machine, fabrics, garments or textile wastes classified according to the raw material type or color are separated from the metal parts and fed to the conveyor band. A metal detector detects the metal alloys, which may be contained in the material fed to the conveyor belt, and if it detects any, it stops the band and sends a signal. The machine continues to operate after the metal part is removed. Cutting dimensions can be set by adjusting the speed of the conveyor belt with the frequency setting on the control panel. When it is conveyed with the material supply band, it is compressed in a certain position by the upper pressure rollers and fed regularly to the cutting outlet. The upper knife on the machine is mobile while the lower knife is fixed. The material, fed by the up and down movements of the upper blade is separated into small pieces.

Textile wastes separated into small pieces in the guillotine machine are fed to the chiffon machine. Then, the fiberized wastes taken from the chiffon machine can be used alone or in combination with non-recycled natural or synthetic fibers to produce nonwoven surfaces or as composite reinforcement material. In processing these fibers, needling and airless crimping methods yield good results.

What kind of collaborations have you been engaged in so far?

So far, we have been engaged in collaborations with various companies both in the fields of conductive and electromechanical protective textiles and nonwoven materials in the scope of projects by the Ministry of Industry and the Scientific and Technological research Council of Turkey. Within these projects, we have developed textile products for daily and professional use, which have electrical conductivity and other features of texture, use and comfort provided by conventional textiles. Designing, production and performance tests for these products are carried out within the companies and departments which we are in cooperation with. We also work together with different departments of our university, such as mechanical engineering, for interdisciplinary studies. We would also like to point out that we are always ready to cooperate with companies and other universities, which want to work with us on these issues.

What will be your new projects?

In our new projects, we plan to utilize our know-how and experience in the field of conductive and smart textiles for designing and production of specific products, to bring together different functions, and to cooperate with different sectors.

About nonwoven textiles, our studies will continue to intensify on medicine and hygiene, agricultural textiles, automotive textiles, insulation, recycling and sustainability. Because of the importance we attach on sustainability, biodegradable polymers and nonwoven textile production will continue to be our priorities. In the near future, we will also focus on filtration, for which we have already completed the preliminary works.

Swedish Chemicals Agency: No Reason for Concern About Chemicals in Menstrual Products

Study conducted by a Swedish Chemicals Agency has confirmed the safety of feminine hygiene products. A report released by the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KEMI) confirmed that the risk of negative effects on health from chemicals in menstrual products is low. The study determined and analysed the chemical substances in 35 different sanitary towels, tampons, panty liners and menstrual cups.

“In our judgement, the risk to health from using the menstrual products and other feminine hygiene products that we have investigated is low. Anyone who uses these products can continue to do so without being concerned about negative effects on health from chemicals,” says Amanda Rosen, an inspector at the Swedish Chemicals Agency.

The Swedish Chemicals Agency has not found any residues of the pesticide glyphosate or its degradation product AMPA in the products analysed.

“Our conclusion on the basis of our own analyses and earlier studies is that there is no reason to be concerned about glyphosate in for example tampons and sanitary towels,” Amanda Rosen continues.

For its survey the Swedish Chemicals Agency purchased feminine hygiene products in Swedish shops and on the web. In addition to sanitary towels, tampons and menstrual cups, the survey included products that are also used outside the menstruation period such as panty liners and incontinence products. The Swedish Chemicals Agency looked for 62 hazardous and suspected hazardous chemical substances in the products. Of these, a total of 21 substances were detected during the analyses, almost exclusively in low concentrations.

The Swedish Chemicals Agency has made an overall risk assessment for 18 of the 21 substances that were found in the products and in the agency’s judgement the risk to health is low. In some menstrual cups three substances were found that the Swedish Chemicals Agency was not able to make a risk assessment for, since there is not sufficient information about the substances available.

“We have no information that indicates that these three substances constitute a health risk. The concentrations of the substances that were measured are also low,” says Amanda Rosen.

The Swedish Chemicals Agency will carry on a dialogue with the companies to make them aware of the analysis findings in the report regarding the three substances for which the agency was not able to make a risk assessment.

The survey of chemicals in menstrual products and other feminine hygiene products is part of the Government´s assignment to the Swedish Chemicals Agency to map hazardous chemical substances in products and goods that are available to the general public. Further reasons why the Swedish Chemicals Agency has mapped feminine hygiene products are that they are used regularly by large parts of the population and that the Swedish Chemicals Agency has a responsibility to supervise these products.

The Swedish Chemicals Agency has not made any assessment of the risk of discomfort or complications caused by factors other than the chemical content of the products, for example Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) that is caused by bacteria and can occur from using tampons. Such assessments are not included in the Swedish Chemicals Agency’s assignment.

