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IDEA '90: the big show is over, but innovations remain to carry the nonwovens industry through the 1990s.

IDEA '90 The Big Show Is Over, But Innovations Remain To Carry The Nonwovens Industry Through the 1990s

It was billed as a "major global industry event" and IDEA '90 certainly lived up to that lofty goal as more than 4500 people came to Washington, D.C in late September for the largest North American nonwovens trade show ever.

With the roll goods producers setting the pace as usual, IDEA '90 featured a growing international emphasis that included a significant number of exhibitors and attendees from Europe, including Eastern Europe, South America and, of course, the Far East. Participants came from a reported 45 countries and representatives from EDANA, the European Disposables and Nonwovens Association; NEFA, the Nippon Engineered Fabrics Association; and NINA, the Nippon Nonwovens Association; as well as official delegates from Taiwan, Korea and China moved around the halls of the Washington Conference Center.

The number of exhibitors at the biennial show was slightly more than 200, with 22% from companies based outside of the U.S. At the previous IDEA show in Baltimore, MD in 1988, only 13% of total exhibitors came from overseas. In comparison to IDEA '80, only six shows ago, the number of exhibitors increased by nearly 250% and the size of the show has more than tripled in terms of square footage. Attendance has also increased almost 350% from 1980, although IDEA '90 did not show attendance growth from 1988.

There was some concern among both exhibitors and attendees about the impact the scheduling of both the INDEX '90 show in Geneva earlier this year and IDEA '90 just five months later had on the allocation of resources among the companies compelled to participate in both. INDA, sponsor of IDEA shows, has indicated it will remain on its traditional two year schedule and has already scheduled IDEA '92 for late November, 1992 in Washington. EDANA, organizers of INDEX, will hold its next gathering in April, 1993 in keeping with its three year cycle. The two shows will once again overlap in 1996.

Keynoters On Global, Environmental Issues

Opening day keynote speaker Guido Patroncini, executive vice president of Holzstoff Holdings, Basel, Switzerland, greeted the IDEA '90 gathering with a unique "Good morning, good afternoon and good evening." He used this opening to illustrate the extremely international aspect of today's nonwovens industry.

"Yes, you heard me correctly," he explained. "Because right now, somewhere in the world, one of our customers is saying one of those greetings appropriately."

In addition to its global nature, "let us not forget the basis of our business," Mr. Patroncini added. "Technology, competition, trading blocks and R&D efforts are all important. But the essential function of doing business is to bring service and added value to our customers so that they can better serve their customers."

He finished his talk with thanks to INDA for inviting an EDANA member as its keynote speaker and he asked the industry to continue to improve upon the global cooperation of the two major industry associations and their members. "The first steps were made years ago," Mr. Patroncini concluded. "Now let's work together to make this cooperation even more effective."

As for the environment, second day keynoter Robert Greene, director of research and development, Paper Sector, Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, OH, feels the industry has "achieved awareness" of this most important issue of the 1990s. "Everyone's concerned. I'll even go so far as to suggest that people in all sectors are beginning to understand it."

But now the second phase is to begin to concentrate on real solutions. "What we need to talk about is changing this thing we call infrastructure for solid waste management," Mr. Greene said. He used some of the P&G composting and recycling work being done around the U.S. as examples of these real solutions.

"The infrastructure change has a long way to go, but it's begun," he said. "We are now all beginning to look at and support real solutions to solid waste."

Roll Goods Lead In Innovations

While at many European trade shows, such as INDEX, it is the machinery and equipment suppliers that set the pace for new product introductions, IDEA has traditionally been dominated by the roll goods suppliers and the new fabrics they unveil every two years. IDEA '90 was no exception as Kimberly-Clark, Amoco Fabrics and Fibers and Freudenberg, among others, led the way with some innovative new products.

One of the most significant news events also involved an international roll goods supplier. Fiberweb North America, Greenville, SC, part of the Swiss Holzstoff Group that includes Sodoca (France) and Fiberweb AB (Sweden), announced that it will build a new spunbonded plant to produce polypropylene-based nonwovens. The plant, targeted for Simpsonville, SC, is scheduled to be completed in early 1992. (See Top News Stories for more details.)

A strong choice as the most interesting new fabric at IDEA '90 was "Demique" elastic fabric from Kimberly-Clark, Roswell, GA, described by the company as "a new choice in tough and durable, yet drapable and soft, permanent elastic fabrics." Demique is made of unique, thermoplastic microfibers based on copolyetheresters, which are often used in applications where their characteristics of shock absorption, dynamic flex and noise control can be exploited. K-C is promoting Demique for its elastic potential in comparison with "Spandex," along with its high recovery. "Demique elastic fabrics represent a new choice for achieving elasticity through laminates or composites that has never been possible with Spandex or other elastic products," is part of the sales literature.

"We are trying to launch the concept of using a nonwoven elastic fabric as an alternative way of getting stretch in composite fabrics," Jack McMaken, director-new business management at K-C, told Nonwovens Industry. He said that K-C has done a significant amount of research in learning how to make composites incorporating Demique and is offering this expertise to customers. The Demique technology is already being used in Perfect Fit Flex Wall Bedsacks, a stretchable bed sheet that incorporates a cotton/poly layer on top and as a backsheet with a layer of Demique in the middle to provide stretch. Shawmut Mills is also laminating Demique to fabrics to produce stretchable composites. (See Top New IDEAS for more details.)

Freudenberg Nonwovens, Chelmsford, MA, part of the world's largest producer of nonwoven fabrics, took the opportunity of IDEA '90 to unveil its "Viledon" surfacing veils for providing surface protection for fiber reinforced plastics. The veils, which had their North American premier at the show, are designed to eliminate the effects of chemical induced corrosion, prolonged exposure to temperature fluctuations and abrasive damage due to physical contact. They also allow the surface to withstand mechanical stress imposed by the impact of repeated flexing.

Freudenberg said that typical applications for Viledon are virtually any composite surface that must perform with predictable reliability in the face of extensive physical wear or continued exposure to the elements. Chemical tanks and pipes, construction panels and supports, containers, roofing materials, sporting equipment, aircraft fuselage material, ship hulls and outdoor display panels are being targeted as potential end uses. (See Top New IDEAS for more details.)

News, New Products At Amoco

One of the more active exhibitors during the week of IDEA '90 was Amoco Fabrics and Fibers, Atlanta, GA, which in addition to introducing a new line of "RFX" products, was spreading the word about a recently-announced joint venture with a Japanese producer.

