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Milliken Launches First-Ever Fluorine Free Eco-Based Performance Fabric

Milliken & Company, a leading global textile technology company, recently launched Breathe by MillikenTM, a new and unique collection of eco-elegant performance upholstery fabrics that are durable, repel everyday stains and clean easily without compromising the fabric’s look or soft feel.

The industry’s first fluorine-free performance fabrics available in both natural and manmade fibers, Breathe fabrics are a sustainable option, designed and responsibly manufactured using natural or recycled fibers made from plastic bottles and a remarkable plantbased water repellent. Milliken created Breathe textiles with discerning consumers in mind to address the growing need for more environmentally-friendly, effective and high-quality performance home upholstery fabrics. Breathe by Milliken fabrics have been extensively tested by certified third parties and meet or exceed industry standards including flammability, water repellency, soil release, spot cleaning, colorfastness, abrasion resistance and pilling. Breathe fabrics meet these standards without adding fluorine, formaldehyde, fire retardants or other chemicals of concern. Unlike common sprayon stain resistance treatments, Breathe fabrics are engineered textiles, providing lasting protection and peace of mind.
All Breathe by MillikenTM fabrics have also achieved GREEN- GUARD® GOLD certification, which gives assurance that products designed for use in indoor spaces meet strict chemical emissions limits, contributing to the creation of healthier interiors. “Today’s consumers are better informed and more concerned about product content than ever before – who makes it, what it is made of and how it is made,” said David Smith, vice president, Engineered Performance Products, Milliken & Company. “Every aspect of this product was designed to address this concern. Consumers can breathe easy knowing their beautiful furniture is protected from stains and wear in a much more sustainable way.” Breathe by Milliken fabrics are sold directly to furniture manufacturers and retailers who specify fabric and will be available at select national retailers beginning in Spring 2017.

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AMSilk Presented In The World’s First High-Performance Sports Shoe

Biosteel fibers from AMSilk receive certification for product safety and confirmation of biological degradability.

AMSilk GmbH has reached a further important milestone in its business segment Industrial Applications & Textiles: The high standards of the production and product development process at AMSilk as well as the biological degradability of the AMSilk Biosteel® fibers were confirmed by two renowned institutes: the Hohenstein Institute and the SGS Institute Fresenius. Product safety and biodegradability are highly relevant to Biosteel® products.InNovember,AMSilk together with adidas presented in New York the world’s first high-performance sports shoe, with an upper material entirely consisting of the completely biodegradable AMSilk Biosteel® fibers. This makes
AMSilk the first biotech company to have market-ready functional products with biotechnologically produced functional silk biopolymers. Previously, AMSilk had succeeded in producing the high-performance Biosteel® fiber on an industrial, near- production scale as well as in producing Biosteel® fabrics.
Certification in accordance with OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 The Biosteel® fiber received the certification in accordance with OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 (Confidence in Textiles) for product class 1 by the renowned Hohenstein Institute. This certification shows that the Biosteel® fibers reach the highest standard for textile applications. Textiles receiving this certification have been submitted to tests regarding pollutants and product safety, and in the case of product class 1 are without reservation also suitable for babies and children below the age of 3.

Biological degradability in accordance with OECD 301B
Furthermore, SGS Institute Fresenius confirmed that the AMSilk Biosteel® fibers are biodegradable. The silk material was subjected to a standard test examining the biodegradability in accordance with OECD Norm 301B and was defined as “readily biodegradable”. This is the best test result possible.

Development of further Biosteel® products
“The sports shoes made of natureidentical silk biopolymers and developed together with adidas set new standards regarding the sustainability and functionality of textiles. Further products currently in development with renowned international cooperation partners from industry and textile branch will follow,” said Jens Klein, CEO of AMSilk.

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Cutting-Edge Hi-tech Fibres

For more than 20 years, Advansa marks its position as one of the main suppliers for the nonwoven wallpaper industry and offers high-quality fibres made by advanced production technology from Germany.