Paperboard is Replacing Plastic to Reduce Climate Impact

A number of global companies have replaced or are doing trials to replace the material in their gift cards – from plastic to paperboard. Sweden’s largest cinema chain, SF Bio, has taken the plunge and is now replacing all its cards.

“When our card supplier, Megacard, suggested we could make our gift cards from paperboard and thereby drastically reduce their environmental impact, it was self-evident to us to switch,” explains Anna Marcusson, product manager for gift cards at SF Bio.

Replacing plastic with a non-fossil material is a clear trend, not least in the packaging industry. Switching from fossil plastic to an alternative material such as paperboard reduces companies’ climate impact. Changing an established infrastructure takes time, though, especially if it means that the packaging must be redesigned, the packing equipment modified or replaced, and the distribution from manufacturer to consumer is affected. The UK food company Iceland has attracted widespread attention with its pledges to eliminate plastic in its packaging within five years. Many people with packaging experience say five years is a fairly short time given the challenges faced by Iceland.

In light of these factors, the switchovers by IKEA and SF Bio have occurred very quickly, and there is reason to believe that many more companies will follow their example.

“Because the cards’ format is identical, it’s easy to make the switch. Apart from the actual production process for making the cards, very few other components of companies’ existing equipment need to be modified. So this is a very simple step to take compared with redesigning a plastic packaging solution, where complex and fully automated packing lines must be modified,” explains Johan Granås, Head of Sustainability at Iggesund Paperboard, who was closely involved in developing the solution that IKEA finally chose.

Another example of this packaging industry trend is Apple, where packaging developers are focusing on reducing the use of plastic. This is clear from Apple’s Paper and Packaging Strategy, which the company published in October 2017. Among other things, the report details how Apple succeeded in reducing the plastic content of the iPhone 7 packaging by 84 per cent compared with that of the iPhone 6s.

“Ten years ago, any manufacturer would have solved this issue with plastic,” Granås says. “But now we’re seeing time and again how companies are investing strongly to create alternative solutions in paperboard – not only Apple but many, many others.”

Granås is careful to say that plastic is still an important material in both today’s and tomorrow’s packaging market. Traditional paperboard packaging for food often needs a plastic barrier to create a seal that protects against grease, moisture and aromas. Making the packaging’s construction out of paperboard and then creating the barrier with the thinnest possible plastic coating is already a good example of good materials management.

“The development of fossil-free plastic materials is happening very quickly and I predict we will soon have bioplastics with less and less fossil content, which will significantly reduce the climate impact of food packaging in particular,” Granås concludes.

 

Iggesund’s Turnover is Just over €500 Million

Iggesund Paperboard is part of the Swedish forest industry group Holmen, one of the world’s 100 most sustainable companies listed on the United Nations Global Compact Index. Iggesund’s turnover is just over €500 million and its flagship product Invercote is sold in more than 100 countries. The company has two brand families, Invercote and Incada, both positioned at the high end of their respective segments. Since 2010 Iggesund has invested more than €380 million to increase its energy efficiency and reduce the fossil emissions from its production.

Iggesund and the Holmen Group report all their fossil carbon emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project. Iggesund was founded as an iron mill in 1685, but has been making paperboard for more than 50 years. The two mills, in northern Sweden and northern England employ 1500 people.

Textile innovations ‘made in Germany’ in demand in the USA

Back to the USA: ‘High-Tex from Germany’ made a guest appearance at Techtextil North America and Texprocess Americas in Atlanta for the second time from 22 to 24 May 2018. At the special exhibition organised by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy in cooperation with the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry a total of 66 companies presented technical textiles, nonwovens, textile-processing machines, smart textiles and textile-research projects to the trade visitors.

The textile sector made its first appearance in the USA in 2000. This was followed by highly successful presentations in Shanghai in 2002, in Mumbai in 2007 and in Moscow in 2012.

“Taking ‘High-Tex from Germany” to Atlanta again was a very good

decision. The southeast of the USA has a long tradition of textile

manufacturing. It is home to many companies that are always on the

lookout for innovative textiles and machines for textile production and

processing”, explained Detlev Rünger, German Consul General in

Atlanta during the ‘High-Tex from Germany’ press conference.

 

High-Tex from Germany’ Came Fully Up to Our Expectations

“High-Tex from Germany” within the framework of Techtextil North

America and Texprocess Americas was a very good platform for our

small to medium-sized companies. After Techtextil and Texprocess in

Frankfurt, these two events are the second-most important editions of

the trade-fair duo. ‘High-Tex from Germany’ came fully up to our

expectations and anyone who failed to take part missed a great

opportunity to be noticed”, said Marc Lorch, Member of the Board of

Zwissler Holding, who represented the participating companies as

exhibitor president.

