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TTNA 2006 preview: a look at what exhibiting companies will be highlighting at this month's event in Atlanta.

On March 28-30, 2006 the Techtextil North America trade show and symposium for technical textiles and nonwovens will be back again in Atlanta, Georgia. During the three days, leading companies in the technical textiles and nonwovens industries will meet for education, networking and business development.

Techtextil North America will showcase the high performance areas of technical textiles and nonwovens, attracting an eclectic collection of researchers, manufacturers and product specifiers. Techtextil assembles all vertical aspects of the technical textiles industry from research and development, through raw materials and production processes and finally conversion, further treatment and recycling.

In March 2004, the third edition of Techtextil North America was held at Cobb Galleria Centre and attracted 4000 visitors and an impressive group of 288 exhibitors from a record 25 countries.

What follows is an alphabetical preview of the innovations and new product highlights from a selection of exhibitors who will be at this year's show.

Bruckner, represented by Triad Sales, will be at the show at booth 129. The company supplies systems and ranges for textile dry-finishing and related industry branches. Its new division, Plant Technologies, specializes in process engineering and customized layout of machines for many types of coating, floor coverings and glass fiber fabrics. Bruckner supplies both individual machines as well as complete processing lines. Specifically in the area of nonwovens, the company manufactures finishing ranges.

At booth 1704 Collano will showcase its hotmelt adhesives, reactive systems and adhesive films. The products are designed to overcome the limits of conventional materials, thus enabling not only more convenient processing but also enhancing the reliability of the final product. In the area of safety-related products, thermoplastic adhesive films (single and multilayer films) assure a dependable bond. No matter whether it is nonwovens, fabrics, rigid parts or membranes that need to be bonded together, Collano adhesive films are not only simple and clean to process, they also allow the fast and cost-effective assembly of textile composites.

Comerio Ercole, represented by Triad Sales, will be at booth 129 promoting its range of calender systems for the nonwovens industry. Deflection compensation calenders for gauging, compacting, bonding, embossing, softening and laminating are being supplied in all areas of nonwoven applications, including the highest speeds, highest pressures and widest widths.

Deerfield Urethane and Germany-based Epurex Films-Bayer Material Science's urethane and specialty elastomers film manufacturing subsidiaries--will be present at Techtextil North America at booth 824. Among the companies' highlights will be an expanding line of hot-melt adhesives in polyurethane, copolyester or copolyamide versions, available in monolayer and multi-layer film grades. Also being offered are breathable film grades for use in consumer recreation wear and high-tech military fabrics. Deerfield/Epurex will also be showcasing a range of robust, yet "contact-friendly," textile lamination film grades popular in automotive, medical, recreational and other industries. Donaldson Performance Fabrics will be at the show at booth 226. The company will be showcasing a line of advanced Tetratex PTFE laminates including Tetratex bootie fabrics. The bootie materials were developed for use in the most arduous conditions from a day on the links to intense combat patrols. The products incorporate a waterproof and breathable PTFE membrane in various multiple layer designs. All of Donaldson's footwear products are available through its representative for the shoe and boot industry, Emtex Inc. Engineered Fabrics.

Being shown at booth 934, E47's new anti-odor/antimicrobial performance fiber and fabrics use the latest advances in nanotechnology to deliver permanent anti-odor properties. Ideally suited for performance apparel, footwear, sporting goods and industrial products, fabrics made from 100% pure cotton, polyester, nylon or even coated with polyurethane can now have safe, effective anti-odor performance-with no loss in stretch, hand or dyeability.

E47's new anti-odor fabrics are immediately available and being produced in North America and Asia. Virtually any polyester, nylon or cotton fabric or blend can be enhanced with permanent anti-odor properties using E47 SmartSilver. E47 fabric costs 30% less per yard than other "silver" fiber fabrics, which present a host of design, ecological and manufacturing challenges.

E47 is the exclusive licensee of SmartSilver from NanoHorizons, Inc.