Amoco revealed shortly before IDEA '90 that it had entered into a joint venture with Nippon Petrochemicals to produce a nonwoven fabric called "Claf." The company formed to produce Claf is being called ANCI, short for Amoco Nisseki CLAF, Inc., and it will be located in Atlanta. Manufacturing of Claf will take place at Amoco's Roanoke, AL facility, which currently produces carpet backing. (See Top News Stories for more details.)

In addition to the joint venture announcement, a new line of ultra lightweight nonwoven polypropylene fabrics was introduced by Amoco. Marketed under the tradename RFX, these fabrics are manufactured through a proprietary process and maintain uniform coverage at weights as low as 0.125 oz. sq. yard. RFX fabrics range up to two oz. sq. yard and are suitable for personal hygiene products, medical disposables, agricultural products, furniture fabrics, protective clothing and carriers/reinforcements for other nonwovens.

Frank Andrusko, vice president-sales and marketing, told Nonwovens Industry that the new composite fabrics (RFX/melt blown/RFX) at IDEA '90 are already being used in medical gowns for their barrier properties, as well as in protective apparel and other industrial applications. In addition to Amoco's ability to produce very short, specialized runs of the new fabric, Mr. Andrusko added, a major selling point of RFX is its ability to be handled in a non-calendered state, which allows Amoco to ship it to a customer interested in utilizing it as a composite substrate. (See Top New IDEAS for more details.)

Reemay, H&V, Chicopee At IDEA '90

Reemay, Old Hickory, TN, has become a significant presence at international nonwovens shows in recent years and at IDEA '90 the company once again took the opportunity to promote its diverse spunbonded product line. Among its focus was its "Typelle" spunbonded/needlepunched nonwoven and its "Biobarrier" geotextile fabric, which marketing director Ken Pearce said continues to receive "incredible interest from visitors, probably because it is so different." Biobarrier is a spunbonded fabric impregnated with pellets that gradually release a chemical to retard root growth in trees and plants.

Reemay has also developed a reputation for forward integration with its nonwovens and, along with Biobarrier and its well-known landscape fabric, it was exhibiting nonwoven non-disposable shopping bags and a very successful can separator pad that uses a heavyweight "Typar" substrate with a polypropylene coating to replace cardboard in bottling plants. Reemay continues to do much of its own printing and packaging of nonwovens as well.

Domestic producer Hollingsworth & Vose, Walpole, MA, introduced a 100% polyester, thermally bonded highloft nonwoven for use in apparel interlinings and bra padding. It also unveiled a curtain rod pocket material that is a 100% polyester thermal bonded nonwoven (about 60 grams sq. meter). H&V was also showing its melt blown polyethylene products at IDEA '90.

New at Chicopee, New Brunswick, NJ, was a 100% cotton spunlaced fabric, as well as a 60:40 cotton/polyester blend. The company reported that production samples of the new spunlaced products are currently available. Major targeted markets include personal care products and wiping products.

Dexter Nonwovens, Windsor Locks, CT, was certainly explaining the recent moves that have added the Swedish Storalene operations to its business in the past few months (Dexter had purchased Storalene early in 1990 and the sale was just finalized in July, so IDEA '90 was the first time the joint companies were together at a trade show). Dexter's "Hydraspun," a composite wet laid/hydroentangled nonwoven, is continuing to find applications in flame resistant apparel, home furnishings, as replacements for woven face fabrics and backings and in areas that require a low linting fabric.

Wet Laid Fabrics From Crane

Crane Nonwovens, Dalton, MA, introduced a nonwoven product line incorporating a matrix of polymeric fibers custom blended in a wet laid process. Physical properties of the new "Cranemat" 500 Series can be tailored to meet specific end use requirements through the addition of selective fillers. For example, the company said, the combination of synthetic fibers, organics and latex produces a strong, cost effective nonwoven web with the elasticity and good bonding characteristics required for upholstery and drapery stiffeners and carpet backings.

Webs utilizing synthetic fiber blends can be customized to enhance strength and dimensional stability after heat treatment and Crane is promoting them for use in thermoformed structures to support carpeting and furniture materials. With the addition of glass fibers, higher strength and heat resistance can be achieved for applications in more severe environments such as hot air ducting. Cranemat 500 is available in thicknesses from .005 to .120 inches (See Top New IDEAS for more details).

There was a lot of interest in the new polyester, polyethylene and nylon melt blown nonwovens from Ergon Nonwovens, Jackson, MS, according to the company's Jay Coleman. The polyester melt blown on display was .79 oz. sq. yard/26 grams sq. meter; the polyethylene was .5 oz. sq. yard/17 grams sq. meter; and the nylon was .85 oz. sq. yard/29 grams sq. meter, although Ergon certainly has capabilities of increasing these basis weights. (See Top New IDEAS for more details.) "The polyester has found some interest for filtration because of its higher temperature tolerance than polypropylene and there is some compatibility with specific chemicals," he said. Because of their ability to be gamma sterilized, the polyethylene melt blowns are currently being used for medical applications.

At Poly-Bond, Charlotte, NC, the biggest news was the settlement of the patent infringement suit between Kimberly-Clark, Dallas, TX, Reifenhauser, Troisdorf, West Germany and Poly-Bond, formerly Wayn-Tex. General manager Anthony Centofanti reported that the suit, which was filed just prior to the opening of INDEX '90 in Geneva earlier this year, was settled shortly before IDEA '90 opened and it was business as usual for his company.

With a renewed lease on life, Poly-Bond featured information on a variety of its spunbonded nonwovens, targeting end uses in the medical, garment, agricultural and industrial fields. Several nonwoven "bunnies" fabricated from Poly-Bond material were featured, illustrating the range of capabilities of the company's nonwoven products.

Lydall, Inc., Manchester, CT, was discussing a variety of nonwoven filter and thermal barrier fabrics. Its newest fire resistant nonwoven withstands high temperatures and resists flame penetration. The company also featured its new "Manniglas" 1150 and foil-laminated 1151 non-asbestos lightweight nonwoven mats for construction applications. Its "Acupore" battery separators and Manniglas shipsheet flame barrier for roofing were also highlighted. "In the thermal area, cryogenic insulation is still a major growth area for us," Raymond Dugan, vice president-marketing and sales for Lydall's Manning Nonwovens, told Nonwovens Industry. "We will have needs for better insulation in the future, especially in refrigeration."

A New Company, And Some

Familiar Old Faces, At IDEA '90

While many companies went to IDEA '90 to introduce new products, Loren Collins went to the show to basically introduce a whole new company - American Nonwovens, Greenville, SC. The company is actually comprised of three different units each specializing in their own technologies - Fabritek Spunbonded (American Nonwovens), Vernon, AL; Fabritek Resin Bonded (American Fabritec), Beaver Dam, KY; and Fabritek Needle Bonded (Mississippi Fabritek), Columbus, MS. (See Top News Stories for more details.)