Michael Metzler, Sales President of ZSK Stickmaschinen, confirmed this

saying, “A German pavilion of this scope makes us extremely visible.

Thanks to the excellent organisation, we were also able to concentrate

on promoting our company and products.”

“We regularly exhibit at Techtextil North America but taking part in ‘High-Tex

for Germany’ resulted in our best ever day at a fair here. The pavilion is

a real eye-catcher”, said Thomas Wiederer, Area Sales Manager,

Brückner Textile Technologies. “The visitors to our exhibition stand were

very interested in our products. We gained potential customers and were

able to make numerous high-grade contacts. The level of interest shown

in our highly innovative e-textile solutions, which are completely new in

the sector, was very high. We are looking forward to the follow-up

phase”, said Andreas Lanyi, Vice President Digital Unit and Internet of

Things of the Hamburg-based start-up, Lunative Laboratories.

 

High-Tex from Germany’ was a good starting point for cultivating contacts with our customers in the USA

Besides gaining new customers, the focus of the companies taking part

in ‘High-Tex from Germany’ was on cultivating customer relations. “The

German pavilion in Atlanta once again gave us a good opportunity to get

to know the US market better. We have had a factory in the vicinity of

Atlanta for two years now and aim to expand our network in the long

term”, said Ronny Schröder, Associate Sales Director Technical and

Comfort Products, Sandler. “We like making presentations within the

framework of the German pavilion very much”, added Georg

Voggenreiter, Technical Sales, Maschinenfabrik Herbert Meyer. “Once

again, ‘High-Tex from Germany’ was a good starting point for cultivating

contacts with our customers in the USA.”

The companies taking part in ‘High-Tex from Germany’ made their

presentations on around 1,300 square metres of exhibition space with

their own exhibition stands, with selected exhibits on a central ‘Plaza’, in

guided tours and no less than 35 lectures.

 

International Nonwovens Symposium 2018 Closed With An Eye On A Sustainable Future

EDANA closed its 2018 International Nonwovens Symposium (INS) today, having confirmed the industry’s confidence in the opportunities and strengths of the nonwovens industry.

A warmly received keynote presentation on IKEA’s global material sourcing strategy from Anders Bergner was followed with a very well attended session with enlightening examples of credible steps into the circular economy and use of renewable resources.

“I thought the level of speakers and content, especially during the circular session, really gave the whole industry something to think about. The quality of participants was fantastic, with a really good mix of technical experts and senior executives” said Johan Berlin of InvestKonsult of Sweden.

The traditional EDANA dinner, 215 participants from 144 companies across the supply chain took advantage of the many networking opportunities, discussing the variety of presentations from “Industry 4.0” challenges and opportunities, to recycling, innovation and new filter media. With further presentations on environmental sustainability and bioplastic material innovation, the 2018 INS delivered on the objective to address the challenges and opportunities facing the industry.

The Best Forum Worldwide

Dayal Mehta from Welspun in India said that he believed the INS to be “the best forum worldwide for knowledge enhancement with excellent technical content.

The appreciation of the value of attending the INS was echoed by Mirsabitov Mirjalol, Project Manager at ADG Holding of Uzbekistan “being relatively new to the sector it was great to meet many professionals from the industry. The presentations and discussions allowed me to learn a lot about trends in the market and the latest innovations. It was truly inspiring, and I hope to participate in further EDANA conferences”

“Since EDANA last held the INS in Rome 15 years ago, sustainability as a topic has evolved from a minor interest subject to take primacy on the agenda” said Pierre Wiertz, General Manager of EDANA. “It is pleasing to hear of such positive feedback on the focus of our programme and encouraging to see industry leaders discuss and demonstrate innovations that will contribute to sustainable business practices and embark our sector in its transition towards a more circular economy.”

Diamond Wipes Internationals’ Hero Wipes, Won the Wipes Innovation Award

INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, reports its 12th annual World of Wipes® (WOW) International Conference June 5-8 successful in connecting 440 participants advancing their business in wipes.

The event was highlighted with an industry and committee majority vote announcing Diamond Wipes Internationals’ Hero Wipes as the recipient of this year’s World of Wipes Innovation Award®. The innovative new wipe removes toxic, cancer-causing carcinogens from firefighters’ skin. Other finalists were Solugen, Inc.’s Ode to Clean Wipes made entirely from plant starch, and National Wiper Alliance’s Rhino Wipe™ Tote System, a portable container for easy dispensing of heavy duty Rhino Wipes.