At booth 112 Erhardt + Leimer will feature the Elsis surface inspection system. Designed as a turnkey solution, the system offers reliable defect detection and quality assurance on running webs. The Elsis surface inspection system offers a new generation of customized inspection solutions in system packages. Some of the major benefits of the Elsis system are: on-line inspection at high web speeds, automatic data collection and storage to complement ISO 9000 programs, real-time process control, control of quality at all times, statistical evaluation of defect and calibration data, software-aided automatic camera calibration, worldwide technical support, graphical user interface and complimentary feasibility studies. With a broad range of auxiliary products such as marking devices, web guiding and web tension control systems, Erhardt + Leimer is a total solution provider in a variety of industries.

A leader in multi-component fiber extrusion technology, Hills, Inc. will be at booth 121 to present its latest innovations resulting from its unique polymer distribution and control for such varied processes and products as spunbond, melt-blown, continuous filament, staple fiber and solvent spun fibers. Hills will also present its first islands-in-a-sea spunbond (before and after dissolving the sea).

This product is useful for filtration and other nonwovens applications requiring fiber sizes less than two microns. Hills will also have samples of many multicomponent fiber cross sections available including: elastomerics, 35 holes per inch sheath/core, 16 segment hollow pie, 25 and 36 islands-in-a-sea spunbond (before and after dissolving the sea) and synthetic canvas. In addition, Hills is pleased to present the Hills nanofiber and the 100 holes per inch homopolymer meltblown.

Currently, Hills is working on a 200 HPI meltblown offering.

At booth 946 nonwovens producer Jacob Holm Industries will feature product innovations in the fields of filtration, especially for the HVAC market, and performance apparel. Jacob Holm offers an alternative to the existing filter media, which--thanks to the company's spunlace technology--results in a better uniformity of the web and therefore enhances filtration efficiency. Greater basis weight flexibility is established, which leads to improved filtration performance at lower basis weights. In performance apparel, Jacob Holm will display a spunlaced nonwoven made of high heat-resistant performance fibers for use in fireman jackets. The spunlaced nonwoven makes the end product lighter, offering better isolation performance and improved wearing comfort, according to the company.

Kampf KKA, represented by Triad Sales, will be at booth 129 showcasing its process engineering and customized equipment for technical textiles. Offerings range from single units to complete processing lines for film calendering, coating, laminating, embossing and printing applications. Kampf Converting and Kampf KKA Processing Technology are a single source from the powder to the finished product.

Korean manufacturer K.M.F Co., Ltd. (Korea Micro Fiber) will be at booth 124 showcasing synthetic micro fabrics dipped in polyurethane liquid. The company has applied its dipping process to nonwoven fabrics and has now begun to use knitted fabrics. K.M.F.'s polyurethane-coated, synthetic filament fabrics are sold under the Maxkin brand name. These new artificial leather-type suede fabrics can also be coated with anti-bacterial treatments. The fabrics are washable and available in a variety of colors. They also offer dimensional stability and abrasion resistance. K.M.F. is mass producing these fabrics for the first time on a global basis.

The cell phone-sized Land Guide M4, a small, lightweight and advanced thermal imager is now available from Land Instruments International, booth 1034. The device is applicable for use with nonwoven materials. Incorporated into the low-cost, compact design are advanced features such as fingertip controls, high quality thermal and visual images with voice annotation, on-board image processing, a large capacity memory and versatile USB connectivity. With a sensitivity of 0.22[degrees]F/0.12[degrees]C, the Guide M4 detects extremely small temperature differences within the measurement range -4[degrees] to 482[degrees]F/-20[degrees] to 250[degrees]C and displays them as high-resolution thermal images.

The link with the target object is made by the high quality digital images captured by the built-in visual camera and a built-in laser locator that helps to pinpoint hot spots. To simplify the identification of potential problems, there are four measurement modes--simultaneous four-spot and four-area analysis, line profile and isotherm analysis--all of which can be saved as images. At booth 838 Italian supplier Matex Srl will promote its line of equipment for the production of artificial leather, woven and nonwoven (coated or impregnated) fabrics. The company supplies embossing, laminating, printing and lacquering plants, including turnkey systems.