Highlighted at Crown Textile, Blue Bell, PA, were several of its new industrial fabrics. A specialty fabric engineered for the electronic and computer wiping tape industry was on display. Style 9845, with a well bonded smooth surface and non-fibrous, non-linting characteristics, accommodates the sensitive market requirements of this segment. The product is calendered to four mils thick and is available in widths up to 94 inches.

Crown also featured a high loft nonwoven saturate substrate for stitchbonding and other applications, including filler for placemats, quilted pot holders and apron parts. For the medical market, Crown presented a range of disposable products for nurses' and surgeons' caps and gowns. The fabrics, available in white and light blue, have excellent tear resistance and are hypo-allergenic, preventing skin irritation. Crown also introduced a range of reinforcement backing fabrics for upholstery, home furnishings, luggage and other products. The company's patented fusible weft-insertion composite, CWR 857, provides the strength and stability of a woven fabric and the smooth surface and appearance of a nonwoven.

The continued expansion of its "Vicell" line of air laid (Kroyer process purchased through M&J of Denmark) nonwovens was the message being offered by Canadian producer Merfin Hygienic Products, Vancouver, B.C. At IDEA '90 the company had on hand a number of fabric samples, including its scrim reinforced materials. Merfin is currently operated through three divisions - Merfin Canada Tissue, which produces the roll goods; Merfin Converted Products, which handles both the air laid and conventional wet laid paper; and Merfin Plastics, which produces plastic dispensers for the air laid products. It is in the process of establishing an eastern Canada and northeastern U.S. unit in Trenton, Ontario, Canada. This unit will convert Merfin products as well as sell roll goods to the region.

At Stearns Technical Textiles, Cincinnati, OH, several new products were on display. A 100% cotton topsheet for feminine pads and baby diapers as well as 100% cotton fiber and blends for wet wipe fabrics were exhibited. Also, a new thermally bonded binder-free wet wipe fabric was highlighted. The fabric achieves both a soft and an abrasive surface as well as imparting about its increased fabric softener coating capabilities; it recently installed a fabric softener coating line in its London, KY plant to meet increased U.S. and Canadian demand.

No Raw Deal For Materials:

Suppliers On Hand At IDEA '90

As always, an abundance of raw materials suppliers, from manufacturers of fibers and chemicals to films, polymers and adhesives were on hand at IDEA '90, touting their most recent innovations and new product introductions.

Battling for attendee attention with the much larger roll goods and machinery exhibitors at IDEA '90, it was these raw materials suppliers that put together the more innovative, attractive displays during the show. Companies such as BFGoodrich, with its racing car theme, Exxon Chemical and its polymer jungle and Unocal, which boasted the world's largest slot machine, contributed in making IDEA '90 more entertaining as well as more productive for those making the trip to Washington.

Arco Unveils New Generation

At a special IDEA '90 press conference, Arco Chemical, Newtown Square, PA, made public the development of a new generation of its "Fibersorb" superabsorbent fiber. The company predicted the new fiber would have a "far-reaching impact" on diapers and personal hygiene products.

The new Fibersorb allows diaper manufacturers to utilize a thermal bonded fabric that contains wood pulp, the superabsorbent and polyethylene binders, simplifying the diaper manufacturing process and increasing speeds. "The reduced bulk is a plus not only for the comfort of the wearer, but also for the environment," said Fibersorb marketing manager Michael Dewsbury. (See Top New IDEAS for more details.)

New fiber introductions were also the talk at Hoechst Celanese, Charlotte, NC, which introduced four new polyester variants. Two of the fibers - Types 183 and 283 - are "Celwet" fibers and are intended for traditional rayon applications. These feature a proprietary surface treatment and produce nonwovens with high wetting, high wicking and outstanding absorbency characteristics.

The other two new fibers are extensions of Hoechst Celanese's bicomponent fiber line. Types 105 and 106, intended for wet laid end uses, currently target filtration, sanitary products, wipes and medical and automotive applications. Both have a polyester core and a polyethylene sheath. (See Top New IDEAS for more details.)

Also talking about bicomponent fibers was BASF Fibers, Enka, NC, which introduced a new advanced fiber forming technology for a variety of bicomponent staple fibers. The new fibers use a unique spinning concept that allows a multitude of changes in the polymer proportions, fiber cross section and spatial position of one polymer in relation to the second. These kinds of changes can alter fiber performance, tailoring the product for specific application needs.

The BASF fibers, available in deniers from 1.5-10, are manufactured in both polyethylene/polyester and polypropylene/polyester sheath/core constructions. (See Top New IDEAS for more details.)

Natural Fibers, Too

On the natural fiber side, Cotton Inc., New York, NY, spent the week extolling the virtues of cotton fibers. Representatives at the booth promoted a recently-released market survey showing that eight out of 10 consumers preferred cotton over other fibers.

Cotton Inc. was also highlighting its super opened kier bleached fiber, which it says provides a more uniform lightweight web than the average bleached fiber. Cotton's continuous scouring and bleaching line ofcotton fiber was another area featured at IDEA '90. The line in Greenville, SC is currently used for fiber modification research for nonwovens and textile applications.

Veratec's Natural Fibers Group, Walpole, MA, was also talking cotton during the worldwide introduction of its new "Easy Street" super opened cotton. The fiber has been available since earlier this year, but was shown to the trade for the first time at the show.

Easy Street was developed to answer industry requests for a cotton fiber that could be used in nonwovens processing without the need to change machinery. It was developed with the goal of being able to perform like synthetic fiber while maintaining the desirable properties only found in cotton.

In the rayon department, Courtaulds Fibers, Axis, AL, was talking about its new "Tencel" solvent spun cellulosic plant that broke ground in Mobile, AL, the same week as the IDEA '90 exhibition. The new plant, which is expected to come onstream in the summer of 1992, will have an initial capacity of 40 million pounds a year and will target the U.S. nonwovens and textiles market. The Tencel fiber involves only one process chemical, amine oxide, which is almost completely recycled, compared to rayon, which uses several chemicals and is energy intensive and potentially environmentally unsound. Courtaulds will offer Tencel as an unblended fiber as well as blended with rayon products.

Courtaulds was also promoting a new trilobal rayon product at the show. The highly attenuated fiber is used in tampons and has the potential for a range of other products, including wipes and medical applications.