The annual award recognizes the product that most expands the use of nonwovens and demonstrates creativity, novelty, uniqueness, and technical sophistication within the entire nonwovens wipes value chain.

Held at the Sheraton Grand, Chicago, Illinois, the event attracted participants from 22 countries representing the entire wipes supply chain to examine issues and advances in the growing multi-billion dollar growing wipes sector.

Opening the conference was consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Golden Gate University, presenting psychological insights and strategies for marketing to Gen Z. The program also included sessions centered on consumer trends and market data, sustainability, substrate innovation, challenges with preservatives, regulations, packaging, institutional wipe trends and progress on flushable wipes testing procedures.

Participants connected face-to-face with hundreds of wipes professionals during the Welcome Reception atop the 95th floor in the John Hancock Building.

Preceding the conference, INDA’s Wipes Academy was conducted by instructor Rob Johnson, PE, Principal, Smith, Johnson & Associates. The Academy is the first and only comprehensive wipes training for the entire wipes supply chain.

“This year’s program content hit the mark in addressing key issues facing wipes producers and marketers. WOW serves as the hub for international wipes professionals to convene and connect, and the buzz this year indicates this happened in abundance,” said Dave Rousse, INDA president.

Oakley® and Bioracer Launch Graphene Plus Cycling Jersey

Directa Plus plc (AIM: DCTA), a producer and supplier of graphene-based products for use in consumer and industrial markets, is pleased to announce that Oakley®, in collaboration with Bioracer, a designer and manufacturer of innovative, customised clothing for cycling teams and individuals as well as for other sporting activities, have launched the G+ Graphene Aero Jersey containing the Company’s graphene-based products.

Unveiled at the EUROBIKE 2018 trade show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, the new jersey is designed to leverage the unique properties of Graphene Plus (G+) to dissipate heat from the rider’s body enabling them to focus less on the conditions around them and more on performance.  New Aero Jersey enhanced with Directa Plus’ G+ graphene is a first of its kind cycling garment.

Its graphene-based products have been independently certified as non-toxic and non-cytotoxic

The Company’s unique, printed G+ planar thermal circuit distributes the heat generated by the body and dissipates it when needed to significantly improve the comfort of the wearer and enable riders to use less energy to regulate their body temperature. Fabrics treated with G+ are also electrostatic and bacteriostatic. These properties contribute to moisture management and have an anti-odour effect, and, if placed on the outside of the garment, G+ reduces the friction with air and water to facilitate top sporting performance. In addition, Directa Plus’ production process is chemical-free and its graphene-based products have been independently certified as non-toxic and non-cytotoxic.

Giulio Cesareo, Chief Executive Officer of Directa Plus, said: “We are honoured that Oakley and Bioracer have launched the G+ Aero Jersey incorporating our Graphene Plus, which follows extensive lab and road testing. It is a significant endorsement of the strengths of our offer and, in particular, the thermal regulation abilities of our G+ planar thermal circuit. Sportswear represents a substantial potential market for our G+ and we’re delighted to have added cycling clothing to our portfolio of G+-enhanced textiles for sport, which includes skiing, golf and athleisure. We congratulate Oakley and Bioracer on this launch – a first of its kind cycling garment – and look forward to expanding our relationship with them.”

Devan Launches Natural Technology to Make Textiles Free From Pet Allergens

Textile-finishing innovator Devan Chemicals recently launched a technology to make textiles free from allergens shed by cats and dogs. Purissimo is a probiotic-based solution and therefore completely natural. The technology was inspired by their experience with Purotex®, a successful allergen reduction solution that has been used in bedding for more than ten years.

Over the past few decades, pets have been climbing up the social ladder and have moved from outdoor protectors to indoor family members. The American Pet Products Association estimates that 65% of US households own a pet, with cats and dogs being the most popular ones. In Europe, more than 30% of the households own a pet. Although the data are not unequivocal, researchers believe this increasingly close contact between humans and pets and the resulting higher allergen exposures might be a reason for the increase in pet allergies.

Purissimo™

Since many studies have suggested that allergic diseases have increased in frequency, Devan thought it was about time someone came up with a solution. Purissimo is a natural technology, inspired by Devan’s years of experience with Purotex®, a very successful allergen reduction technology that is being used in the bedding industry for more than ten years. With a significant reduction in the house dust mite population of more than 99%, Purotex® has proven to be an effective, preventive strategy for reducing allergic diseases related to house dust mites.

But, unfortunately allergies are not limited to beds and house dust mites alone, and so Devan started exploring what further could be done to reduce health problems related to allergic reactions. After months of testing, the company came out with a solution for allergies triggered by pets such as cats (cat allergen Fel d 1) and dogs (dog allergen Can f 1). Test results show a significant reduction of 92,8 % on the amount of cat hair allergen Fel d1 found in treated samples. The technology is based on probiotic bacteria and therefore, completely natural.

