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High-performance products solve environmental challenges.

Today the nonwovens industry is faced with many environmental and product performance challenges. Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. - a leading producer of emulsions supplied to the nonwovens industry for more than 25 years - has focused its efforts on improving the performance of existing products and developing new high-performance emulsion binders that are cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Working closely with nonwoven manufacturers, Air Products' team of highly skilled research technicians formulates the right latex binder systems using the company's broad portfolio of products to meet each customer's specific needs.

Ultra-Low Formaldehyde


Cost-effectively reducing formaldehyde levels in products and the workplace is one of the biggest challenges facing nonwovens manufacturers today. As a result of its new product development efforts, Air Products has recently introduced Airflex[R] 108 Dev emulsion, a novel binder that offers such high-performance characteristics as high wet strength, excellent absorbency, and soft hand, while exhibiting formaldehyde levels 80-90 percent below other high-performance binders.

Formaldehyde levels for Airflex 108 Dev emulsion average only 40-50 parts per million (ppm) compared to other high-performance binders with formaldehyde levels of 300-700 ppm, resulting in nonwoven substrates with formaldehyde levels below 10 ppm. The ultra-low formaldehyde levels of this binder enable nonwoven processors to cost-effectively reduce formaldehyde levels in their products and workplace.

Additionally, Airflex 108 Dev emulsion - which incorporates Air Products' proprietary polymer chemistry and process technology - runs well on process equipment without fabric blocking, has FDA clearances, and is safe for skin contact.

"True" Disintegrable


Another new addition to Air Products' broad product line is Airflex[R] 911 Dev emulsion - the the first truly water-disintegrable binder for the nonwovens industry. This new vinyl acetate-based polymer contains polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) - a water-soluble, nontoxic, formaldehyde-free polymer - that biodegrades into water and carbon dioxide when subjected to conditions found in typical wastewater treatment facilities or in the presence of water and common earth bacteria. The product is also compostable. These performance characteristics make Airflex 911 Dev emulsion particularly suited for premoistened wipes, household wipes, personal care products, and agricultural applications such as seed strips or temporary barrier fabrics.

Versatile Products:

Excellent Performance

and Low Cost

Air Products produces a wide variety of vinyl acetate-ethylene (VAE) emulsions for a wide range of applications. Their excellent performance and cost competitiveness have made them popular choices for many nonwoven products. The workhorses of the company's VAE portfolio include Airflex[R] 105, 109, and 124 emulsions. These emulsions combine the softness and flexibility of polyethylene with the excellent adhesion characteristics of polyvinyl acetate. The company also has developed other custom polymers as derivatives of these mainstays.

The only supplier to the nonwovens industry with two North American manufacturing locations for VAE binders, Air Products is able to provide a continuous supply of product to its customers. One of these manufacturing sites in South Brunswick, New Jersey was recently recognized for its manufacturing excellence in the production of VAE emulsions when IndustryWeek magazine named it one of "America's 10 Best Plants."

In addition to VAEs, Air Products also produces several Airflex ethylene-vinyl chloride (EVCL) emulsions. These products - which provide high dry and wet tensile strength and good abrasion resistance - are used by the nonwovens industry primarily because of their fire-retarding characteristics. Heat-sealable at low temperatures when using dielectric or ultrasonic processes, EVCL films adhere to a broad range of synthetic fibers and are compatible with various crosslinking additives, significantly improving fabric moldability.

When used in conjunction with commercial flame-retarding additives, EVCL emulsions greatly reduce the flammability of nonwovens. This is particularly important for needlepunch fabric manufacturers because it allows them to meet MVSS-302 and NFPA-701 requirements at a substantial cost saving over compounded systems based on acrylics and styrene butadienes.

Unique Capabilities -

Skilled People

Air Products offers unique capabilities in airlaid processes, wet wipe production, industrial wipes, underpad coverstock, highloft materials, needlepunch fabrics, and flameretarding products. Other key applications for the company's products include protective clothing, filtration media, automotive fabrics, antimicrobial formulations, flushable wipes, and low-formaldehyde binders.

The company backs its broad product line with customer service and experienced research technicians. By developing an indepth understanding of customers' end use applications and manufacturing processes, Air Products' highly skilled team can help solve customers' formulating challenges. This experience, combined with the company's portfolio of high-performance, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly emulsions, is all part of Air Products' ongoing commitment to the nonwovens industry.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Show in Print; Air Products and Chemicals Inc.'s emulsion binders for nonwovens industry
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:May 1, 1993
Previous Article:Groz-Beckert: a combination of functional design and performance.
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