Advansa develops specifically designed polyester fibres with modified crosssections and coloured, binder fibres. The company has a large portfolio of customized products with more than 35 individual fibre types for nonwoven wallpapers. For the production of the nonwoven material for wallpaper, Advansa does not only offer standard fibre with a cross-section of 12 μm and cut length of 6mm. In order to infiuence the properties such as roughness or thickness, there are also fibres available with lower and higher diameters, shorter and longer cut lengths. Even within the portfolio of the standard dimensions, Advansa has a differentiated offer in order to balance properties such as thermal shrinkage as well as wet dimensional stability. In this way, nonwoven producers can adjust the attributes of their products according to the requirements of the wallpaper manufacturers needed in terms of processing and properties of the final product. The major factor here is Advansa’s complementary technology which completely covers the range of achievable physical properties and which is an instrument for further developments. The result is an optimal processing feature at every stage of the process chain with fibre know-how from German production. Due to the high quality of fibres, wide range of products and service quality, Advansa offers its customers a high level of productivity as well as a differentiation in the market. The company can adapt quickly to the needs of its customers thanks to its optimal location and fiexibility and can support developments; resulting in an
increase of the product value.

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Transformation to Technical Textile Within Textile Sector Will be Via TEKSMER

Being one of the leaders among sectors that act as a locomotive in Turkey’s export and employment, textile sector is on the verge of a transformation in the Aegean Region. Founded as a result of a 4-year effort for the production and devel- opment of technical textile products of high added value, the Technical Textiles Research and Application Center (TEKSMER) started to work with all its functions.

Founded in Dokuz Eylül University Campus with the coopera- tion of Aegean Textile and Raw Materials Exporters’ Association, Aegean Ready Wear and Garment Exporters’ Association and Dokuz Eylül University and with the support of İzmir Development Agency, TEKSMER will be making history in transforming the textile sector in Aegean Region. Stating that they are aiming to make İzmir the cap-
ital of technical textile via works to be conducted by Technical Textiles Research and Application Center, Head Coordinator of Aegean Exporters’ Association Sabri Ünlütürk added that the worldwide textile industry is undergoing a transformation process towards technical textiles and that they founded TEKSMER so as not to miss this transformation. Pointing that there has been a stall in Turkey’s
export in the last 5 years, Ünlütürk said: “We have to strengthen our R&D infrastructure so as to overcome the stagnation in exports and to ensure sustainability in exports. With TEKSMER, we will more from traditional export products to value added products. In order to reach the 20 billion dollars export target set by the textile sector for the year 2023, we have to multiply the examples similar to TEKSMER”. Providing the information that they founded TEKSMER with a technical expertise that will be able to conduct tests that could not be conducted in Turkey, Ünlütürk continued: “One of the upcoming scenarios for our technical textile sector is a labora- tory, where everything from yarn to the last point is possible. We have a device that does not exist in Turkey. We brought in a fiber drafting device, and our purpose is to produce fiber and yarn starting from the raw material needed by the techni- cal textile sector”.

The Future is in Technical Textile
Stating that the yarn and fabric exporters within the body of Aegean Textile and Raw Materials Exporters’ Association start- ed the URGE project named “Transfer from Conventional Production to Technical Textile Production” so as to develop the exports of products focused on technical textiles with high added value, EİB Head Coordinator Sabri Ünlütürk shared that 75% of the expenditure to be made by the companies in the project will be supported by the Ministry of Economy. Stating that they invited textile companies in Aegean Region to a sem- inar to be held on 20 December 2016 at Aegean Exporters’ Association called “Future is in Technical Textile” so as to explain them the URGE project called “Transfer from Conventional Production to Technical Textile Production”, Ünlütürk said: “We aim for the project participant companies to produce value added products and to increase their export potentials. We want to increase the market shares and vari- eties of the project participant companies, to gain continuity for their exports / productions, to develop their export market- ing abilities and support them effectively”. First of all, the companies taking part in URGE Project called “Transfer from Conventional Production to Technical Textile Production” will be subjected to needs analysis and they will take part in the training and consulting programs to be held in accordance with this analysis results. In the following process, it will be possible for the companies to participate in joint marketing activities such as marketing abroad, fair / exhibit participation, sectoral commerce committee and purchasing committees.

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Tapetex Taps In To The Possibilities Of The Latest Monforts Technology For Its High Quality Inspection Board Fabric

Montex installation opens new woven and nonwovens applications for wallcovering specialist Tapetex.

