Wednesday 3 January 2007

Anex Conference and Exhibition - Tokyo - May 2006


Two simultaneous conference sessions overlapped almost totally with the exhibition and were somewhat remote from it, so it was difficult to do both justice.  A printed version of each paper was available at each conference room but only during the time of the presentation and, if Japanese, with only a short abstract in English.  The organisers moderated the sessions and in the interests of timekeeping did not allow questions from the audience.  Unusually for this event, there were no papers giving statistics covering the evolution of the Asian market since the last Anex.

Conference Papers

The papers attended are summarized below.  The Appendix provides speakers summaries, as provided by the Anex organizers, of those missed.

Keynotes

The opening session, Future Directions, had papers from the Japanese Ministry of Trade and Industry – Textiles Division, academia (paper and textile research institutes) and industry (Teijin and Kuraray) but without interpretation or preprints. 

The interpreted keynote session was given by Unicharm’s founder and Chairman, Mr Keiichiro Takahara, and was a personal view of the people-related issues involved in leading and  growing a successful business through 45 years with three prolonged periods of negative growth.

Since 1961 when the corporation started with 3 billion yen capital it has grown to 400 billion yen and now operates in 12 countries.  The product range evolved from the original “Sophy” brand of femcare through Healthcare and Babycare (“Moony”) in the early 1980’s with Pet Care being the current theme. Having been launched in an IPO 2 years ago the Pet Care division was now leading this market in Japan

In trying to explain the management style behind the successes, a multitude of mottos and aphorisms emerged:
  • If the effort needed to come up with a good new product idea takes 1 unit of effort, 10 units will be needed to make and test the prototype and 100 units to make it a commercial success.
  • You need a sense of history to understand how products are created, evolve and die.
  • Be an adolescent until death: stay motivated and impressed, learn ‘til you die and avoid complaceny.
  • People are 75% emotion and 25% reason:  They need to be loved to give their best.
  • Darwinism rules business:  you need to change every day to survive.  Survivors change before they are forced to.
  • Origins of corporate failure? Conceit, complacency, arrogance, jealousy/envy, dependency.  These also apply to individuals, so self control is essential.
  • A good leader has a strong will, courage, skill, tenaciousness, insight and an ability to exert “soft” command and control.
  • SAID is not HEARD;  HEARD is not LISTENING; LISTENING is not UNDERSTOOD; UNDERSTOOD is not AGREED; AGREED is not CONVINCED so you need to work hard to convince people of the need to change.

Your 30’s are the decade for action, but in your 40’s utilise the experience gained, in your 50’s lead others, in your 60’s support others,  and in your seventies, plan the succession! 

Soft Spunbond Fabrics based on Advanced Polyolefins

Mr Gert Classens, Senior Development Specialist, Polyolefins TS&D, The Dow Chemical Company has done a comparison of PE/PP bico,  homopolymer PP and some experimental homopolymer PP resins on a Reicofil 3 line.  The experimental samples could be bonded at lower temperatures than PP, exhibited a very wide bonding window (125 to 145C), and gave higher strengths, more softness and more drape than hPP.  Elongations both MD and CD approached bico levels and were about double that of hPP, and abrasion resistance as measured by weight loss was half that of the controls.  How much would the experimental PP resins cost?  “When you accounted for the conversion benefits which would arise from the non-bico production route, a spunbonder should be able to replace bico with no increase in cost”.  No technical information on the nature of the new polymers could be divulged at this stage.

Steam Jet Technology

Mr. Hajime Tatsumi of Mitsubishi Rayon Engineering described the steam jet process which has been in development for 7 years.  Contrary to earlier reports in the press, this is not  an alternative to water-jet entanglement, more an extension of hydroentanglement when faster drying, improved bulk and thermal bonding are required.  Nevertheless, steam has been shown to create some entanglement due to softening of the fibers at elevated temperature making them flexible and easier to entangle, and also due to higher fluid velocities possible with the gaseous phase.