Probiotics

First, inactive probiotic bacteria are encapsulated into microcapsules. These microcapsules are then integrated into textiles. When the fabric is exposed to friction, the microcapsules break open and release the spores. The spores absorb humidity, are then transformed into probiotic bacteria and start to consume the organic matter which contains the various allergens that cause allergic reactions and asthma.

Since pet allergens are also found in homes where there aren’t any pets (because of dispersion by adherence to textile surfaces such as clothing and shoes), Devan’s solution could be used to treat household textiles such as carpets, curtains, upholstery fabrics, etc., resulting in a clean, fresh and allergen-free environment. Also think of car blankets and other pet blankets. And not only in our homes, but also in public spaces like schools, hospitals, libraries, etc., this technology could be used to prevent the dispersion of pet allergens and the ‘second-hand’ exposure that comes along with it.

Elastic Nonwovens and Application Areas

Deniz Duran1, Hatice Aktekeli2

1Ege University – Faculty of Engineering – Textile Engineering Department.35100 Bornova, İzmir/TÜRKİYE

2Ege University – Faculty of Engineering – Textile Engineering Department., 35100 Bornova, İzmir/TÜRKİYE

deniz.duran@ege.edu.tr

 

Elastic Nonwovens and Application Areas

Abstract

Nonwoven surfaces have become one of the fastest-growing textile branches in recent years, which significantly stems from the practical use of disposable products, and awareness on its importance in terms of hygiene. It is desired that nonwoven surfaces used in some areas should have high flexibility in terms of comfort and ease of use and maintain this flexibility. For this reason, there is a day-by-day increasing interest in flexible nonwoven surfaces. In this study, the definition of flexible nonwoven surfaces, methods for obtaining flexible nonwoven surfaces and their application areas are specified.

Key Words:Nonwoven surface; Flexible nonwoven surface; Elastic nonwovens; Thermoplastic elastomer.

  1. INTRODUCTION

In the globalizing world, it has become a necessity to manufacture innovative products for the development of our industry and economy. Cost and speed are two of the most important factors in the production phase. In this area, nonwoven surfaces allow us to find fast, easy, effective and economical solutions to problems with their wide use at every stage of modern life. Nonwoven surface products offer manufacturers the advantage of simplicity in the manufacturing process and the ability to apply desired qualities (absorbent/retaining, soft/stretched etc.) to nonwoven surface products as they require a manufacturing process simpler than the conventional textile fabrics. [1]

Nonwoven surface products, which are manufactured in a fashion both faster and cheaper, are being used more ever day in new areas. Especially the increase in the practical use and usage habits of disposable products allow mobility in the nonwoven surface industry and caused the market to grow. When examining Turkey’s 22 main product groups in the technical textiles export, it is observed that nonwoven surface products constitute the most exported product groups of Turkey’s technical textile exports. Nonwoven surface products which form 30,9% of Turkey’s total exports of technical textiles (nonwoven) exports in 2017 were valued at approximately 479 million dollars, increasing by 9,5%. When examining the technical textiles imports in Turkey’s 22 basic product groups, it is seen that nonwoven surface products are the second imported products with 11,5% after glas fiber and their products. In 2017, imports of nonwoven surface products increased by 12% to approximately $ 220 million. [1, 2]

Demand for nonwoven surface products is increasing day by day and it is predicted that over the coming years the numbers will exceed today’s value. [3]

In the field of nonwoven products, products with a high degree of flexibility at low cost is constantly needed. these nonwoven products are being produced especially for disposable diapers, sick cloths and also areas such as lining, and filtration. They are preferred for flexibility, softness, durability, good stretch-backing properties and high tearing elongation features. [4]

There are also literature studies on elastic nonwovens –an important issue in innovations which have taken place in the nonwoven surface area in recent years.

In a study by Srinivas et al., they treated polypropylene homopolymer and thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) under the same conditions and observed a marked difference in elongation properties. The polypropylene homopolymer is only 35% elongated, while the surfaces produced with thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) can be elongated up to 360%. According to Srinivas et al., molecular parameters such as molecular weight, molecular weight distribution, composition, melting temperature and crystallinity grade affect the elastic behavior of the polymer. The elasticity of the web is related to the molecular weight and the specific elastomeric composition. As expected, low crystallinity requires high elasticity. As the level of crystallinity increases, the mechanical behavior of the polymer changes from an elastomeric character to a plastic one.[5]