The exclusive wallcovering collections of Tapetex, based in Helmond, The Netherlands, are to be found in the very best guest rooms of the world’s finest hotels, in executive boardrooms and offices and in top-of-the-range luxury new housing developments from Europe to the USA and to the Middle East and Asia.
The family-owned company, with a 50-strong workforce at the plant in Helmond, takes the finest fabrics of Europe’s most advanced weaving mills – pure silks, linens, jacquards, wools and suede – and turns them into unique collections via a combination of in- house design know-how and advanced finishing techniques.
“Our aim is to always come up with materials that other companies simply can’t make,” said Managing Director Bart van den Broek, whose father founded the company in 1975 as a trading operation, before decid- ing to bring full finishing processes in-house a decade later, in order to be completely in control of quality and the just-in-time distribution net- work.
“We opted from the start to concentrate solely on wallcoverings and our collections are now well known to architects and specifiers worldwide. Manufacturers for other mar- kets attempt to enter the field quite often, but find it harder than they anticipated because it’s a complex market. They come and go.”
The Tapetex plant is equipped with all of the latest technology for laminating and embossing, dyeing, double-sided coating and heatsetting, crushing, ocking, laser engraving and digital and conventional printing, including a Monforts Thermex dyeing line for both wovens and nonwovens.
The company’s latest digital printing line is capable of simultane- ously printing three different designs on 110 cm diameter jumbo rolls. During 2016, a 2.2 metre wide, six chamber Monforts Montex 6500 stenter has been installed in a new 4,000 square metre expansion at the Helmond site.
“An older stenter is still being used for more limited runs,” said Mr Van den Broek, adding, “but with the new Montex line we can do much more.”
“It has allowed us to introduce a number of new processes that were previously not possible.
“We can run coating and finishing processes that need better temperature, moisture, and air speed parameters in a much more controlled way,” he confirmed.
It is one of the most meticulously clean plants in the world, and in as an extra measure, all fabrics are brushed as an initial step in eliminating dust and potential contaminants prior the start of the finishing and converting steps.
“We need to be sure every metre of fabric is perfect from the first to the very last of a production run,” said Mr van den Broek. “It’s about reliability and repeatability.
“The Montex 6500 stenter has been running very well and gives us complete computerised control of all parameters such as tem- perature, moisture and setting times.
“We make all our own finishing chemicals and dyes in-house and try to do as much as possible ourselves. We deal with a lot of expensive woven materials and quality has to be guaranteed – especially if an order is being shipped to the other side of the world from here.
“With these kinds of fabrics, even the smallest of mistakes can be very expensive. There can be anywhere up to ten separate stages to the nishing of some of these fabrics, so we rely on the best computerised technology.” The Tapetex collections are generally subtile and subdued, with an understated appearance often bely- ing the sophisticated techniques behind their creation. A material like Graphic Spirit, for example, is a tri-dimensional suede wallcov- ering which has intricate laser cut patterns revealing the nonwo- ven polyester base fabric and with silver and gold touches imprinted around its 3D crenulations. Tech Inspirations, mean- while, is a linen which has been cleverly embossed in variated grid lines, its design trialled on a lead template, so that its shimmers as the eye moves across it and the viewer moves across a room, while Crafty Deformation has a very fine 10% poly- ester warp thread running through its enhanced linen structure. These are just three examples of the close to 400 fabrics in widths of 110 or 137cm rolls that Tapetex keeps in stock and currently sells to over 70 countries worldwide via its sales offices and agents.
“Our customers generally like to order at the very last minute that a job is specified and appreciate the ready availability of what they want, which can be shipped anywhere in the world in a matter of days,” said Mr van den Broek. “We have established a very good logistics net- work worldwide.”
Tapetex collections are designed and their processing routes per- fected over a three-year period and made available for around the same time before being updated. The company is currently put- ting together its latest range of wallcoverings based on both wet- laid and spunbonded nonwovens. “Again, many of these prod- ucts are supplied in several laminated layers with several coatings and usually double-calendered to provide the perfect finish we need,” Mr van den Broek concluded.
“Our nonwovens collections are not cheap, but the materials fall between the general market for vinyl wallcoverings and our high- end wovens. Their big advantage is that they allow the walls to breathe, and in some regions mildew is a big issue, so there’s no danger of that with these products.
“The walls on which are materials are eventually hung are essen- tially inspection boards. With other textiles in bigger production runs there are small mistakes that can be worked with, but in what we do there’s absolutely no margin for even the smallest error.
“The new Montex 6500 is helping us achieve this very high quality standard.”

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Steel Versus The World’s Strongest Fiber A Test Of Strength In Securing Loads

PowerLash chain with Dyneema® sets new standards.