Steam velocity at 0.8MPa is 453 m/s c.f. 113 m/s for water at 8 MPa.  (The pilot rig can supply up to 1.5 MPa pressure).  The steam nozzles had 500 x 0.3mm diameter holes/meter compared with 1000 x 0.1mm diameter holes/meter for water.  Total energy delivered was 3427 Kcal/hour/metre for steam c.f. 5974 Kcal/H/m for water.

However the steam energy dissipates rapidly with distance from the nozzle and the web has to be firmly held between two conveyors to prevent disruption.  The thickness of the final product is determined by the spacing of these conveyors, the steam “explosion” having the effect of bulking the web and softening it while the high temperature bonded any thermoplastics in the web.  Any patterning on the conveyors is accurately imprinted on the surfaces of the web.

The 0.5 metre wide pilot line unwinds a web or fabric through wet-out and 2 or 3 water-jet HE stages prior to steam treating on a separate conveyor, one steam nozzle above the pair of conveyors and one below.  All nozzles have opposing suction systems, and there was mention of the conveyors being vibrated, presumably in the horizontal direction.  With steam temperatures of 150C, PP fibers are bonded in the bulked form and emerge dry.  The steam nozzles are therefore seen as a very cheap alternative to through-air drying after HE for synthetic fibers.  Furthermore MRE claim the process only softens the very outer surface of the PP fiber, allowing it to maintain strength. It also steam-cleans all lubricant from the fiber surface.

Applications under development are the desizing and pre-shrinking of PVA/Acrylic-sized woollen fabrics for the Woolmark Company, and development of the Flexstar range of insulation panels for Kuraflex.

The Future of Flushables

Mr. Nataraj Gosavi, Director of Business for Ahlstrom Asia Pacific re-presented the paper given at Insight in October 2005 and summarised in that conference report.  In later questioning, Mr Gosavi thought that if Raleigh NC banned flushables it would be impossible to sell Ahlstrom’s Hydraspun in that state.  Could he see such a ban extending to affect all markets?  Possibly.  Discussions of these issues elsewhere in the conference suggested that the INDA/EDANA task force was late publishing the test methods because it was split between those who wanted any nonwoven claiming flushability to pass the Afnor toilet tissue test, and those who wanted to devise a new standard that current dispersible nonwovens could pass.  There  was also concern that papers such as Ahlstrom’s would alert regulatory authorities to the need to act on flushability claims before the trade associations had a credible test to offer.

Nonwoven sheets using new materials by the wet method

Mr. Katsumi Motegi, a Senior Researcher at the Tomoegawa Paper Co Ltd has made sheets of stainless steel fiber, PTFE fiber, PBO fiber and Ion  Exchange Resin fiber by wet-laying blends with suitable binder fibers  and then burning off or dissolving the binder.  For stainless steel, the water soluble polymer binder was burnt off and the web sintered at 1000C.  The resulting very uniform mesh could be used for filtering hot gases or corrosive chemicals or could be laminated to circuit boards to provide electromagnetic shielding.  PTFE webs used a similar approach but after sintering at a temperature which did not destroy the PTFE, some organic matter remained and had to be removed by chemical oxidation.  Here too the applications were in printed circuit boards - where PTFE’s dielectric properties were important - or in filters.  PBO fibers have better heat resistance than Nomex or Kevlar and could be fibrillated and sheeted directly.  PPS fibers could be added as a bonding agent.  Ion exchange resin fibers were sheeted with binder fibers in deionised water.  Active carbon fiber could be added for gaseous contaminant removal, and the paper could be laminated to the sintered stainless steel to provide a high strength support.

