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Increased market for chlorine-free viscose fibre.

Chlorine-free viscose fibre has already captured large shares of the Scandinavian market for hygiene products. Considerable interest has also been shown in Germany and the UK, and now the market in southern Europe is awakening.

"Tampons are the products in which chlorine-free Swelan (viscose fibre) has scored its greatest successes to date," says Svenska Rayon's Marketing Manager, Bo Holm. "Tampons represent a product area for which there's considerable potential in the course of the next few years."

"Commercial production of wipes, filters, cosmetic and medical products based on chlorine-free viscose fibre is already under way in many countries, and is steadily increasing. The potential for these products is also enormous," says Bo Holm.

"There has been a fantastic increase in demand, and the volume has increased despite the weak market conditions in general. Our competitors have just begun to supply chlorine-free fibre on a commercial basis. However, we've got a significant lead over them, and this has given us invaluable experience. We are now in a position to supply all fibre qualities in chlorine-free viscose."

Regardless of whether one's job involves working with nonwovens in wetlaid, drylaid or spunlace processes, whether one manufactures tampons and other hygiene products or works with flocking, chlorine-free viscose fibre is now available with the specifications needed. Swelan 1.3 dtex, Svenska Rayon's new fibre type for drylaid nonwoven, will also be available in a chlorine-free version.

Lower dtex

"The demand for finer and more sophisticated materials has increased," says Bo Holm. "Fine dtex fibres give better strength, cover and lower basis weight, but at the same time processability can become problematical if machinery is not adapted for fine decitex."

"The tests we've carried out show that 1.3 dtex is the optimum fibre dimension for today's drylaid machines. The cover is better and the basis weight is less, while processability remains the same as with 1.7 dtex fibres."

Other environmental aspects of chlorine-free production are also becoming increasingly interesting. Svenska Rayon has reduced emissions of sulphur dioxide by more than 100 000 kg by replacing oil with liquefied petroleum as a source of energy. By using a back pressure turbine it is also possible to make use of the energy content of the overpressure that is created during production of viscose fibre.

Improved control

Svenska Rayon's latest investment in reducing the impact on the environment is in its laboratories. Here top-modern equipment for carrying out bacteriological tests has been installed. It will enable the company to improve still further its control of the microbiological status of both process water and finished fibre.

The laboratory staff cooperate with the company's major customers with a view to coordinating the test methods used in their respective laboratories. The result is not only much tougher quality control. Customers now save time and money as they no longer need to carry out so many and such exhaustive tests themselves.
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Title Annotation:10th Annual Show in Print of the International Nonwovens Industry
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:May 1, 1992
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