What happens if parts of a tried-and-tested tensioning lashing chain are combined with high-performance textile fibers? Dolezych, the renowned manufacturer of ropes, lifting and load securing equipment, to present the result at this year’s IAANutzfahrzeuge commercial vehicle trade fair in Hanover. The PowerLash with Dyneema® textile lashing chain with an (lashing capacity) of 5000 daN is the result of intensive cooperation between DSM Dyneema and Dolezych. DSM Dyneema is the inventor and manufacturer of the UHMWPE fiber (Ultra High Molecular Weight PolyEthylene), which is marketed under the brand name Dyneema®, the world’s strongest fiber™. Dyneema® offers maximum strength combined with minimum weight. For the same weight it is 15 times stronger than quality steel and up to 40% stronger than aramid fibers. The Dyneema® fiber boats on water and has an extremely high resistance to abrasion and cutting as well as being resistant to moisture, UV light and chemicals. The fibers are processed by Dolezych GmbH & Co. KG, one of the world’s leading companies for load securing. The multinational family-owned company headquartered in Dortmund has recognized experience in the development and manufacture of lashing products and owns numerous patents in this field. The principle of the presented PowerLash with Dyneema® is both simple and clever: The PowerLash chain is manufactured completely from webbing made of Dyneema®. Several layers of the fabric are wound and sewn to form chain links. These are combined into textile chains that can be produced in any length with specially developed chain hooks, high-strength shackles and special tensioner elements. The result is easily comparable with the breaking load and durability of chains made of highstrength steel, but is up to 85% lighter and much more flexible in use. The new load securing systems were put through their paces by users in a test phase lasting six months and proved to be outstanding under real operating conditions. Products with the widest variety of chain lengths, hooks and tensioner elements were used. Even short lashing chains were found to offer enormous weight and handling advantages. Above all, the particularly long lashing chains with a usable length of 6 m or more showed that the extremely light and cut-resistant Dyneema® fiber is simply unbeatable for some applications. Even with chain lengths of 20 m and more it was possible for just one person to secure the load quickly and effortlessly! The opinion of our tester was clear: “Working with lashing chains was never so easy!” A typical feature of chains is also the possibility to shorten the system. Just attach the hook to the chain link at the desired length – done. A high-strength shackle of an appropriate strength can also be used as a shortening element. And if the load is sensitive, the soft lashing chain can even be pulled over the load with no further protective measures (e.g. against scratches). The tensioner element of the system is also innovative. A special and easy to use lashing strap system replaces the ratchet load binder normally used with lashing chains. That results in a significantly longer tensioning distance and additionally contributes to a reduction in weight.

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Incontinence Products Revolutionize
The Hygiene Market

Thanks to global advancements in healthcare and standards of living, people are living longer than ever before.

In 2015, there were 599 million people over 65 years globally and it is expected that in 2020, the number of senior people will be 712 million. And who knows where the growth stops. The aging of the population itself creates new needs but what is revolutionary is the fact that senior people are ever more active. This increases the demand for products that might not be considered everyday goods today.

Absorbent incontinence products, such as panty liners, disposable underwear and adult diapers, are good examples of products like that. Their growing popularity will, in the course of time, shift the balance in the hygiene market from diapers and feminine hygiene products towards incontinence products.

Men and women of all ages suffer from incontinence
But what is incontinence? It refers to both urinary incontinence and bowel incontinence and can be further divided into several subtypes: Urge, stress, overflow and functional incontinence, all of which have different causes. Men and women of all ages, from children to seniors, suffer from incontinence and as the awareness of this discomfort is increasing, using incontinence products is becoming more and more socially acceptable. Incontinence products are by no means common consumer products yet, which is quite evident when you compare them to, for example, baby diapers or sanitary napkins. This is the case even in North America and Europe, where the market penetration of incontinence products is still quite low.

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Adult diapers? ‘Well, not exactly’
When one hears the word ‘incontinence product’, the first thought may be conventional, bulky adult diaper – like one of those we are used to see babies wearing, just bigger. In reality, modern incontinence products are far more advanced than that: They are ultra-thin, super absorbent and very discreet, unnoticeable from outside. And as the market drivers are strong, the hygiene product industry is constantly innovating to make these productseven more outstanding, or actually quite the opposite. The incontinence products can be divided into two categories: Products for light incontinence and products for moderate to heavy incontinence. In products for light incontinence, protective pads and panty liners are the most popular products. Incontinence pads, also known as bladder pads, differ from those used for menstrual protection. Where they look similar and both are lightweight, incontinence pads are designed to hold more fluid, to keep skin dry and capture odors.