More Fiber Suppliers

Promotion of its "Alpha" olefin fiber, begun at IDEA '88, continued at IDEA '90 by Phillips Fibers, Greenville, SC. The fiber is targeted primarily at automotive and carpeting applications; on display was a new DiLour construction of the fiber.

The "Ryton" sulfur fiber was also highlighted at the Phillips booth. Ryton, which has been around as a resin for many years, has only recently surfaced in the spotlight as a fiber. It is used primarily for high temperature applications such as baghouses and other filtration markets.

Representatives from Hercules U.S. and Hercules Canada were available at IDEA '90 to discuss their variety of staple fibers. Information on fibers for wet and air laid nonwovens, needled and thermal bonded fabrics were all on display. Hercules' fibers target a large range of end uses, from diapers and medical garments to wipes, filters and tea bags, as well as durable markets such as roofing, battery separators and structural materials.

The company was also talking about its new plant in Oxford, GA, which should be shipping product by July, 1991. The new facility is designed to manufacture 20 million pounds annually of thermal bonded staple fiber.

"Rest Assured" was the theme at fiber supplier Eastman Chemical, Kingsport, TN. "Some have been concerned about us staying in the polyester fiber business," said a company spokesperson. "We want to assure them that we are." The company's brochure promoted the "Rest Assured" slogan and also touted the virtues of Eastman's "Kodel" polyester fiber. The company was talking specifically about heavy denier fibers, in the 50-100 denier range, for needlepunched filtration and abrasion applications. Also on display were its moldable fibers, which target the industrial and personal filtration applications.

DuPont Fibers, Wilmington, DE, featured its new "Plexafil" polyethylene pulp at IDEA '90. Plexafil is a specially engineered flash spun polyethylene pulp. It is composed of fine one-20 micron fibrils that create many bond points with fluff pulp, it has high strength and orientation and it is easily processible. The company claims that Plexafil has greater liquid retention, improved superabsorbent powder retention, increased core rigidity, high core strength before and after wetting and a large reduction in core weight.

Shortly before the show DuPont had announced plans to increase capacity for Plexafil and "Pulplus" polyethylene pulps. The expansion plans, which call for an incremental capacity increase at its Richmond, VA facility, came on the heels of rival Hercules' recent announcement that it was getting out of the polyethylene pulp business.

Polypropylene fibers were the IDEA '90 focus of Synthetic Industries, Chickamauga, GA. The company centered on its heavier three-17 denier products, targeting needlepunched nonwovens. Also on display were very heavy 300-1000 denier monofilaments for industrial applications. Synthetic Industries also manufactures three dimensional fabrics, used primarily for erosion control and some filtration media.

The Adhesives And Film Suppliers

In the area of adhesives for nonwovens, Century Adhesives, Columbus, OH, was highlighting multi-purpose hot melt adhesives for a range of hygienic and personal product applications. The company's CA-905 is a fine line laminate, even at extrusion temperatures as low as 260F. It is used for diaper waistbands and leg gathers and its versatility extends to spraying as well.

Century Adhesives was also talking about its CA-1100 sprayable fluff binder for stabilizing the fluff pulp within diapers and pads. The adhesives are sprayable and highly cohesive; due to its internal strength, spray patterns are easier to control at high speeds.

At Ecomelt, Rocky Hill, CT, multiple adhesive spray applications were on display. Also featured was information on very low temperature adhesives. Potential end uses include the hygienic, medical, packaging, tape and label fields.

Technology was the highlight at the booth of Oliver Products, Grand Rapids, MI. Sales manager John Green reported that they were fielding a number of inquires concerning the benefits and production details of the Oliver product line. "We're unique because we do the coating and formulating," said Mr. Green. "We work in a variety of niche markets, we design adhesives for specific end uses." Oliver is also active in the laminating field, working on laminating several different materials together. Dot coating, pressure sensitive adhesives and heat sealing are only part of the company's diverse ranges of capabilities.

Laminates for a variety of uses were shown at Clopay, Cincinnati, OH. Versatility was the focus, as the company featured a variety of films made from a variety of polymers. Adhesive and extrusion lamination lines were highligted, as well as cast embossed polyethylene and polypropylene films. Target markets include the disposable hygiene and health care markets.

At CT Films, Schaumburg, IL, polyethylene, polypropylene and cast film for a variety of products were on display. Featured applications included diaper backsheet, waist barriers, tape tabs and frontal landing zones and diaper bag film.

News at the booth was the purchase by CT Films of PolyPac, Dalton, GA, a manufacturer of film for medical packaging. The new company will be called CT PolyPac and, according to CT's sales manager-Midwest region Tom Knibbs, represents a nice synergy between the two companies. "A lot of our films go into medical products themselves. This will be a good mix for us," he said.

Laminates were also the focus at Conwed Plastics, Roseville, MN, which claims it can laminate or reinforce any substrate. The company was highlighting a composite structure with a lightweight nonwoven web reinforced with nettings. It is manufactured with adhesive already on it and can be laminated at high speeds.

A Sticky Situation at IDEA '90

Binders and emulsions were featured at Air Products, Allentown, PA. New emulsions at the company are its "Airflex" 113 series, with cationic compatibility for food service applications and self-crosslinking ability for medical and water repellant fabrics. Its "Vinac" 138 is also self-crosslinking and moldable and targets the automotive industry.

Representatives from both the Adhesives Div. and the Resins and Specialty Chemicals Div. of National Starch & Chemical, Bridgewater, NJ, were on hand at IDEA '90 to discuss their latest developments. The Adhesives Div. highlighted its hot melt and liquid resin adhesives for diapers, sanitary napkins and health care disposables, while across the aisle, the Resins and Specialty Chemicals Div. featured its acrylic, styrene-acrylic, vinyl acetate, vinyl-acrylic and EVA emulsion binders for durable and disposable nonwovens, fiberfill and saturated papers.

"IPN" binder technology, especially for molded applications, was the focus of Sequa Chemicals, Chester, SC. The company had samples of fabrics using its binders for automotive applications such as trunk liners, consoles and applications with performed fits. A second product area featured at Sequa was fluid barrier products. These included fluoro-chemicals, extenders, which improve the properties of the fluorochemicals and oil and water repellents.

H.B. Fuller, Vadnais Heights, MN, recently developed a wetness indicator that offers superior humidity resistance to prevent premature color change in adult incontinence pads and baby diapers. It provides a pleasant yellow indicator stripe when applied that changes to a brilliant blue for easy identification.

In addition, the company featured its "Ful-Tec" multipurpose diaper adhesive. This product allows the manufacturer to use a single adhesive for all applications on disposable diapers without compromising product quality or performance.

