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Freudenberg Nonwovens Introduces Lutradur® ECO, Restarts Idled Spunbond Line

Durham, N.C.-based Freudenberg Nonwovens -- a maufacturer of nonwoven fabrics and a part of Germany-based Freudenberg Group -- has introduced Lutradur® ECO, a polyester nonwoven fabric made from 100-percent post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic. Since the Lutradur fabric's introduction, Freudenberg Nonwovens has steadily increased the amount of PCR plastic from 15 to 90 percent (See " Freudenberg Nonwovens Debuts Lutradur®, Wins Supplier Award," May, 20, 2008). 

Lutradur ECO is the first product to be made exclusively from PCR plastic.

Both Lutradur and Lutradur ECO find applications in end-uses that include building and construction substrates, wallpaper and carpet backings, automotive floor mats and carpeting, landscaping and weed-blocking materials, and specialized filtration devices. Customers in construction, landscape and filtration businesses can achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits when selecting a sustainable Lutradur fabric because of its PCR content and environmentally conscious production methods.

Freudenberg Nonwovens' Spunlaid Division will consume some 12.4 million recycled two-liter plastic bottles this year to manufacture its Lutradur products. Every square yard of Lutradur ECO fabric contains the amount of plastic found in six 16-fluid-ounce bottles. The company reports Lutradur ECO performs just as well as a backing material made from virgin plastic. In addition, facilities producing Lutradur fabrics use a closed-loop manufacturing process to recycle scrap back into the product, saving an additional 9,000 tons of waste each year and reducing the company's environmental footprint.

Demand for the Lutradur ECO fabric has prompted the company to restart an idled production line. The spunbond line will be up and running by the end of the year, adding 16 new jobs in Durham.

"Freudenberg is the only company in the world producing a 100-percent spunbond PCR commercial material," said John McNabb, general manager, North America, Freudenberg Nonwovens. "We are working with our customers and suppliers to maximize the use of recycled plastic bottles to manufacture this global product and, in the process, helping our customers obtain more LEED credits than competitor materials with lower recycled content."

October 5, 2010

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