Zhao states in his work that the industry focused on the meltblown process to develop unique fiber and surface properties using special polymers, and that many factors are needed to develop high-value meltblown products, among which polymer properties, targeted areas of use of the product, and properties and capabilities of meltblown equipment are mentioned. Polypropylene nonwovens produced with the meltblown method have attracted more attention in areas such as hygiene, medical and personal care products with high flexibility of nonwovens made of elastic raw material, although they may have one-sided stretching properties. [6]

Dharmarajan et al., used the meltblown method in their work for surface preparation and have blended thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) and classical polypropylene on some samples. Inclusion of polypropylene thermoplastic elastomer increases the elongation of the nonwoven surface. Surface elasticity increases with increasing TPE ratio. Even 30% weight of TPE content makes the surface softer and drapery than polypropylene. In the light of these results, they have stated that meltblown elastic nonwovens containing TPE polymers have offered a new elastomeric product, which can be used in hygiene, personal care, medicine and industrial applications. [7]

Li et al. used the thermoplastic elastomer in their study to produce a surface with the meltblown method. According to Li et al., the elastic meltblown nonwovens have incomparable advantages over ordinary meltblown surface. Therefore, they have stated that this material is the new favorite in the nonwoven industry and elastic nonwovens produced with the meltblown method using TPE are high elastic materials which can solve the low elasticity problem of the conventional nonwovens. [8]

 

  1. ELASTIC NONWOVENS

Materials imposed to deformeation under pressure (elongation/ change of form) and reverted to its original state when unpressured are called elastic materials, and such deformations are called as elastic deformation. Mechanical creep (almost) does not occur. [9]

Elastic nonwovens are products, which exhibit superior elongation/reversibility compared to conventional nonwoven surfaces. While the elasticity on the conventional nonwoven surfaces is around 30%, it can reach 300% on elastic nonwoven surfaces. [5]

The limited resilience of the surfaces produced using conventional synthetic raw materials causes limitations in their usage and application. On surfaces produced using special thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), this problem can be avoided and highly elastic surfaces can be created (Figure 1). This will allow limitations and combine with the advantages of meltblown method to find a more common and convenient area of use. [6]

Elastic nonwoven surface before stretching     Elastic nonwoven surface after stretching

Figure 1. Elastic nonwoven surface before and after stretching [10]

2.1. Elastic Nonwoven Production Methods

Elasticity can be achieved in the texture in different ways. The most important ones are:

2.1.1. Customized voluminous design for nonwoven web structure

Voluminous web structure can be achieved by needle method in particular. In this method, the fibers are laid smoothly on top of each other to form a surface and fixed with special needles to form a web surface. However, the surfaces produced in this method can be too thick and show little flexibility.

2.1.2. Achieving elasticity in materials using crimp fibers

As the crimp fibers on surfaces produced by using crimp fibers are opened under pressure, the surface will stretch and revert to its original state when unpressured. However, the flexibility obtained by this method is very insufficient.

2.1.3. Production using special meltblown method with raw materials

The meltblown method does not require a special preparation process to form the surface, nor does it need to prepare any solution to draw fibers. Fibers are taken directly from the polymers.

In the meltblown method, the special thermoplastic material (TPE) is heated in the extruder and melted up to the temperature and viscosity to provide the fiber formation. The melt is sprayed through the nozzle holes at high speed with a flow of hot air, and these micro-sized fibers become cool and solidify as they move towards the pick-up cylinder. The solidified fibers randomly orientated in the picking cylinder create the elastic nonwoven surface. [11]

2.1.4. Production with finishing operations such as coating

The nonwoven surface is created by covering one or both sides of the surface with a chemical substance. The chemical materials are applied on the surface in the form of powder, paste or foam to form a film layer on the ground. [12]

2.1.5. Production with composite technology

Composite materials are a group of material, which are created by bringing together at least two different materials for a specific purpose. The purpose in this three-dimensional assembling feature is to create a feature, which is not present in any of the components alone. In other words, it is aimed to produce a material with superior properties for the desired components. [13]

The elasticity of the web produced with the first two methods is limited while they have excessive thickness. Flexibility of the web obtained with the coating method is not at the desired level. It has been seen that problems are solved in the web produced using TPE chips. [8]

  1. THERMOPLASTIC ELASTOMER (TPE) – RAW MATERIAL FOR ELASTIC NONWOVENS

Crosslinked rubbery polymers, or rubbery webbands, which exhibit very high elongation under tensile force and revert to their original initial length when the force is lifted, are called elastomers. The most commonly used and known elastomers are polyisoprene (or natural rubber), polybutadiene, polyisobutylene and polyurethane.

Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE’s) are polymers that exhibit elastomer behaviors, even though they do not have chemical cross-links between their molecules.