While the environment lurked in the background of conversations at every booth at IDEA '90, Fulflex, Middletown, RI, brought the environmental advantages of its natural rubber elastic right into the spotlight. It showed a brochure detailing the biodegradability of natural rubber and talk about the booth centered on the fact that its rubber is a renewable resource. High quality and flexibility were also the focus at the Fulflex display. The company stressed its willingness to custom design and formulate elastics for applications in diapers and adult incontinent pads.

New formaldehyde free products were on display at the Unocal Chemicals Div. of Unocal Polymers, Schaumburg, IL. The company unveiled its introductory line of formaldehyde free vinyl acrylic and styrene butadiene binders for nonwovens. The vinyl acrylic binders have soft hand and outstanding wet and solvent tensile strength. The styrene butadiene binders are designed to be used without the addition of catalysts or surfactants, although the binders are compatible with other typical formulation additives.

Through The Polymer Jungle

Exxon Chemical, Houston, TX, took its visitors through the polymer jungle as a way of spreading the word on its range of polymers for nonwovens. Its products, identified in some unique way in a game that included Rick Resin and Peter Polymer, include "Escorene" polypropylene and polyethylene, EVA, Optema ethylene methyl, tackifying resins and polyethylene and polypropylene films. Of course, Exxon was also providing details on the licensing of its patented melt blowing process.

The specialty latex polymers of BFGoodrich, Cleveland, OH, were part of the show at the company's always innovative display. Attendees were drawn into discussions on its wide range of polymer types offering a similarly wide range of properties while waiting for their turn on Goodrich's race track.

Para-Chem Southern, Simpsonville, SC, focused on its field testing of a new series of self-crosslinking and non-crosslinking styrene acrylic emulsion polymers. The new formulas enhance water resistance for the finished products as well as being favorable economically. Potential areas of application include nonwovens, glass mats, air filters and cold molded fabrics.

First time IDEA exhibitor IGI Nonwovens, Lyndhurst, NJ, has become more involved in the nonwovens and personal care sector in the past few years and its participation at the show marked a continued moved into the business. On hand at IDEA '90 were its specialty products for the disposables industry, including "Barrier Guard," "Hot Melt Wetness Indicator" and "Cron" odor neutralizer, as well as its multi-purpose low application temperature adhesives.

At MB Products, Asheville, NC, security was the key. Its line of "Security" products for adult incontinence products was on display; this included its original "Security" incontinence brief, its "Easy-Brief," with a new knit and a new material, "Security Plus," an extra support brief, "Fancy Free V-Briefs," a smaller, more stylish choice and "Security Boxer Shorts," a unique combination of brief and boxer shorts.

A Multitude Of Machinery

Manufacturers At IDEA '90

While IDEA '90 may not have had the large machinery presence of other textiles machinery shows, the equipment manufacturers were certainly well represented in Washington, D.C. Many observers felt the proximity of IDEA '90 to the earlier INDEX '90, at which there was a significant machinery presence, especially among baby diaper machinery producers, also reduced the participation of the machinery and equipment suppliers.

The only full size nonwovens line was found at Reinfenhauser, Troisdorf, West Germany. Although it was not operating during the show, this complete melt blowing line did attract more than its share of attention during IDEA '90. Reifenhauser was also fielding questions about the recent settlement of Kimberly-Clark's suit against it, but company officials were offering no official statements during the show.

The line, for producing melt blown fabrics with a trimmed width of 1600 mm, had a maximum output of 160 kg an hour based on polypropylene resin. The line could also use polyethylene, polyester, nylon, copolymers and hot melt adhesives. Mounted on the upper level of a two story machine frame, the line had a three-component metering and mixing unit, a 100 mm diameter extruder and a screw with a "Staromix" dynamic mixing section, screen changer, spin pump and a melt blowing die with a computer-calculated melt flow channel.

Fi-Tech, which represents Reifenhauser, was also on hand with other clients Mechadyne, Kennesaw, GA; Ceccato, Milan, Italy; and Edelmann Maschinen, Kleinwallstadt, West Germany. Mechadyne introduced to the trade its HTW/Stretchfilm System, a new roll packaging process. The machine uses state-of-the-art industrial rated components, motor controls and a programmable controller. The Mechadyne prestretch allows smooth, consistent film stretch from 0-250%.

Mechadyne was also talking about its HTW-100 stretchfilm roll wrapper. The new horizontal traversing wrapper easily accommodates varying roll diameters from 10-45 inches and 24-180 inches in width.

Spinnerets from Ceccato were also highlighted at the Fi-Tech booth. The company does precision machining of spinnerets up to more than three meters in length, such as those used in producing spunbonded nonwovens. Extrusion dies for both spunbonded and melt blown plants are currently available.

Worldwide slitting and winding were touted by Edelmann Maschinen. A wide array of machinery, from roll slitting to two drum winding, is available from the company. It specializes in high production speeds, light weight and elastic material qualities, wide working widths, automatic operation functions and efficient handling systems.

Fehrer's Wheel of Fortune

One booth that caught the attention of IDEA '90 attendees as soon as they walked through the door was from Fehrer, Linz, Austria. Its "Wheel of Machinery Fortune" game pulled curious bystanders into the booth, where representatives extolled the virtues of the Fehrer machines. Highlighted were the K21 high performance random card, for fully random lightweight webs; the NL11/SE needlepunching machine for structured carpets and wall coverings with a virtually unlimited pattern range; and the NL21/S-RV "Superlooper" needlepunching machine for random velours.

Fehrer was also featuring its web forming and needlepunching lines for geotextiles, synthetic leather and carpets, as well as its specialized range of machinery for papermaker needlefelts.

Also concentrating on needlepunching at the show was Dilo, Charlotte, NC. The machinery manufacturer, the North American representative for Oskar Dilo, West Germany, was providing information on its needle felting systems, sample boards for needlefelts, technical felts and upholstery products. Representatives from the West German parent company were also at the show to discuss process information and new technical developments.

Morrison Berkshire, North Adams, MA, was also on hand to talk about needlepunching. News at the booth centered on its high speed needleloom with new module design. The machine has stroke speeds of up to 2000 a minute, horizontal and vertical preload of bottom modules and it requires no lubrication for its patented needle beam guide post system.

Needle suppliers also made an appearance at the show, touting the benefits of their particular varieties of needles. Foster Needle, Manitowoc, WI, had on display its "Star Blade" needles, felting needles and needle board inserts. Information on the Mor needle changer, which inserts and removes needles from needle boards, was also available.