Neumag Spunbond Technology

Dr. Henning Rave of  Neumag Zweigniederlassung der Saurer GmbH & Co. KG reminded us of the constitution of the Neumag Group:  F.O.R provided carding, Autefa crosslappers, Fehrer needlelooms, Neumag spunbond lines, M&J Airlay lines and Kortec festooning.  Additionally they have a co-operation agreement with Fleissner on HE and drying.  Their new spunbond technology had been proven commercially on a 5 m wide SMS line capable of 800m/min, spinning PP, PE, PET, PA6 or PLA (and bicomponents down to 5% sheath) in deniers ranging from 0.7 to 4.  Uniquely, it had variable draw and forming distances and could vary the draw pressure.  Polymer distribution, spinneret, and slot design was modular, allowing greater uniformity at wider widths than the competing technology: 
  • 18 gsm PP coverstock with an MD tenacity of 38 N/50mm and a CD of 18 N/50/mm (55% and 65% extensions respectively) could be made from 2 dtex filaments at 240 kg/hour/metre. 
  • 12 gsm PP coverstock with an MD tenacity of 29 N/50mm and a CD of 14 N/50/mm (50% and 55% extensions respectively) could be made from 2 dtex filaments at 180 kg/hour/metre. 
  • 75gsm PET spunbond (with a 220C/15min shrinkage of less than 2%) could be produced at 300 kg/h/m from 1.3 dtex filaments to give an MD tensile of 240 N/50mm and a CD of 100 N/50mm, extensions being 30% and 40% respectively.
  • A 6.5/2/6.5gsm SMS gave a hydrohead of 168 mm with 1 dtex SB and 145mm with a 1.5 dtex SB.  The hydrohead could be varied simply by adjusting the air pressure in the draw slot.

Privately, when commenting on the relative uniformity of the samples of R4 and Neumag spunbonds, Dr Rave admitted that R4 gave better uniformity at comparable line speeds, Neumag having to run slower to match it.  However, Neumag’s modular design means higher widths are easy to achieve and he envisages wide lines – up to 12 metres using well established paper machine engineering methods - allowing the Neumag system to outperform R4.

New "Reicofil 4" Pilot Line

Dr. Holger Erth, Managing Director, Saxony Textile Research Institute (STFI - Germany) said their new 1.2m wide bico–capable R4 pilot line was equipped with a K├╝sters calender, Dilo Hyperpunch needleloom, Fleissner heat-setter and Celli winder.  When considered with their other off-line nonwoven kit, Fleissner hydroentanglement,  stitchbonding (Malimo and Malivlies), Dilo needling, Laroche web former and “Napco” web-linker – they must now be one of the best equipped nonwovens research operations in Europe.

The single beam R4 line has the following capabilities:
  • Core/sheath, side-by-side and segment/pie bicomponency
  • 5 separate side streams for adding color, wetting agents, activators, anti-microbials, UV stabilisers etc.
  • PP/PE spinning speeds range from 1500 to 4000 m/min (1.0 – 3.5 denier)  Line speeds from 8 to 400 m/min, basis weights from 8 to 500 gsm
  • PET/PA spinning speeds range from 2500 m/min for 5 dtex to 5250 m/min for 2.5 dtex.  Basis weight range from 18-700gsm
  • Needle bonding works from 8 - 80 m/min (500gsm down to 50 gsm)

The operation is sponsored and paid for by Reicofil who have free access whenever they need it.  STFI can use it for their own research and hire it out to anyone prepared to pay the reasonable daily rate for fully confidential development, with a guarantee of no feedback to the machine supplier.

Advanced Electrospun Nanofibers

Professor Chang Whan Joo of Chungnam National University , Korea, reported experiments with electrospun PET and poly (vinylidene fluoride), a polymer with interesting electrical properties coupled with durability and biocompatibility.  Inorganic particles (ZrO2, TiO2, Al2O3) and Carbon Black were added to both polymer solutions and their effects on spinning behaviour, nanofiber conductivity and the filtration properties of an SMS nonwoven with the nanofibers added as a separate layer.  No details of the fibers or fabrics was presented but:
  • The particles did effect the spinning pattern, probably by aggregating in the nozzle
  • PVDF Nanofiber conductivity increased by a factor of 7 when carbon black
    was added.
  • The PET with carbon black nanofiber web reduced the air permeability and increased the filtration efficiency.

Although not covered in the written paper, several slides dealt with the electrospinning of chitosan, fibroin and chitosan/fibroin blends.  Fibroin gave the finest filaments (300nm) while Chitosan was ~700nm and the blend gave 2 micron filaments.  These biopolymers were moisture-affected and changed from porous webs to membranes as the humidity increased from 20% to 40%.  For the future, Prof. Woo saw electrospinning being hybridized with melt-blowing operations.