The latest news from Matex is its new pilot machine, which was designed to be as flexible and as easy to operate as possible. It offers simple solutions, easy and fast adjustments, precision and accuracy. The system includes a main frame (the unwinders/winders and cooling group). Units can be installed according to different requests: drying oven with one or two independent temperature zones, lamination groups before or after the oven, an embossing facility, transfer/film lamination and different heads for chemical application (thickness blade, air blade, coating bar, synchro/reverse coating roll, impregnation/squeezing group and a hotmelt coating cylinder). Available in 600 or 900 mm cylinder widths, initially the system can be supplied with a single head and upgraded later. It can be used for solvent or nonsolvent based products.

Another Italian machinery supplier at the show will be Meccaniche Moderne SpA, booth 27. The company will promote compact one-step staple fiber lines, which use vacuum twin-screw extruders to process PET flakes without pre-drying. The main advantages of such a solution are: energy savings, less work-in-progress (a few kg of polymer versus tons), faster start-up/shut-down times, less space, longer spinning pack life due to monomer/oligomer removal by vacuum, excellent blending capabilities and, in some cases, a slight reduction of overall investment.

In the field of spunbond lines, Meccaniche Moderne has introduced a generation of plants for the production of needlepunched PET and spunbonded nonwovens. These systems mainly target roofing and geotextile markets. Their main advantages are: low compressed air consumption, high tenacity filaments and fabric, perfect product isotropy, the possibility of processing PET bottle flakes and longer spinning-pack life.

As a result of the purchase of a patent regarding long fiber composite sheet production and its further development, Meccaniche Moderne now plans to play an important role in the composites industry. The company is developing new products combining thermoplastic polymers with wood fibers, mineral and natural fibers for the production of anti-crash components in the automotive industry. The cost-effective, one-step process of in-line compounding blends long fibers with the polymer matrix preserved intact.

MP Engineering Srl will be at booth 109 promoting its Meccaniche Petruccelli line of coating and laminating machines as well as complete lines for nonwovens. The hotmelt coating and bonding machine made by MP can be equipped both with the multiroller coating system and the gravure roller coating system. The use of suitable extruders or melters to melt the adhesive (thermoplastic or reactive PUR hotmelt adhesive) assure a proper feeding of the hotmelt to the coating head. The main differences between the two coating systems are the following: the multiroller system allows application of a higher add-on (coated weight) and can only apply a uniform layer of adhesive. On the other hand, the add-on can be easily altered by changing the speed at which the coating roller revolves. The engraved roller system allows for the application of adhesive in dots or with a network-shaped pattern and therefore the coated/laminated materials are breathable, have a soft textile hand and lower adds-on can be applied. Different shapes (mesh) and volumes (coated weight) can be chosen, depending on the application field.

A different engraved roller is needed to change the add-on. The hotmelt coating/laminating is a versatile technology, which enables processing of a range of substrates, from foams to woven fabrics, nonwovens, knitted fabrics, films and membranes and paper--even heat sensitive materials can be treated. Applications for hotmelt adhesives/materials are extremely varied: from technical textiles and sport and leisure wear to the shoe, automotive and home textile industries.

At booth 340 Nordson Corporation's Nonwovens, Web Coating and Fiber Systems unit will promote further developments to its NanoPhase system's capabilities. Efficient meltblown systems are the industry standard for polymer process control, air management and fiber quenching. Nordson's NanoPhase system consistently produces webs containing 70%-plus fibers below one micron and with fiber distribution spreads at the 0.6 micron average. When it comes to fine-fiber applications, Nordson's NanoPhase systems produce fine fiber webs with superior moisture barrier and filtration capabilities that do not sacrifice throughput.

Nonwovens equipment specialist NSC (Asselin-Thibeau), booth 535, has developed unique solutions for niche markets related to technical applications. The company will highlight the design of the Asselin needleloom, which can consolidate high added-value parts with unusual shapes, such as cones for a space launcher nozzle (shown here).

Another innovation from Asselin is the A-50 XFRS needleloom, which is designed to match the heaviest load requirements. The A50 XFRS needleloom is particularly suitable for the heavy felt used in the filtration market. The Excelle card and the Pro-Dyn system are both technologies that are of particular interest for highly flexible nonwoyen lines. They are able to produce small batches with less cleaning and generate significant raw material savings. This is of particular interest to the technical textiles sector since expensive fibers are usually processed in these applications. The ProDyn system pro vides excellent fabric uniformity in both MD and CD directions.

