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Hoechst Celanese, Foamex unveil novel foam superabsorbent; unique new product is subject of a joint patent application as the two companies survey potential end uses in personal care and packaging.

Hoechst Celanese, Foamex Unveil Novel Foam Superabsorbent

unique new product is subject of a joint patent application as the two companies survey potential end uses in personal care and packaging A three dimensional superabsorbent foam product is the subject of a patent application filed jointly by Hoechst Celanese, Portsmouth, VA, and the Technical Products Group of Foamex, Eddystone, PA. The material combines the gelling effect of superabsorbent powders with the uniform, three-dimensional structure similar to that found in specialty polyurethanes.

The superabsorbent is incorporated into the material from the beginning of the manufacturing process, giving the product significant advantages over superabsorbent powders. Dr. Michel Bitritto, market development manager for Hoechst Celanese Superabsorbent Materials, told Nonwovens Industry that the product workds particularly well in formed pieces because of its three dimensional shapes and ability to form continuous sheets. Applications include personal care products and packaging.

Not Aimed At Baby Diapers

In the personal care field, the superabsorbent's cellular material picks up liquid instantaneously. In addition, the voids in the foam can pick up all fluids--such as menstrual fluids and urine--while powders and fibers can only pick up water. The superabsorbent in the foam locks in the aqueous portion. Dr. Bitritto said the product is not designed to compete head-to-head with powder in the large volume baby diaper market; rather, it is targeted to more specialized personal care areas such as sanitary napkins.

The foam also serves as a cushioning material, which makes it particularly suited to packaging applications where the foam can immobilize aqueous based fluids in an amount equal to the volume of the foam.

Hoechst Celanese and the Technical Products Group of Foamex plan to offer a family of superabsorbent foam products targeting markets including industrial, environmental and medical.

The companies were able to combine their proprietary technology to develop the unique superabsorbent foam. Superabsorbent Materials is a major product group of the Performance Products Div. of Hoechst Celanese. The Technical Products Group of Foamex, formerly Scotfoam, is a division of Knoll International Holdings. Foamex is the largest producer of flexible polyurethane foams in the U.S.; its Technical Products Group has been one of the leaders in the development of urethane for engineered applications.
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Title Annotation:Special Report: Markets for Nonwovens
Author:Noonan, Ellen
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:Aug 1, 1989
Previous Article:Superabsorbent polymer insertion technology: a simple solution.
Next Article:Which nonwoven process to select? For the manufacturer considering expansion or nonwovens involvement, a guide to which process is best for what.

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