Nonwovens for Cosmetics

Mr. Yoshinori Kumasaka of Shiseido.,Co.Ltd Cosmetic Products Development Center said the Japanese market for sheet-type cosmetics grew to 10.5 billion Yen last year.  Shiseido make a series of facial cleansing wipes and masks, wipes for removing make-up and grease, masks for applying cosmetics.  In general the cleansing nonwovens should be soft and absorbent but with an ability to scrub make up away.  Most important is the absence of any interaction between the fabric and the impregnant.  For this market:

  • Spunbonds are no good – too thin and non-absorbent
  • Air laids are better, but any binder has a negative impact on the impregnants.  Thermal bond air-lay is too stiff and slippery.  Shiseido do however use a three-layer product - air-laid pulp with carded cotton/polyester surfaces and hydroentangled.
  • Wet-laid, especially those made from ultrafine or splittable fibers and spunlaced can be used but are generally too thin and expensive.
  • Dry laid has the problem of the finishes needed for good carding.  Synthetic fibers are not good but cellulosics are OK after hydroentangling.

Overall, spunlaced rayon or cotton nonwovens make the best substrates because the water jets remove most of the finish from the fibers.  However they have their limitations and Shiseido feel new fabrics are required to expand the market further.  Bulkier fabrics able to carry more liquid are required but current high loft fabrics are too contaminated with finishes and insufficiently absorbent. 

The ideal product would be totally pure cotton web with the bulk of a through-air bonded high loft.  Unfortunately, the cosmetic market is relatively small, and Mr Kumasaka thought a supplier with a 1.5 m wide line dedicated to making a variety of ultra-pure fabrics in smallish lots would be their ideal partner to grow the market further.

Connecting this “need” with a new development described earlier, the Mitsubishi Steam Jet process applied after hydroentangling bleached cotton or rayon would appear to provide a  way to make a high-loft totally clean web from cellulosic fibers. Ed.

For the future, Mr Kumasaka saw ever more functionality being built into impregnated cosmetic wipes and masks.

Points from the Exhibition

Elmarco (Czech Republic)

-were demonstrating their nanofiber process which uses a smooth roller rotating in polymer solution as the electrode from which thousands of fibers are drawn vertically upwards onto a conveyor. This can be made at any width and is undoubtedly the most practical way of coating a nonwoven filter (for instance) with a thin layer of  50-500 nm filaments.  The demonstration used an aqueous PVA solution, but examples using nylon, polyester, urethane, chitosan and gelatin fibers were shown.  The 300mm lab unit costs €48000 and they recommend purchasing this, doing the development work in house, discovering the optimum process for your products and then specifying a production unit which they could then build.  (They have been swamped with requests for samples and have decided that this is the best way forward.)   They admitted to be working with cellulose solutions for an undisclosed client.  Deakin University in Australia is already carrying out research with an Elmarco lab line and is collaborating with the Koreans (see conference paper)

Ginni Filaments (India)

-are introducing a wide range of wet and dry wiping products based on imported fabrics ahead of the start of their new HE line later this year.  The positioning includes wet wipes with aloe, orange, cucumber, lemon, mint, and anti acne formulations under the Clea™ brand, exfoliating facial cloths under the Magicia™ brand, Cuddles™ baby wipes, and Cosset™ revitalising facial masks with aloe.  They are keen to collaborate with Western companies who have well  known brands which could be made under contract in India.

GPF (Golden Phoenix Fiberwebs - China)

-were showing a wide range of elastic nonwovens, the Elaxus range being based on PP (undisclosed type) and having up to 150% extension with 70% recovery in the cross direction. Optiflex was a combination of Elaxus with a breathable elastic film as required for diaper tabs and waistbands.

Hainan Xinlong (China)

-displayed a lustrous and soft hydroentangled nonwoven made from bamboo fiber.  The fiber had been extracted from the bamboo plant and refined to a point where it could be processed into textiles and nonwovens.  No details of the fiber extraction process could be obtained.