Osprey, booth 233, plans to feature a new system for recycling carpet backing and geotextile production waste. The system operates inline with the production process returning edge trim and roll scrap back into the production process. The company sold a number of the new systems last year in the U.S. and plans to do the same this year due to the increasing cost of raw materials.

The Off-line Scrap Reclamation System collects trim for recycling from one or more production lines as well as other sources such as slitting operations at other winders. In addition, off-spec material from slitter rolls, mill rolls as well as start-up and other loose scrap is collected and recycled. Either an inductor or cutter blower system picks up the edge trim from the production line or slitters and pneumatically conveys it into granulators where it is size-reduced into fluff form. Rolled material is pulled off a roll stand by a roll feeder and can feed into the same granulators at a consistent rate. In addition to edge trim and rolls, loose scrap can also be hand fed into the granulators. Fluff from the granulators is pneumatically conveyed to a vertical storage hopper.

High pressure, conveying blowers convey the fluff over the long distances required to separate production lines from waste storage facilities. Pneumatically operated, high pressure diverters automatically divert the fluff from one or more granulators to one or more VSH fluff storage hoppers. This allows the material to be collected and stored by variations in bulk density or color. Material loads into the VSH hopper through a low profile air separator section, which separates the material from the conveying air stream. A pulse jet type, self-cleaning dust collector is mounted to the top plate of the air separator.

The dust collector is equipped with a balancing air blower that equalizes the pressure in the hopper created by the conveying air. The VSH hopper can be designed for a wide range of storage capacities. It has a vertical auger assembly and a fully swept, flat bottom to prevent material from bridging. Fluff is swept into a variable speed discharge screw conveyor where it is either gravity or pneumatically conveyed into the feed section of a pelletizing or densification system.

Performance Fibers, booth 300, will feature its broad portfolio of high-performance polyester fibers as well as its new-generation products. These new innovations include Pen Tec fiber, a high-performance specialty fiber for tire reinforcement, offshore mooring and other industrial applications; and Beltec fiber, a new tire reinforcement material specifically designed to enhance the performance of tires with cap plies. It also will introduce A360, a high-performance polyester alternative to rayon in tire reinforcement offering superior fatigue resistance and dimensional stability.

Performance Fibers manufactures and offers a range of polyester fibers and fabric styles. The company will show case all of its applications and solutions for its various end markets, including automotive safety, broadwovens, narrow woven fabrics, mechanical rubber goods, ropes and cordage and tire.

During the TTNA '06 show, Rieter Perfojet will exhibit a complete range of machines for producing high quality non-woven webs at booth 540. With its Jetlace 3000 machine, Rieter Perfojet is a leader in spunlace technology with more than 130 machines installed. In order to improve the spunlace fabrics' quality and respond to market inquiries, Rieter Perfojet has launched the ISOjet system, which delivers an excellent MD:CD ratio. The spunlace fabrics produced on Jetlace 3000 equipped with ISOjet system target a range of applications such as wipes (baby, household and technical), synthetic leather and cotton pads.

Rieter is also in the process of introducing a new technology, Spunjet, which is a combination of spunmelt and spunlace. The first nonwoven fabrics are already available. Thanks to the unique uniformity of the spunlaid webs produced with the Perfobond 3000 machine, and the high quality of water needling from state-of-the-art injectors, Spunjet products offer bulk, softness, tensile strength and an MD:CD ratio close to one.

In the area of meltblown systems, Rieter has developed its own process called Emblo. Featuring a unique design, the new system reduces cleaning time and installation costs while offering cost savings and quality benefits. Emblo can be integrated between spunbond towers to produce SMS webs.

Cavitec/Santex Nonwoven are brand names of Santex Group, a textile machinery manufacturer that will be present at the show at booth 711. The company covers three main areas in technical textiles, namely coating and laminating, nonwovens and prepreg. In the coating and laminating area, Santex offers hotmelt coating and lamination with engraved roll, rotary screen, multi-roll and slot die systems. Also available are powder scattering, scatter coating, lamination, dot coating for fusible interlinings (powder dot, paste dot, double dot) and wet coating lines for special applications. Specifically for nonwoven applications, Santex manufactures double belt forced-through-air ovens for thermal bonding, drying and heat setting lines with double belt ovens and stenter frames, impregnation and spraying lines and a wavemaker machine for vertical lapping of nonwovens for better resilience and acoustic absorption.