The physical cross-links in the TPEs constitute the webbing structure by interlocking the flexible molecules together. They can be processed as thermoplastics at high temperatures and exhibit elastomeric behavior when cooled (Figure 2). The transition from thermoplastic behavior to elastomeric behavior is completely reversed, i.e. unlike conventional elastomers, thermoplastic elastomers can be processed repeatedly, so they can be recycled. [14]

Thermoplastic elastomers contain two distinct phases in their texture:

  • Elastomeric phase with rubber features
  • Rigid phase with thermoplastic features. [14]

Figure 2. Temperature change in the thermoplastic elastomer structure [15]

 

  1. APPLICATION AREAS OF ELASTIC NONWOVENS

Elastic nonwovens find use in the fields of filtration, medicine and hygiene as soft protective cap, lining and gloves.

  • Medicine and Hygiene

Research and development studies in both fiber types, in which materials used in medicine and hygiene applications are produced, and in the production techniques of such materials, cause the increase in the use of medicine and hygiene textiles in all technical textiles every day. [16]

The fastest developments in medicine and hygiene textiles have occurred after the discovery of synthetic fibers. Rapid developments have been achieved with the invention nonwoven products in the 1960s, and improving a 56% reduction in the risk of infection transmission with the use of disposable products in 1985. [17]

 

The most important use of nonwovens is the hygiene industry. In a report published by  EDANA – European Nonwoven Producers Association, 35 billion products have been sold in the European hygiene market in 1997, 90 billion in 2004 and 211 billion in 2013 (Figure 3). [18]

Figure 3. The number of nonwoven products sold in the European hygiene market

 

Especially the elastic nonwoven medical bandages exhibit excellent stretching, wrap the wound well, hel healing quickly and leave only a small trace. Patients using them feel comfortable and at ease.

Its porous structure allows skin moisture to penetrate and the skin to breathe. Its elastic structure easily conforms to body folds and joints.

 

In addition, these elastic nonwoven materials also find use in areas such as patients and diapers (Fig. 4), menstrual pads, and in hospital equipment such as surgical disposals and gowns that require disposability, non-slipperiness and elasticity. [8]

Figure 4. Patient diaper with elastic nonwoven materials [19]

 

  • Soft Stretching Caps

It significantly increases comfort, safety and work efficiency for workers. It is non-irritant, soft-textured and has high tensile strength with low shrinkage force. They have a breathable structure for perfect comfort and ease. It provides excellent barrier treatment and filtration performance (Figure 5).

  • For use in construction, mining, health and waste management to prevent dirt, dust, airborne particles and airborne liquids,
  • For protection against dust, bacteria and harmful chemicals in laboratories and factories,
 

Figure 5. Caps with elastic nonwoven material [10]

  • For shielding against outdoor activities, wind and rain,
  • In order to provide good bacteria and particulate filtration in medical use,
  • It can be used for undercoating in hard caps, emergency respiratory masks and other face protection equipment. [10]

Undercoating

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Tennessee, USA, of Materials Science and Engineering reveals that the use of elastic nonwoven as a primer in military apparel shows better filtering features against chemical and biological threats.

Also, undercoating made of such structures in sportswear and women’s clothing helps show the body better. [8]

  • Filtration

These structures, produced using microfiber fibers, have great market share thanks to their superior filtration performance.

These elastic nonwovens, which can also be used in production of masks, provide protection against gas, dust and bacteria in the medical field by preventing harmful granules (Figure 6). Also these filters can be used in AC units, automobiles and engines[8].

 

Figure 6. Mask with elastic nonwoven material [20]

  • Gloves

Elastic nonwoven gloves are used in pharmaceutical factories and research laboratories, where high protection is required thanks to their excellent stretching, absorbing and filtering features. [8]

  1. CONCLUSION

Elastic nonwovens provide balanced mechanical features thanks to better elongation for increased flexibility, higher impact strength, higher melt flow rate for easier machining, lower cost and higher performance in comparison with conventional nonwovens. Especially on machine applications, they exhibit better breaking resilience and tearing prolongation. [21]

Thanks to these features, the application area for elastic nonwovens is growing day by day. The studies conducted in this area is also increasing every day. Interest and researches in the elastic nonwovens, which is considered to be one of the important branches in nonwoven industry, are increasing thanks to the improvements in living standards rising with awareness on the importance of  disposable products especialy for health, advanced level of improved product performances and the R&D activities conducted by the leading companies to grow their market domination.