Henan Piaoan (China)

-showed 100% cotton spunlace in the range 30-400 gsm, the latter being make-up removal pads with a hydroentangled surface.

Kinsei Seishi (Japan)

-displayed some impressive bulky air-laid fabrics made from 100% bico fibers.  They were also showing a very soft 3-layer laminate nonwoven with Oasis superabsorbent fiber between 2 layers of “Teijin” polyester, said to be for food packaging.

Kuraray (Japan)

-had an impressive range of high bulk, embossed and thermoformed boards of varying density and branded Flexstar®.  These were said to be made from an EVOH/PET sheath/core bico, steam-bonded using the Mitsubishi Steam Jet process.

Kurashiki Textile Manufacturing Co (Japan)

-have a photo-catalytic nonwoven intended for deactivating bacteria and viruses in e.g. anti-flu masks.  The photocatalyst is a hydroxyapatite where some of the calcium ions are replaced with titanium.  The product is only antimicrobial in sunlight.  They were also promoting flame retardant nonwoven ( halogen- and phosphorous-free) on the basis that new legislation in California would increase the market for such products dramatically in the near future.

Lenzing Tencel (Austria)

-is at full capacity largely due to success in nonwovens which now account for 80% of sales in the USA, but at unsatisfactory prices.  However the Mobile plant still has the original SL1 plant in mothballs and there appear to be no longer any plans to invest in its restart.  Tencel is having a major success in Japan with sales of short cut into battery separators and filters and staple into hydroentanglement.  (~7000 tonnes/year in total)

Lenzing Viscose (Austria)

-say they remain flat-out in all their factories and claim the textile market is starting to boom again.  Prices for viscose in textiles are increasing and once again the effect is reducing the availability of viscose for nonwoven customers.  Once again they agree that this is not good strategically, but essential financially.  They accept that their Asian competitors, being keen to get into the nonwoven sector globally, will benefit.   Tang Sheng, a Chinese plant using Lenzing technology was said to be one of the better plants in China.  This has a 100,000 tonne capacity from 3 lines.  Lenzing’s South Pacific Viscose operation is mainly for textiles with only one of the three lines working part time on nonwovens grades.  Of the 150,000 tonne capacity, 30,000 currently goes to nonwovens in China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Australia.  Some textile fiber is exported to the USA but most is used locally in Indonesia.  They are not capable of making fiber suitable for tampons.  Lenzing’s Chinese JV (60,000 tpy of viscose staple from 3 new lines) will be on stream later this year.

Neumag Saurer (Germany)

-Air-Laid claim new installations in Italy (BBA Korma), Sweden (Duni), China and the UK (a small line for a natural speciality fabric).  On the Spunbond side, Albis has ordered another line, the first being fully commissioned and qualified to supply diaper components for P&G.  In the last 3 months companies who had placed orders for Reicofil 4 lines are now seriously considering switching to Neumag.  Following their failure to validate the Nanoval patent claims and abandoning their license on the process they have been working with 350-800 MFI PP on spunbond equipment to make very fine fibers (<0.5 denier) albeit with relatively low tenacity.

Nisshinbo (Japan)

-appears to be the biggest user of Tencel in hydroentanglement in Japan, mainly in 100% fabrics, complementing their full range of 100% bleached cotton hydroentangled products, both plain and apertured.  They were also showing a 100% raw cotton fabric – for which good oil-absorbency and an eco-friendly appearence was claimed.  One fabric had a cotton surface (15 gsm) on a Polyester (65gsm) back.

Peixin Machinery (China)

-were offering baby diaper and sanpro production lines at what was said to a fraction of the price of the market leaders.  400-450 pieces/min was claimed for the output of the diaper machine.

Piaoan Group (China)

-had a nice-looking apertured hydroentangled PLA fabric on display.  This was said to cost $7000/tonne at 30gsm:  the same as bleached cotton.

Dynic (Japan)

- had a PLA nonwoven, said to be made from Japanese fiber, not Natureworks™. 