Among the new developments for Santex is a drying process for spunlace nonwovens with a double storey Santatherm forced-through-air double belt oven.

Cavitec now offers complete thermal bonding lines for waste and recycled fibers in cooperation with partner companies, from fiber opening and blending to the final winding and stacking.

Also new is the Cavimelt-TSM trial and sampling machine for hotmelt coating and lamination and the CAVIBSC for simultaneous hotmelt coating and lamination of both sides of membranes.

At booth 211, Schott & Meissner GmbH will focus on thermal and chemical nonwoven bonding and heat setting. High performance, state-of-the-art equipment will be featured, including the company's best selling air-through ovens and Thermofix flatbed laminator stands. Schott & Meissner will take the opportunity to introduce its newest machinery for production, refinement and finishing of nonwovens as well as a variety of peripheral equipment by means of numerous product samples, flyers and audio performances. The company's systems include thermal bonding lines, flatbed laminators in combination with scatterers for a variety of materials, double belt presses, drawer and transfer shuttle ovens, spray cabins in combination with three-pass-ovens, I-foulards, calendering systems, accumulators, slitting and cutting components and wind-up and palletizing equipment. Schott & Meissner supplies complete nonwoven production lines for automotive, home textiles, geo-textiles, building and composite applications. Services include installation, commissioning, technical and technological assistance, operator training and comprehensive after-sales-service.

Suzutora Corporation, booth 634, will be on hand promoting Masa fiber sheets coated with superior nano-scale metal films that include textile, knitted materials, nonwoven fabrics and other types of sheets.

With this thin, uniform metal coating, it is possible to create highly functional fibers that have various added values. Applying metal film to a base material does not affect the latter's condition (appearance, feel); metal film also reflects and absorbs light (UV, IR) and is able to prevent static electricity and electric waves.

The company has also introduced nonwoven fabrics coated with silver and stainless steel. These fabrics prevent static electricity and offer high heat retention rates, antibacterial properties, deodorization and no change in the base material condition or permeability (no binder or other adhesive).

In the Turino Olympics, several athletes' uniforms use Masa technology. Body heat can be kept from escaping with thin materials, so the clothing can be made lightweight.

Italian machinery specialist TECHNOplants, booth 711, will highlight the Allround Winder model WM.AW in conjunction with the patented driven accumulator model AC. M.B. and the combined slitting and cross cutting unit model LTC.CC.RB. The systems offer the ability to automatically cut, thread, wind and doff a range of nonwovens. Ranges start as low as 80 gpsm, thermal bonded and/or pre-needled, and go up to nonwovens well beyond the 1000 gpsm limit, which are either needlepunched, calendered or thermally bonded highloft waddings. The Allround Winder includes an accumulator with tensionless roll carriage and a slitting and crosscutting unit. Also included are a mandrel injection unit (with or without cardboard tubes), a separately driven compression carriage for automatic material threading and compression controlled winding and non-adhesive tape dispenser heads for roll taping before doffing. The machine is currently available for trials at the company's Pistoia headquarters.

At booth 640 the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center will spotlight the development of nonwoven fabrics for military applications. The U.S. Marine Corps has taken the initiative to develop state-of-the-art nonwoven composite fabric technology for use as alternate fabric applications for combat utility uniforms, equipage, shelters, etc. This effort is being conducted via a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract. The objective of the SBIR is to utilize the latest nonwoven technology to enhance performance and reduce lifecycle costs for combat-type clothing. Concepts include the development of lightweight composite materials that offer high durability, high breaking and tearing strength, breathability and cost reduction to replace current woven uniform material. Included is a plan to design a fire retardant (FR) fabric and heavy-duty fabric for tentage and equipage applications.
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Title Annotation:Techtextil North America
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Geographic Code:100NA
Date:Mar 1, 2006
Previous Article:Plans are underway for ANEX 2006: a look at what some exhibitors plan to show in Japan.
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