Groz Beckert, Charlotte, NC, showed a complete line of felting needles in cut barb and HL-barb versions. New at the Groz Beckert booth this year was a recently developed 42 gauge fork needle for the felting industry. It can be used on both Dilo and Fehrer machines for velour fabrics. The company also had an updated version of a video explaining its line of needles.

Hollingsworth, F.O.R. And More

Fiber processing machinery from bale opening through carding was the talk of J.D. Hollingsworth on Wheels, Greenville, SC. The company had literature and brochures discussing its latest innovations in randomized carded webs and all types of fiber processing equipment. Hollingsworth plans and designs complete lines of equipment, from opening to carding to crosslapping.

F.O.R., Biella, Italy, represented in the U.S. by Ason, Chattanooga, TN, focused on its web drafter. The equipment has several unique features. Full control of the MD-CD ratio is possible, with maximum utilization of card capacity. It eliminates visible overlaps and no width loss occurs through the drafter. It requires considerably less space than other drafters and has a superior draft ratio.

Cutting, stacking and quilting were the production processes featured at Hauser Automation, Inman, SC, U.S. representative for its West German parent. The newest machine at the company is the QLA Automatic Length/Cross Cutting Machine for fully automatic and rational cutting and precise stacking of textiles, foils, nonwovens and fiber composites. The equipment targets such areas as cleaning and polishing cloths, upholstery coverings and felts, carpeting, seat covers, imitation leather, laminated materials, protective and packaging films, filtration and insulating materials, glass fiber matting, surgical material, hospital bed covers and protective clothing.

At Honeycomb Systems, Biddeford, ME, through air systems, hydroentanglement systems and vacuum rolls were highlighted. Honeycomb also introduced two four-color brochures on the company's specialties, which include drying, curing and bonding systems for nonwovens. Information was also available on the most recent installations of Honeycomb machinery, including start-ups in The Netherlands, France, West Germany and Venezuela.

Another exhibitor talking about through air drying was Fleissner GmbH, Egelsbach, West Germany. The company had information about its newest thru-air dryer, which has a free open area of up to 96%, resulting in high amounts of air circulated through the material and the highest possible supply of heat energy. End use applications include waterentangled and spunlaced nonwovens, wet laid webs and tea bags, filter papers, webs for medical and sanitary protection and spunbonded nonwovens for carpet carrier webs.

Complete nonwovens lines were featured by the NSC Group, which includes Asselin, Elbeuf, France and Fort Mill, SC; Thibeau, Tourcoing, France; N. Schlumberger USA, Fort Mill, SC; and Houget Duesberg Bosson, Verviers, Belgium. Asselin focused during the week on manufacturing lines consisting of a variety of combinations, including fiber blending and opening, carding, crosslapping, pre-needling, length and cross cutting, winding and electrical drive and synchronizing equipment for controlling all the machines by a centralized control panel.

Thibeau was talking about nonwoven, worsted and compact synthetic cards, single and double doffers, single or tandom cylinders, while Schlumberger focused on its worsted combs, blending units, spinning and roving frames. Hoeget Duesberg Bosson had information on its opening and blending systems, automated fiber conveying systems and cards for manmade and woolen fibers.

Winding, Laminating, Coating And Softening

Coating, finishing and laminating equipment were the focus at Stork Brabant, Boxmeer, Holland. Stork's coating and finishing machine offers application systems for foam finishing, foam bonding, foam coating, stable foam coating, paste coating, paste dot coating, foam dot coating and printing. Its main application areas are textiles and nonwoven substrates and water-based chemicals.

Stork also offers various laminating techniques. Its dry laminating can be used in automotives, shoes, roofing and geo-textiles, while its wet laminating is often used in textile wall coverings. Hot melt spray laminating is also available, for end uses including medical, filtration, automotives and apparel.

Several types of winders were on display at Stahlkonter, Nashville, TN (formerly Kampf Machinery). A Universal Center Surface Winder can be used on a wide range of web materials. It has an automatic roll transfer system that allows continuous production. It can handle web widths to 188 inches and operates at speeds up to 650 FPM. The automatic surface winder is designed specifically for spun fiber webs between 78-215 inch web width and continuously adjustable slit width. The winder incorporates an automatic roll transfer system during standstill with upstream accumulator and the machine functions are controlled by a programmable controller.

Also highlighted at Stahlkonter was an automatic turret winder for fiberglass mat. It has automatic roll transfer without foldover and in-line slitting capabilities. It can handle web widths up to 200 inches and speeds to 1100 FPM.

The "Microcreper II" was unveiled by Micrex, Walpole, MA, at IDEA '90. The new compressive and softening treatment machine allows the mechanical imparting of extensibility, bulk, softness and drape to nonwoven substrates. The Microcreper II has been designed to overcome processing difficulties such as stickiness, low melting point and unevenness. The machine's twin rolls have specially developed surfaces that deliver a powerful drive but a passive release, allowing for softening action without damaging heat.

Current markets for the Microcreper include medical, health care and personal care disposables, packaging materials, components for automotive and furniture upholstery, industrial and consumer filtration and apparel and home furnishings. (See Top New IDEAS for more details.)

Grecon Electronics, Beaverton, OH, centered on its spark detection systems. The systems can prevent filter fires and explosions by detecting sparks and hot particles in exhaust pipes and extinguishing them before they reach the filter.

Latex Equipment Sales & Service (LESS), Dalton, GA, was talking about its "Super Foamer," which the company calls "the ultimate continuous homogenizer for latex polymers, dye dispersions and textile finishing." The systems have electronic, solid-state variable speed homogenizers and pumps and are monitored by electronic numerical display tachometers with magnetic logic sensors. Remote controls are also available on all systems.

Bonding, Blending

Packaging, Web Handling

Dry forming, surface winding, thermal bonding and defibration were some of the machinery capabilities touted by M&J, Horsens, Denmark, at IDEA '90. But the biggest news was the introduction by the company of a pulp dyeing system for the nonwovens industry. The new system offers the alternative of bleaching smaller batches and offers an extensive choice of color, as well as easy changeover from one color to another. The system is environmentally friendly and causes no air pollution.

Air laid web forming systems were the center of attention at Flakt, Knoxville, TN, which had a working model of the Dan-Web forming unit on display. The company also manufactures turnkey systems for air laid dryforming lines, adhesive bonding and thermobonding.

Fiber blending, weight control, carding and crosslapping were some of the capabilities of the Tatham Group, Lancashire, U.K., which includes Haigh-Chadwick and works in association with Pneumatic Conveyors. In fiber blending, the "Micromaster" computer controls numerous feed hoppers to give precise percentage control of fibers into openers, including pickers, fearnoughts and fine openers.