Powertex Nonwovens (China)

-had a novel angle on the wet-wipe idea.  They had compressed dry wet-wipe size sheets into a tablet and packed them in blister packs, like tablets.  When you need a wet-wipe, pop one out and wet it to bloom it before use.  No they did not suggest chewing it first.

Reicofil (Germany)

-had an impressive range of R4 spunbonds down to 8gsm produced at 650 m/min, and were promoting an SPS product at 60 gsm as a wet-wipe substrate.  Here 35 gsm of airlaid pulp were sandwiched between two 12.5 gsm R4 PP spunbonds.  While the texture was arguably too harsh for baby wipes (the pulp could be felt through the coverstocks), the wet strength was impressive and the product had an abrasion resistance suitable for the toughest applications (after shave application?).  The production route here would involve an existing air-lay/HE producer adding unwind stands either side of the air lay to unwind spunbond coverstock.  This was a low capital way forward and “bound to succeed”.  Unwind stands would replace cards, and cheap hydrophilic SB coverstock would replace the carded rayon/polyester.  How much pulp would be lost in HE?  This would depend on the quality of the bottom SB layer. 

Reicofil now claim a total of 150 lines worldwide, 20 of these being R4 lines sold since its launch at Index 2002.  The key benefits of R4  related to the new die and slot design which allowed higher uniformity at higher speeds.  This could not be achieved by retrofitting R3 lines.  The meltblown part of the SMMS configuration had been developed for better laydown and this was now yielding higher hydroheads (80+cms) or lighter products.  Asked about R5, they have no plans yet.  R4 will continue to evolve in directions specified by the diaper producers.  They would not comment on Neumag, other than to say that their closed system was inherently capable of giving better uniformity than any open system.  (A comparison of samples available at the show confirmed a uniformity advantage for R4:  Ed.) There were as yet no R4 operations making polyester despite its ability to spin fully oriented fibers at speeds above 5000 m/min.  R3 was still the workhorse for polyester spunbond.  One of the problems was that R4 lines were just too big relative to the narrower requirements for PET spunbond in roofing etc.  STFI (see above) were working on polyester varieties.

Shanghai Mascot Nonwovens Group (China)

-had a high-loft dusting mitt, one side being covered with electretted PP tow fiber and shredded high-loft nonwoven, and the other having an absorbent nonwoven for removing finger-prints or smears from glossy surfaces.

Shinwa (Japan)

-showed both HE and spunbond PLA. They had had the products for some time but they were not selling.  Both fiber and nonwoven cost 3 times as much as their polyester equivalents.  Interest in ecology had to increase dramatically if these were to be successful.

Solotex Corporation (Japan)

– A JV of Asahi Kasei and Teijin  - is promoting the poly trimethyl terepthalate (PTT) fiber in mono and bico filament yarns and staple fiber.  This polyester fiber has “gentle elasticity” with the softness of nylon.

Sumitomo Seika (Japan)

-Soft Beads from ethylene-methylmethacrylate copolymer (EMMA) had an average particle size of 10 to 12 microns and were softer and smoother than the PU beads used to improve the texture of cosmetic powders.  Similar beads made from polyethylene had been flattened, and this further improved texture while increasing the reflectance or gloss of the product.

Teijin Fibers (Japan)

-continues to produce a wide range of novel fibers for nonwovens.  Tepyrus® polyester for wet laid is now available in sizes down to 0.06 dtex and a 700nm nanofiber.  Conventional deniers are available in flat and triangular cross sections.  Low melt binder versions are available down to 0.2 dtex. Tetoron® (for dry laid) and Aerostar® (for air-laid) are sheath-core, asymmetric sheath-core and side-by-side bicomponents of polyester and copolyester as usual, but can also use a PET elastomer as a sheath.   Other specialities include a hollow triangular fiber, flat fibers, flame retardants without halogens or phosphorous, and a grafted polyester with a skin designed to absorb volatile organics, especially formaldehyde.  Elk® is an elastic high-loft wadding based on polyester, and targets PU foam replacement in upholstery.  Sepatone® is a heat-insulation/sound absorber wadding based on polyester for use in automotive and intended for easy recycling.