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Superior Protection and Care: RKW Exhibited Latest Solutions for Medical Applications

Optimum protection meets ease of use: At this year’s Medica show in Duesseldorf, Germany, RKW presented its latest range of high-performance films and laminates for surgical and woundcare applications in hall 6, booth D16. The products from the Medicace® and Medifol® brands are offering proven barrier properties and comfort levels.

Reliable infection barriers are key to protecting both medical personnel and patients in their care. The demand for more effective solutions continues to increase and in answer, RKW showcased its portfolio of Medicace® high-performance films and laminates. The multilayer offerings present full barrier properties for end applications such as single-use surgical drapes and gowns, as well as back-table and mayo-stand covers. Furthermore, RKW’s breathable fabric, Gownace, is presented as an option that improves comfort levels for the wearer thanks to its innovative nature. “The Medicace® range underlies RKW’s position as the leading European provider of single-use laminates for medical applications,” says Sophie Litt, Sales Manager Medical at RKW. “We use state-of-the-art technology so that our films and laminates provide highest quality standards and consistency to manufacturers of surgical drapes and gowns. Moreover, they contribute significantly to the safety of the end user.” Medifol® is the brand of a wide variety of embossed films and laminates from RKW that meet the stringent quality requirements in woundcare applications. A reliable single-use wound dressing is critical for healing. At the show, RKW exhibits a portfolio of products that meet the challenges of presenting both liquid barrier properties as well as comfort, flexibility and breathability.

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Creative Technological Leadership: Woven Wire Mesh For Industry and Architecture

The driving force is GKD’s technological leadership combined with closeness to the market and customer focus. The combination of state-of-the-art weaving technology, interdisciplinary problem-solving competence and innovative strength give this owner-managed enterprise a unique market status. GKD consistently transfers the product strengths and technical know-how of its individual business units to new sectors and is thus continually opening up new areas of application. Leading companies in the automotive and aerospace industries, in medical and environmental technology, in the chemical, pharmaceutical, food-processing and textile industries, in the paper- and wood-processing industries as well as builders of internationally renowned architectural works are all customers of this medium-sized, internationally active company with its staff of 591 employees.

Industrial meshes / Filtration meshes

Exemplary innovative competence and the courage to keep an open mind for unconventional ideas have characterized the entrepreneurial development of GKD since the company was founded in 1925. The product range of today’s business unit SOLID WEAVE has developed to include everything from mesh for the screening of solids to filter media for solid/liquid filtration, from shielding screens for aeroplane parts to noise-reducing acoustic insulation mesh for aeroplane engines. Classic areas of application include polymer filtration for the production of fibers in the textile industry, filtration in the soft-drinks and brewing industry and process filtration in a wide range of other industrial sectors. And, particularly in the field of high-viscosity fluids, GKD’s mechanically robust mesh constructions are also leading products.

Up to 600 meter long high-precise strips of fine filter media, in which wires just a quarter of the diameter of a human hair are woven, allow GKD wire meshes to be integrated directly into customer-specific automation processes, for example in the automotive industry in highly demanding electronic driving aid applications like ASP, ESP or ABS, or in the inkjet printer sector. Antiturbulence nets for aerodynamic applications, for example, in wind tunnel constructions in the automotive and aerospace industries, are further successful areas of application for GKD meshes. And this business unit has now been given strong, new impetus through the operational startup in 2004 of the world’s most modern technical looms for fine mesh. High-tech filter media, a philosophy of holistic solutions and the capability of supplying complete filter systems for industrial and medical-technical applications will continue to consolidate the leading international position of this sector of the company. As a systems supplier SOLID WEAVE filtration technology and plant engineering develops compact filter systems for specific submarkets in the solid/liquid separation sector. The integrated compact filter system MAXFLOW combines filtration and briquetting in a single piece of equipment. Without the need for filter aids, the system provides particle separation down to the micron range. The patented concept established a new generation of filters that significantly optimise central processes in the metal-working industry.