Also highlighted were the "Microweight" and "Microfeed" weight control systems, which offer ultimate control across a wide range of fibers. The units can be fitted to existing machines and provide user friendly soft touch key pads and LED display. For nonwovens carding, the "Ambassador SC" offers up to three meters in width at up to 1600 pounds an hour, with control of the fiber at all speeds. And the "Laymaster" crosslapper is a high speed, efficient lapper available with up to six meter laydown.

Branson Ultrasonics, Danbury, CT, demonstrated its ultrasonic textile processing capabilities at IDEA '90. On display was an ultrasonic rotary drum process for bonding and laminating multiple wide webs of woven or nonwoven materials. The webs can be bonded at rates of more than 100 FPM. Also shown was a narrow gauge slitter that demonstrated slitting and edge sealing of textiles where narrow widths are desired. The Model F-10 ultrasonic slitter for high speed off-loom slitting was also featured. It is capable of slitting and edge sealing knitted, woven and nonwoven synthetic materials.

Bonding of a different kind marked the discussion at Kusters, West Germany. The company was talking about its full thermal bonding calender program and the heated swimming rolls for the thermal bonding of nonwovens made of melting point polymers. The Kusters "hot s-roll" meets the conditions needed for thermal bonding nonwovens made of fibers with high melting temperatures; the linear nip pressure is absolutely uniform and infinitely adjustable.

More Equipment Ideas

D.W. Zimmerman's roll handling capabilities were on display at its booth at IDEA '90. Representatives were demonstrating an all new design for its signature bundle handling that allows more flexibility, lighter weight construction and greater capacity range.

Custom packaging capabilities were featured at Bolliger, Spartanburg, SC. Bolliger was talking about Hagemann's "Endless-Packomat," which compresses and wraps the product with up to 50% roll volume reduction for double the shipping load capacity.

Also highlighted was the "Vario-Packomat," which handles varying package lengths and diameters using plain film that seals snugly on all sides for optimum appearance and content integrity. The "Roll-Packomat," with multiple film widths, was also a topic at the Bolliger booth. The system handles rolls in any length or diameter, allowing the flexibility to wrap varying sizes quickly with film or paper.

Abington, North Abington, MA, exhibited a new series of vacuum pumps that offers high vacuum levels economically over a flatter performance curve. The new pumps are also suitable for operation with European 50 cycle current with the Abington vacuum systems. Also highlighted was the Abington automatic discharge waste receiver. It has been modified with an improved air jet cleaner for the separator screen, a view port for visual control and some new options, including low vacuum detection and signaling.

Introduced at IDEA '90 by Martin Automatic, Rockford, IL, was the Martin CHW cantilevered hot wire splicer for use by nonwovens processors. The CHW, which is available in process speeds up to 1000 fpm and web widths up to 36 inches, is equipped with a hot wire style cut-off to accommodate a clean splice in a variety of nonwoven materials. The CHW has dual, pneumatic roll-loading, cantilevered unwind spindles that allow aisle roll loading and splice preparation.

Expanding shafts and chucks were the focus of Goldenrod, Warwick, RI. The company featured a variety of pneumatic and mechanical shafts and chucks in a range of core sizes. Goldenrod's single style shaft for winding, unwinding and rewinding allows standardization of product and parts. The equipment also has a patented air tube design and protection system, resulting in as close to self-centering of cores that an air tube shaft can accomplish.

Montalvo, Portland, ME, also provided information about its brakes, clutches, chucks and web tension control systems. The company offers a range of brakes, running the gamut from light tension requirements to heavy duty applications.

News at Montalvo this year was the recent acquisition of Apple Controls International, Serbrune, NY, a manufacturer of electronic web guides and supply modules such as unwind stands. The company has been relocated to Portland and the new product line is named "Montalvo/ACI Web Guides."

Testing Equipment Also Displayed

Two machines from Lloyd Instruments, King of Prussia, PA, were on display at IDEA '90. The L1000R is rated at 11,001 pounds and is suitable for low force geotextile testing and for tensile testing of light nonwoven products such as sheet materials, diapers and medical products. The L600R, rated at 6700 pounds, has enhanced capability for test procedures such as the requirement for testing foam products, including seating materials for the furniture and automotive industries.

At Thwing Albert, Philadelphia, PA, a series of textile testing equipment was shown. Machinery included a new friction/peel tester, "Intelect-II-STD" materials testing instrument, QC-II electronic tensile tester, 240-7A alfa laboratory sample cutter and the JDC precision sample cutter.

An air permeability tester was featured at Texmac, Charlotte, NC, representatives of Kato Tech, Kyoto, Japan. The "KES Air Permeability Tester" determines accuracy, speed and repeatability on products ranging from open, fragile webs to dense geotextiles, coated products and semi-permeable membranes. The KES-F8 uses a semi-conductor differential pressure gauge that is extremely sensitive.

Sheet formation sensors and computer integrated manufacturing software were on display at Measurex, Cupertino, CA. Two on-line scanning formation sensors, "MassForm" and "SpectraForm," were highlighted. The MassForm sensor measures feature intensity and average feature size, while the SpectraForm also produces the structure variation readings for six feature categories from one-64 mm. Also shown was the CIMbase Management System, which helps bridge the gap between the real-time production floor and the information system used for historical production reporting and planning.

The PI-512 paper inspector was introduced at IDEA '90 by Testing Machines, Amityville, NY. The instrument is designed for inspection and quality control in pulp and paper mills. It is a software based automatic inspection system that uses advanced digital image processing techniques and runs on AT type or higher speed 386-based computers.

Top News Stories of IDEA '90

1. Procter & Gamble Merges With Fater, Italian Diaper Machinery Manufacturer: In a move that will have a broad impact on the European disposables industry, Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, OH, announced its plan during the week of IDEA '90 to merge its paper products business in Italy, Spain, Portugal and the U.K. with the Italian Fater group. The new company will combine Fater's sanitary protection, baby diaper and adult incontinence lines with P&G's diaper operations at a new facility that will be located in Italy.

The new venture is still 55% owned by Fater, with P&G acquiring a 45% share. Fameccanica, Sambuceto, Italy, a Fater-owned diaper machinery manufacturer, will apparently remain controlled by Fater. Together the two companies will control about 90% of the Italian diaper market, as well as significant portions of other European disposables markets. The merger must still be approved by the relevant European anti-trust authorities.

