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The nonwovens industry top 10 new products.

The Nonwovens Industry Top 10 New Products

a look at one list of the most important product introductions of the past year

In a year when a host of new products utilizing every nonwovens technology--either alone or in composite form--was introduced, the editors of NONWOVENS INDUSTRY have selected 10 of the most interesting, important or influential entries into the field. These products, a mixture of roll goods and converted products that are offered here in no particular order, were judged on their novelty, their acceptance by the market and, perhaps most importantly, on their ability to recognize new market niches and capitalize on them.

1. Lydall Formoweb: A unique thermoformable nonwoven that offers the office and home furnishings industry a combination of benefits that may change the shape of manufacturing has been introduced by Lydall Manning Nonwovens, Troy, NY. "FormoWeb," featured on this month's cover, can be used as a facer, scrim or encapsulant and provides lightweight structural reinforcement for a variety of substrates, including fiberglass, fabrics, carpeting, foam, wood fibers and vinyl. It offers uniform surface characteristics and is non-apertured to prevent loose substrate fibers from escaping.

Compatible with many different adhesives, FormoWeb can be attached to a chosen substrate and molded on-line on standard thermoforming/compression-molding equipment. FormoWeb can offer a broad property spectrum that includes flame retardancy, dimensional stability, oil or water resistance, plus a wide range of strengths, weights and thicknesses.

2. Allied-Signal Spectra Shield: Profiled on the cover of NONWOVENS INDUSTRY in April, 1991, the new "Spectra Shield" nonwoven composite for the ballistics armor market was the subject of a multimillion dollar capacity expansion this year. Spectra Shield is a resin bonded fabric in which fibers are laid parallel, coated with a polymer resin, cross-plied and encapsulated in a thin protective film. The "Spectra" fiber used to manufacture Spectra Shield is an ultra high molecular weight polyethylene fiber that is 10 times stronger than steel and 75% stronger than any other organic fiber. The nonwoven manufacturing process yields a light, flexible material with greater ballistic stopping power than any conventional woven ballistic fabric.

Spectra Shield was later the focal point of a lawsuit filed by Allied against Du Pont for monopolistic trading practices involving Du Pont's "Kevlar" bullet resistant vests.

The Allied products is also being used in a ballistic system that provides protection inside an armored car as well as resists multiple hits from high powered rifles that have-been developed by American Security & Armoring International, Miami, FL.

3. Du Pont Thermal Suits: A new line of thermal protective suits developed by Du Pont, Wilmington, DE, is designed to protect workers from molten chemicals and high pressure steam. The suits use layers of flame-resistant "Kevlar" and "Nomex" fibers in both woven fabrics and spunlaced materials. The heart of the suits is their quilted, inner liner with from five to seven layers of spunlaced Nomex, Kevlar and a vapor barrier material called "Hypertherm." The four new designs--a high-pressure steam suit, a high-temperature breathable suit, a low-temperature breathable suit and a thermal suit--are worn in industries ranging from nuclear power to plastics manufacturing.

4. Airplane De-icer: A system for de-icing the wings of aircrafts has been developed by Veratec, Walpole, MA, and Thermion Inc. The system uses an extremely lightweight conductive fiber mat that can be embedded in paint on wing surfaces where ice builds up. The mat is made of nonwoven nickel-coated graphite fibers and weighs just one-third oz.sq. yard. American Airlines plans to try out the system on a decommissioned plane in September and Thermion expects FAA approval after 12-18 more months of testing.

5. Medical Lidding Composite: A versatile medical lidding material designed for use on thermoform-fill-seal packaging machines was introduced by Oliver Products, Grand Rapids, MI. The 27HT7 utilizes a "Tyvek" substrate with a dot pattern adhesive coating, offering superior hot tack and strong peel strength for reliable performance. The material is promoted as being ideal for packaging disposable medical devices, supplies and implantables.

6. Fire Barrier Fabric: A new fire retardant material, "Dufelt," was introduced by Duflot Industrie, France. The material targets any mass transportation seating material that involves fabrics, composites, film mixtures or other multi-layer products. The Dufelt material uses a lighter, more durable polyurethane foam base and is easily coated and laminated. It is available in a range of grades and has been approved by several airlines and rail and subway systems.

7. "Moss" Feminine Napkin: Following its successful reception in Canada, Johnson & Johnson's Personal Products Div., New Brunswick, NJ, announced plans to launch its sphagnum moss feminine hygiene product into the U.S. National distribution is set for September. The new product, being marketed under the brand name "Stayfree Ultra Plus," will be introduced in Phoenix, AZ and Pittsburgh, PA was introduced in July.

The new pad has a unique, ultra-thin--the pads are only one eighth of an inch thick--shape that covers more of the undergarment and reduces the incidence of staining. The core utilizes sphagnum moss as the absorbent material; the process is based on several patents J&J holds in the sphagnum moss area.

8. Spunlaced Lens Cleaner: Introduced at the recent Techtextil in Frankfurt, Germany from Freudenberg, Weinheim, Germany, was a material specifically developed for lens cleaners. The staple fiber "Viledon" nonwoven is particularly suited for cleaning optical glass components such as sensitive lenses or filters as well as conventional spectacles. The spunlaced material consists of extremely fine polyester or polyamide fibers, free from chemical additives or bonding agents.

9. Lantor "HyGlow" Nonwoven: Lantor U.K., Bolton, this year introduced "Hyglow," a spunlaced polyester and cellulosic nonwoven made specifically to meet the color performance requirements of British Standard 6629. Hyglow can be used to produce semi-durable, short life garments such as yellow jackets for high visibility application by construction workers, police and emergency personnel and others who work in traffic hazard areas and need the visibility protection. Consumer applications include high visibility exercise garments.

10. Landfill Nonwoven: "Fabrisoil," from Phillips Fibers, Greenville, SC, arose from the concern over the environment. The new product effectively replaces the six inches of soil that are supposed to be spread on top of landfills every night. The needlepunched polypropylene fabric is much easier and faster to put in place than the soil and, above all, it extends the life of increasingly scarce landfills.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Rodman Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:Aug 1, 1991
Previous Article:End use markets for nonwovens.
Next Article:ITMA '91: a full house is expected in Hannover in September.

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