Austria-based cellulosic fiber producer Lenzing AG has introduced various forms of TENCEL® as
sustainable solutions for automotive applications ranging from carpet and seat covers to
injection-molded plastic components and nonwoven components and battery separators.
“TENCEL® supports the trend towards more nature in cars and, with its fiber properties,
boasts numerous advantages for the automobile sector,” said Friedrich Suchomel, automotive project
manager, Lenzing. “We started the project five years ago after speaking to all the international
car manufacturers to understand their requirements. Sustainability was one of their most important
criteria,” he continued, noting that Tencel — which is derived from sustainably managed eucalyptus
plantations and produced using a physical dissolution process in which nearly all of the solvent is
recovered — fulfils those criteria.
According to Lenzing, special textile-grade Tencel fibers are especially appropriate for car
seat cover fabrics, in which they can be blended with conventional fibers to enhance
moisture-management performance. The company also notes that thick fibers are appropriate for
carpets, while powder forms can be incorporated into plastics to provide reinforcement for
injection-molded parts, in which its 10-percent fiber elongation — compared with 2-percent
elongation offered by glass fiber — enhances impact strength. Other forms can be used in special
nonwovens used in electronic applications including separators in condensers for air conditioners
and audio equipment; battery separators; and oil and fuel filters.
May 31, 2011