2. Fiberweb North America Announces New Spunbonded Plant: At a lavish dinner at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum on the second night of IDEA '90, Fiberweb North America, Greenville, SC, part of the Swiss Holzstoff Group that includes Sodoca (France) and Fiberweb AB (Sweden), announced that it will build a new spunbonded plant to produce polypropylene-based nonwovens. According to Roger Fehrman, president of Fiberweb NA, the plant, targeted for Simpsonville, SC, "will employ the 'S-Tex' state-of-the-art technology capable of producing a significantly improved, more uniform spunbond product." The S-Tex fabrics are set apart by their ability to utilize a variety of polymers and deniers to produce barrier-type fabrics. Construction of the plant is scheduled to be completed in early 1992.

3. Amoco Enters Japanese Joint Venture: Announced just before IDEA '90 was news that Amoco Fabrics and Fibers, Atlanta, GA, had entered into a joint venture with Japanese manufacturer Nippon Petrochemicals to produce a nonwoven fabric called "Claf." The company formed to produce Claf is being called ANCI, short for Amoco Nisseki CLAF, Inc., and it will be located in Atlanta; manufacturing will take place at Amoco's Roanoke, AL facility, which currently produces carpet backing.

The Claf fabric has been successfully marketed in Japan for the past 17 years; in North America it will be used primarily as a reinforcement scrim ("looks like a scrim but is actually a nonwoven") to packaging materials such as paper,s plastic or foil. Amoco will be the exclusive marketing agent for ANCI.

4. New Nonwovens Company Makes Its Debut At IDEA '90: A new nonwovens producers actually made of a combination of several companies surfaced at IDEA '90 this year. American Nonwovens, Greenville, SC, headed by president Loren Collins, is comprised of three different units each specializing in their own technologies - Fabritek Spunbonded (American Nonwovens), Vernon, AL; Fabritek Resin Bonded (American Fabritek), Beaver Dam, KY; and Fabritek Needle Bonded (Mississippi Fabritek), Columbus, MS.

The needlepunching business at the latter company started up in June and operates a five and a half meter wide, two loom Dilo line needling polypropylene, polyester and cotton in a variety of blends. The company is also producing spunbonded fabric, which it started in March. Its resin bonded capacity has been on-stream for about three years now.

5. Debate Over Holding IDEA '92 In Washington In Late November: Before IDEA '90 even started INDA announced that the next biennial gathering will take place in late November right back at the Washington Convention Center. This announcement was subject to significant debate for two reasons.

There were less than overwhelming reviews from exhibitors and attendees about Washington, D.C. as a convention site. Yet, INDA feels, the record number of exhibitors and a satisfactory number of sttendees proved the convenience of the nation's capital as a IDEA locale; the oft-mentioned alternative of Baltimore, MD, site of IDEA '88, remains unfeasible until the convention center in that city completes a planned expansion.

The second concern was the late 1992 timing of the show, which puts IDEA '92 a mere four months from the start of INDEX '93, scheduled for early April, 1993. European attendees and exhibitors, in particular, were concerned about basically repeating this year's scenario of two shows within six months.

The Top New IDEAS

1. Kimberly-Clark "Demique:" There was much speculation heading into IDEA '90 on whether K-C would provide more details on its stretch bond laminate nonwoven. The answer was yes and the new product, called Demique, drew the most interest of any new product at the show. The stretchable fabric, based on copolyetheresters, is being billed as an alternative way of achieving stretch in composite fabrics.

2. Freundenberg "Viledon:" Composites were also the target of Freudenberg's new Viledon surfacing veils. The new fabrics, already available in Europe but relatively new to the North American market, are a strong, long lasting nonwoven designed for heavy duty industrial applications.

3. Crane Nonwovens "Cranemat:" This wet laid nonwoven incorporates a matrix of polymeric fibers custom blended to meet a variety of end use requirements. Crane said webs of its Cranemat could be customized to add strength and dimensional stability; glass fibers can even be added to offer higher strength and heat resistance.

4. Ergon Nonwovens melt blowns: Already a force with its polypropylene melt blown fabrics, Ergon unveiled its nylon, polyester and polyethylene melt blowns, all new products serving as an impressive line extension. Ergon's expansion into new polymers with its advanced melt blowing technology is a prime example of what the nonwovens industry must do in utilizing existing technologies with existing polymers and/or fibers to meet advanced composite fabric requirements.

5. Amoco "RFX:" The new ultra lightweight nonwoven polypropylene fabrics mark a for the traditionally heavyweight producer of nonwovens. Medical markets, personal hygiene, protective clothing and reinforcement fabrics are all new territories for Amoco fabrics.

6. BASF bicomponent fiber: The first of two new bicomponent fibers developed for nonwovens is BASF's entry, based on revolutionary advanced fiber forming technology that allows for a multitude of changes in polymer proportions. BASF said the fibers are targeted directly at nonwovens. it, too, is an example of fiber and polymer suppliers tailoring product development for nonwovens production.

7. Hoechst Celanese fibers: The second set of fibers considered a significant new product at IDEA '90 are H-C's four new polyester variants. Two of the fibers are included under the companys's "Celwet" trade name; they are targeted at traditional rayon applications. The other two are extensions of its bicomponent fiber line and are intended for wet laid end uses.

8. Arco "Fibersorb" fiber: Promised to have a "far-reaching impact" on personal hygiene products was a new version of Arco's Fibersorb superabsorbent fiber. The company claims Fibersorb can absorb more per gram than any superabsorbent powder now available and will allow greater concentrations of superabsorbent because its performance does not level off with the amount of superabsorbent. The new fibers are expected to open avenues in areas such as absorption and retention of liquid, removal of water, water vapor or mist, liquid or solid separations, controlled-release geotextiles, gas permeable liquid barriers and heat absorption.

9. Micrex "Microcreper II:" On the machinery side, the new compressive and softening treatment machine from Micrex allows the mechanical imparting of extensibility, bulk, softness and drape to nonwoven substrates. Current markets for the Microcreper include medical, health care and personal care disposables, packaging materials, components for automotive and furniture upholstery, industrial and consumer filtration and apparel and home furnishings.

10. M&J pulp dyeing system: The Danish air laid machinery supplier unveiled a pulp dyeing system specifically for the nonwovens industry. The new system offers the alternative of bleaching smaller batches and offers an extensive choice of color, as well as easy another. The system is promoted as environmentally friendly, another big selling. point these days.

PHOTO : The rather unique welcome to IDEA '90; bagpipers led the way through the doors on opening day.
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Title Annotation:includes related articles on newsworthy developments at IDEA Conference and Exhibition
Author:Jacobsen, Michael; Noonan, Ellen
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:Nov 1, 1990
Words:9394
Previous Article:'Profitable' process control.
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