Process belt meshes

As a core component in a wide range of production processes, process belts manufactured by the GKD business unit WEAVE IN MOTION play an indispensable role in industry. The quality, construction and lifetime of GKD belts are decisive factors for efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Woven plastic process belts are primarily used in solid/liquid filtration in belt filter presses or vacuum filters in fruit juice production, sewage sludge drainage and phosphor extraction. Woven metal process belts made of stainless steel or bronze – also in combination with plastic – are core products for freezing, drying, draining or heating processes. Pizzas are baked on them, mashed potato flakes are dried on them, fruit and vegetables are frozen on them. Self-steering TRACKMATIC® belts made of stainless steel or blends of plastic and metal have proven themselves in textile finishing and in nonwovens production, as well as in the processing of wood and ceramics. Especially in the fast-growing technical textiles market, GKD process belts and meshes set standards for glass, synthetic, mineral and cellulose fiber nonwovens, and in refining, forming and coating processes. In the wood-processing industry, too, process belt meshes made by the Düren-based company are well-established products. Process belts made of metal, plastic or material combinations are used all over the world in the chipboard, fiberboard, laminating and verneering as well as in the pellet manufacturing industries. With a wide and versatile range of proven constructions and promising product innovations, GKD relies in its business unit WEAVE IN MOTION on a consistent niche policy in quality-conscious target markets.

Architectural meshes

Up to 1992, few people were aware of the existence of GKD woven metallic and plastic meshes, although they were in use all over the world. The first decorative use to which they were put was as radiator grilles made of aluminium mesh. It was the beginning of the cooperation with the French architect Dominique Perrault in 1993, a collaboration which has continued for over twenty years now, which marked the birth of GKD`s business unit CREATIVE WEAVE. In their first mutual architectural project, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, GKD explored the potential for woven metallic materials for architecture and realized the production of meshes for twelve different areas of application. Wire mesh panels in widths of up to eight meters make this possible in the dimensions of even the largest-scale architectures. Apart from the weavable width and the variety of materials supplied by GKD, the success of woven wire mesh in architecture is also due to its optical and functional properties: reflectiveness, transparency and opaqueness, flexibility and robustness, permeability to light and air, practically unlimited service life, ease of cleaning, recyclability and functional protection against the sun, draughts, impacts and above all against blast waves and flying fragments from bomb detonations. Reference projects around the world include office and government buildings, museums, hotels, airports and railway stations, cinemas, carparks, bars, restaurants and boutiques, and even sports stadiums and bridges. The variety of applications ranges from external façades, ceilings, walls, partition walls and sunscreen elements to balustrades, column and staircase claddings, floor coverings and object design.

Other milestones in the success story of the business unit CREATIVE WEAVE after the Bibliothèque Nationale de France include the Cycling Arena and Indoor Swimming Pool in Berlin. In the Bibliothèque Nationale, the versatility of GKD mesh’s application potential first became apparent, while the roofs of the two sports halls in Berlin demonstrated its capacities for coverage of immense surface areas. The façade of one of Europe’s largest carparks, accomplished at Cologne/Bonn Airport by Murphy/Jahn, set standards for these areas of application. The optically seamless cladding of a round object was achieved for the Bertelsmann pavilion “Planet-m” at the Expo 2000 in Hannover. The “external skin” of the Expomedia Light Cube in Saarbrücken counts as one of the wire mesh façades with the largest individual elements ever installed. Today, the reference list includes the world’s most prominent architects and internationally renowned buildings all over the globe. Among the latest spectacular architectural accomplishments using GKD architectural mesh are the Louis Vuitton Flagship Stores in Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro, Real Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, the Formula One racing circuit in Shanghai, the Beijing Opera, the tennis stadium in Madrid or the American Airlines Arena in Miami. Consistent expansion of the product’s aesthetic-functional range of use will continue to characterize this sector of the company.

Technological leadership and closeness to the market

Creative technological leadership has always been and will continue to be the driving force of the company. Many of today’s important wire mesh weaves were originally developed by GKD. The producer of high-quality metallic meshes has 693 employees worldwide, 410 of them in Düren, Germany. All business units are autonomous, and operate efficiently and flexibly. Process-oriented organizational forms and flat hierarchies support the company’s consistent orientation towards customer benefit. And GKD also strives for geographical proximity to its market partners – six plants – the headquarters in Germany, the others in the USA, South Africa, China, India and Chile, subsidiaries in France, Great Britain, Spain, Dubai, Qatar and representative offices worldwide. With customer orientation, a consistent policy of ongoing innovation and strategic partnerships GKD ensures the continuing successful development of the company through trendsetting ideas and products.