RESOURCES

[1]KDR Tekstil, http://www.kdrtekstil.com.tr/bilgi-3.php (Erişim tarihi: 13.05.2016)

[2]ITKIB, Teknik Tekstil Sektörüne İlişkin Güncel Bilgiler, Mart 2015, http://www.itkib.org.tr/ihracat/DisTicaretBilgileri/raporlar/dosyalar/2015/TEKNIK_TEKSTIL_SEKTORUNE_ILISKIN_GUNCEL_BILGILER-MART_2015.pdf (Erişim tarihi: 05.04.2016)

[3]Textotex, Hijyen Uygulamalarında Nonwoven Teknolojisi, http://www.textotex.com/haber/tekniktekstil/hijyen-uygulamalarinda-nonwoven-teknolojisi.html (Erişim tarihi: 03.11.2015)

[4]Boggs L., Elastic polyetherester nonwoven web, 1987, US 4707398 A.

[5]Srinivas, S., Cheng, C. Y., Dharmarajan, N. and Racine G., 2005, “Elastic Nonwoven Fabrics from Polyolefin Elastomers”, http://faculty.mu.edu.sa/public/uploads/1426341765.4035Elastic_Nonwoven_Fabrics.pdf (Erişim tarihi: 10.10.2015)

[6]Zhou R., 2004, Stretching the Value of Melt Blown with Cellulose Microfiber and Elastic Resins, Biax Fiberfilm Corporation, 13p.

[7]Dharmarajan R., Kacker S., Gallez V., Westwood A.D. and Cheng C.Y., Meltblown Elastic Nonwovens from Specialty Polyolefin Elastomers, ExxonMobil Chemical Company, 3p.

[8]Li L., Zhang J., Li S. and Qian X., 2011, Research Progress of Elastic Nonwovens with Meltblown Technology, Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 332-334, 1247-1252pp.

[9]Yalçınkaya E., Elastisite Teorisi(Stress-Strain) Gerilme-Deformasyon İlişkisi, https://iujfk.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/3-ders-elastisite.pdf, (Erişim Tarihi: 28.04.2016)

[10]Vitaflex, http://vitaflexllc.com/index.html, (Erişim Tarihi: 19.10.2015)

[11]Atul Dahiya, M., Kamath, G. and  Raghavendra, R., 2004, Meltblown Technology, http://www.engr.utk.edu/mse/Textiles/Melt%20Blown%20Technology.htm (Erişim tarihi: 13.10.2015)

[12]Bulut Y., Sülar V., 2008, Kaplama veya Laminasyon Teknikleri ile Üretilen Kumaşların Genel Özellikleri ve Performans Testleri, Tekstil ve Mühendis, Sayı:70-71, 5-16.

[13]Kompozit Malzemeler Hakkkında Her şey, http://www.bilgiustam.com/kompozit-malzemeler-hakkinda-hersey/(Erişim Tarihi: 21.09.2016)

[14]Esen, M., “Termoplastik Elastomerler”, http://www.kimyam.net/2012/09/elastomer-nedir.html (Erişim tarihi: 26.10.2015)

[15]Deniz V., Karakaya N., Karaağaç B., Aytaç A. ve Gümüş S., 2008, Stirenik Termoplastik Elastomer Malzeme Geliştirilmesi, TÜBİTAK MAG Proje 107M412, 58s.

[16]Ilgaz S., Duran D., Mecit D., Bayraktar G., Gülümser T. ve Tarakçıoğlu I., Medikal Tekstiller, Tekstil Teknik Dergisi, Şubat 2007, Yıl-23, Sayı 265, 138-162.

[17]Güney S., 2009, Peristaltik Hareket Sağlayan Tıbbi Tekstil Materyalinin Geliştirilmesi ve Bilgisayarlı Kontrolü, Süleyman Demirel Üniversitesi, Yüksek Lisans Tezi, Isparta, 70s.

[18]Anonim, 2010, Nonwoven Tekniği ile Hijyenik, http://www.bilgilerforumu.com/forum/konu/nonwoven-teknigi-ile-hijyenik.630333/,  (Erişim Tarihi: 10.02.2016)

[19]Can Kimya, http://www.tamtut.com/tr/fullbond-urunler/20/yetiskin-ve-hasta-bezi-hotmelt-yapistiricilari, (Erişim Tarihi: 30.09.2016)

[20]ASM Medical, http://www.asmmedical.com/cat/aile-hekimligi-sarf-malzemeleri/sayfa/2, (Erişim Tarihi: 30.09.2016)

[21]ExxonMobil Chemical, 2010, Vistamaxx™ propylene-based elastomer,

http://www.ktron.com/News/Seminars/Plastics/Houston/Vistamaxx_-_PBE-An_innovation_for_the_masterbatch_industry.cfm, (Erişim Tarihi: 24.09.2015)