Last year, Textile World published an article titled, “Flushability – Tomorrow’s Trend For Disposables,” which reported that Trützschler Nonwovens and Voith Paper have developed a flushable solution for disposable nonwoven products.
Durables And Disposables
In nonwovens, a basic distinction is made between disposables and durables. Durables are products like geotextiles, roofing membranes and other such products. Disposables are primarily single-use items such as diapers, hygiene products, wet wipes and similar products, produced in very large quantities by companies specializing in such items. They are mainly made of spunlaced or hydroentangled nonwovens, spunbonds, or fiber webs that generally are bonded through needlepunched nonwovens. The big problem with disposables is the waste they create. In many hospitals around the world, getting rid of theses disposables is a big problem. The disposables clog whole line systems and also prevent bacterial action to reprocess the wastewater.
What, actually, does flushability mean? Nothing other than the ability to be flushed. After a short mechanical interaction, the web dissolved into its fiber parts, thus allowing clean disposal or disintegration in the wastewater treatment plant. Pulp and Tencel are both products made of wood that do not disturb the bacterial action.
On one hand, the production method is an obstacle because the product requires a certain strength for its given application. And on the other hand, the fiber material used is of decisive importance. Both components together form a product that must be strong and at the same time must dissolve through mechanical interaction after its use. This has long been the problem of squaring the circle. Now a solution seems within reach.
Paper And Spunlace Technology
Trützschler Nonwovens possibly has accomplished a significant coup that could solve a big problem facing the nonwovens industry: What to do with the waste?
Some months ago, Trützschler reported about a new cooperation with the market leader for paper machines, Voith Paper, a subsidiary of Voith GmbH, Germany. Initial talks were held more than a year ago. As with most great solutions, the concept is very simple: The combination of two different production technologies. One technology involves the wetlaid process, which is similar to paper manufacturing technology. Wood pulp, primarily from beech trees, is dissolved in water, passed over a sieve, drained, calendered, and dried. This method also is used for wetlaid nonwovens. The other process uses Trützschler’s spunlace bonding technology. In this process, the fibers are bonded using water jets after web formation. A combination of both technologies could present a breakthrough for nonwovens that can be mechanically dissolved in relatively short time, thus no longer creating problems in reprocessing.
Focus On Efficiency And Quality
Now, Trützschler’s participation at this year’s Techtextil sho in Frankfurt is focused on efficiency and quality. Various examples of Trützschler Nonwovens’ complete line concepts and technologies combine these targets. Multimedia and interactive presentations will inform visitors about line layouts, machinery, applications and end products.
A special topic will be the cooperation with Voith Paper in the area of wet-laid and spunlaced nonwovens. Although flushable wipes are the main application, tailor-made solutions for other end products will be discussed at the booth, too.
With requirements for greater energy efficiency and lower carbon emissions becoming more and more prominent, Trützschler Nonwovens’ second focus is on new and efficient drying technologies. The Streamliner, introduced at the last ITMA show, is a spiral-shaped drum dryer with highest evaporation capacities. The model is used in nonwoven lines producing extremely moist and high density nonwovens — it passed the acid test in a production line last year. Another pillar of the dryer and oven program is the redesigned multi-drum dryer. The new, modular model is optimized in several respects, which results in significant reductions in both thermal and electrical energy consumption.
Trützschler Man-Made Fibers will highlight the small but technologically challenging segment of short-staple fibers. One of the most important quality requirements of short fibers with a length of fewer than 3 to 6 millimeters is absolute length uniformity. Here the technologies presented come to full circle since short-staple fibers often are blended with other fiber material for typical wet-laid products such as nonwovens wallpaper, high-quality tea bags and battery separators.
In the field of technical nonwovens, Trützschler Card Clothing is offering new metallic wires for roller cards application on doffer and condenser. Especially for medium and coarse fibers, used in geotextiles needlepunched webs, new and already field-tested tooth geometries are available, providing enhanced process stability and low maintenance.
Trützschler Nonwovens & Man-Made Fibers, Trützschler Card Clothing and Voith Paper will present new and proven solutions in Hall 3, Booth B03.
March 17, 2015