Lyocell Nonwovens Technology Developed

Following 10 years of research and
development, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research, Germany; Weyerhaeuser Co.,
Federal Way, Wash.; and Reifenhäuser Reicofil GmbH & Co. KG, Germany, have patented a
technology that enables the production of cellulosic self-bonded meltblown nonwovens using the
lyocell process. The new process extrudes lyocell dope through a multi-hole Reicofil meltblown
nozzle to form the nonwoven in a single step.

The companies are currently operating a 60-centimeter-wide pilot line — the first of its
size to be operational — at Fraunhofer.

“This is an innovative technology that offers a natural fiber substitute for synthetic
spun-bonded and meltblown nonwovens,” said Mike Jackson, senior vice president, Cellulose Fibers,

“It is an exciting option for nonwoven manufacturers looking for innovative and sustainable
solutions for the industrial and commercial markets in personal care products, health care products
and specialty product lines.”

November/December 2006