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GKD: From Polymer Filtration To Nonwovens Forming

Over 80% of such nonwovens are used for hygiene sector products like nappies or cosmetic tissues and for disposable products in the medical sector. And this means high standards for the production of spunlaid nonwovens in ever thinner, lighter and more efficient forms. The internationally leading technical weaver Gkd – Gebr. Kufferath AG has a well-established worldwide reputation as an expert when it comes to the spunlaid process. With its all-round competence in consulting, design, production and service, this owner-managed SME is a sought-after partner and solutions provider for the nonwovens sector.

3The market for technical textiles is growing rapidly all over the world. And the strongest growth in this sector is to be found in the nonwovens sector, where the most important areas of application are in hygiene and medical products. Here, there is a particularly high demand for spunlaid products. The driving factor behind this trend is demographic development. On the one hand, increasing life expectancy leads to increasing demand for products tailored to the needs of older people, for example regarding incontinence, wound healing and infection control. On the other hand, the growing world population and rising standards of living in many regions are reflected in an increasing demand for baby-care and cosmetic products. In order to prevail in this highly competitive global market, manufacturers must consistently optimise the efficiency and productivity of the single-stage spunlaid process. Whether for filter media for central filters and spin beams, quench screens and laydown belts, GKD’s mesh constructions and selection of materials – custom-configured to meet the individual requirements of specific equipment and products – make an important contribution towards the integrated adaptation of spunlaid processes to the ever-increasing demands of the converting industry. In the polymer filtration stage, this contribution is primarily through optimised plain dutch weave meshes (ODW) made of stainless steel. Thanks to their special construction, these meshes combine precise filtration with low differential pressure and long service life. The slot-shaped pores on the mesh surface are smaller than the pores inside the mesh. Particles above the cut point are retained directly on the mesh surface. In this way, ODWs also reliably filter out poorly dispersed additives and solid particles. Gel-like impurities in the melt are crushed by the shearing forces that arise. Their precise separation rates, high dirt-holding capacity and low clogging tendency make ODWs eminently suitable for deployment in several aggregates in the spunlaid process. In screen changers, for example, this mesh type is deployed as a multi-layer construction in process-specifically assembled filter discs or cartridges. When designing the mesh configuration, GKD makes use – if required – of its own in-house further development, the integrated simulation environment Weavegeo®. This enables GKD to modulate the mesh configuration precisely to the requirements of the individual application and to simulate the specific process of polymer filtration. The knowledge and insights acquired through the simulation in the laboratory are then implemented on GKD’s ultra-modern technical looms to produce perfectly customised products, cut to size and ready for use. In the central filter, screens consisting of five to six filter layers with separation rates of 10 to 40μm are used, covered with a protective mesh if the particular application requires this. In the spin beam, several layers of made-to-measure, perfectly phased meshes filter the flow of the melt and thus improved the service life of the spinneret. Manufacturing these frame-mounted long filters or filter discs, which can be up to 6 metres in size, calls for a maximum of engineering expertise and precise selection of media to match the specific application so that the filter packet construction ensures that the required level of process success is achieved. Here, too, thanks to comprehensive quality control and automated cleaning of the mesh before cutting to size, GKD guarantees the production reliability that the high-quality spunlaid products demand. Preconditions that are equally beneficial for rectifiers. These screens – arranged on one or both sides of the fibre flow, harden the still-hot continuous filaments by quenching them with cold air before the laydown section. For the construction of such quench screens, large-format honeycomb carrier plates are covered on both sides with specially pre-treated mesh and mounted in a frame. Whether as original equipment or as repair – thanks to its high-precision meshes and coverings, GKD can guarantee the flow homogeneity essential for trouble-free fibre flow. With its electrostatically conductive laydown belts made of meshes from the Conducto® and Conductive® range, GKD is also the partner of choice for the fourth and final stage of the spunlaid process. Due to the bronze wires or graphite filaments woven into their warp, and to their non-marking pin seams, these endless polyester belts substantially increase the safety of the integrated process flow, constantly conducting away – through their contact with the metallic rollers – any electrostatic charge caused by the process itself. In addition to the production reliability the belts provide throught this feature, their efficiency is further underlined by their low fibre penetration, uniform card web formation, customised air permeability, excellent nonwoven discharge and reliable adhesion in the laydown section. Its winning combination of integrated competence in engineering and consultancy and expertise in manufacturing has made GKD an internationally sought-after problem solver for the challenges of spunlaid processes. And comprehensive service from a single source ensures that collaboration with this technological leader is guaranteed to be an enduringly successful experience.