BAD ZURZACH, Switzerland, EMSDETTEN, Germany — June 14, 2010 — A new nonwoven fabric for beach
protection against oil spills has been developed by European high-tech companies. It can be
deployed short-term in large quantities to for example the affected US coastal regions.
The current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is causing major damage to the open waters and
coastal regions. This acute problem will at the very least persist for several months.
Given the magnitude of the oil release, no existing technique alone is able to grant full
protection against the oil which will eventually end up on beaches, rocks and land. Once oil is on
land the contamination can be severe, and the cost and effort associated with the clean-up
The vast coastal eco-system impact of the oil-spill was the driving force for HeiQ Materials
AG – a Swiss high-performance textile effects company and TWE – a world leading German manufacturer
of nonwoven fabrics, to develop, produce and launch an oil absorbing nonwoven fabric called
Oilguard. Rolled out on beaches, Oilguard specifically contributes to the beach protection due to
its built-in capability to absorb oil while repelling water at the same time.
“Based on our previous product development work on super hydrophobic technologies for
textiles, we have a unique know-how and understanding which we have now been able to rapidly turn
into a product, Oilguard, that can play a role in helping to mitigate the serious problem in the
Gulf of Mexico”, says Carlo Centonze, CEO of HeiQ. “We are pleased to be able to assist with our
know-how and technologies for a crucial cause like this.”
Oilguard was developed by HeiQ under extreme time constraints in a joint effort with Swiss
partner company, Beyond Surface Technologies, and the TWE Group in Germany. The Oilguard nonwoven
fabric can be up to 6 yards wide and hundreds of yards long. The companies’ current production
capacity corresponds to 20 miles of new beach protection every day.
“We are in the unique position that we are set-up to deliver large quantities of the Oilguard
nonwoven fabric in virtually no time to any region in need for it” says Jörg Ortmeier, CEO of TWE.
“Currently we are in the process of organizing live testing in collaboration with US authorities
and will then be able to rapidly contribute to help mitigate the oil contamination of the
Large scale deployment tests of the Oilguard fabric are planned to take place in the coming
weeks aiming at providing guidance to the relief workers who will ultimately use the product.Carlo
Centonze explains: “We have received significant interest and support from US federal and political
channels and we also seek to engage state authorities, local groups and NGOs to participate in this
challenging beach rescue project.”
Further Oilguard information is available on
HeiQ Materials AG is a Swiss high-tech company researching, developing and manufacturing
sustainable textile effects for the most demanding customer areas. Focusing on both textile and
medical markets, the company seeks to build nature-inspired innovation into products, making them
naturally performing. HeiQ’s products are characterized by high efficiency coupled with
long-lasting performance, yet with a minimum impact on the environment. HeiQ is a fast-growing
internationally active company, with a palette of award winning state-of-the-art textile effects
technologies like Pure by HeiQ® and Barrier by HeiQ®.
The TWE GROUP is one of the world’s leading producer of non-wovens. Developing and making its
mark in this field for decades TWE is able to offer customers new products and ideas based on a
large set of different technologies. Being an international group of companies, each manufacturing
site concentrates on specific technologies offering centres of excellence. Since TWE only uses
quality raw materials and state of the art production processes leading global companies have long
decided to rely on “Made by the TWE” quality label.
About Beyond Surface Technologies:
Beyond Surface Technologies AG is a Swiss based company that has created a global network of
partner companies, technology providers and textile experts. BST is researching, developing and
producing a unique range of quality effects based on sustainable technologies for textile surfaces.http://www.beyondst.com
Posted on June 17, 2010
Press Release Courtesy of TWE Group