Technical Absorbents Ltd (UK)

-report their plant has been running intermittently during the start-up of the expansion which takes their capacity to 3200 tonnes/year of superabsorbent fiber.  They continue to be sold-out and are referring new enquiries from disposables manufacturers to the SAP powder producers.  This de-emphasis of disposables is related to the better prices available in yarn products for cable wrap and some new developments in geotextiles.  However their main volume is still in food pads, and the company is still up for sale with an announcement expected in a fortnight (again! Ed)

J W Suominen (Finland)

-had a small space on the J-Soft stand, and were promoting their hydroentangled viscose/air-laid pulp laminate for wet-wipes use.  The product is used in kiddies wipes, and while fully biodegradable is only flushable by size.  They are working on versions with shorter fibers to try to develop a dispersible product.  The pulp laminate is made on their first HE line, commissioned in the late 80’s to make pulp/polyester surgical drape and gown fabric.

Calvin Woodings 1/6/2006


Appendix: Presentations not attended

(Summaries below were provided by Anex 2006 organisers)

Propylene and Ethylene Based Elastomers for Hygiene and Nonwoven Applications

The Dow Chemical Company,Mr. Andy Chang
The availability of propylene-ethylene (P/E) and ethylene-octen e (E/O) elastomers has brought new options to hygiene andmedical applications, particularly those that use elastomers in combination with nonwovens in multilayer structures.
Tensile, elastic, and adhesive properties were compared for P/E and E/O elastomers for a range of comonomercontentsandmolecular weights.

New genaration fiber Solotex made of PTT

Solotex Corporation, Mr. Eiji Sato
Solotex is made of trimethylene terephthalate (PTT) .With its novel combination of features, Solotex setting new standards for performance which are revolutionizing the field of synthetic fibers. The creative possibilities enabled by Solotex extend to a wide range of applications throughout the fields of nonwovens. Solotex is a pioneer of PTT fiber.

High-performance Reinforcement Fabric "CRENETTE" and "KURAMAS"

KURABO INDUSTRIES LTD, Mr. Akira  Kasuya
The reinforcement fabric composite with no crimps can possess higher mechanical
properties. “CRENETTE” allows the placement of warp, weft fiber bundles directly into the net fabric structure, and is built by resin. “KURAMAS” allows the placement of warp, weft, and off-axis fiber bundles directly into the fabric structure. Moreover, notonly the unidirectional fiber bundles, but also chopped strand mat can be combined. One of the most attractive features of these fabric is the ability to combine multiple layers of oriented yarn in a single structure, so that the cost can be reduced.

New Finishes for Future Requirements of Nonwoven Fabrics

Schill + Seilacher Aktiengesellschaft, Dr. Horst Ring
Nonwovens are successfully introduced to various markets like hygiene, home textiles, automotive and similar. These highly diversified fields of application require highly specialized properties of nonwovens.  Nonwovens consist of fibers and filaments. Topical treatment of these materials is a qualified method for designing required properties regarding end use. For topical treatment spin finishes are used to provide hydrophilic, hydrophobic, antistatic, oleophobic, alcohol repellent properties or to adjust friction or to improve lamination. This paper gives an update to the most recent developments in new finishes as performance additives for nonwovens and for new nonwoven structures as well.

Non-halogen fire retardant and the application for non-woven fabrics
NICCA CHEMICAL CO.,LTD. , Mr. Yuji Matsu
The halogen type fire retardant mainly has been used. But recently, due to the possible generation of dioxin at burning,  non-halogen type one as the replacement comes under notice.  This time I will show the type and character of it,  possibility of applications and current technology on nonwoven fabric by it.  And then I will show some actual examples applied for  automobile, construction, air filter and industrial materials.

Photocatalyst technology and its application for air purification

DAIKIN Industries,Ltd., Mr. Yoshio Okamoto
Upon focusing on the excellent adsorption and decomposition that ‘photocatalytic titanium apatite’ has on the ‘influenza virus’ and ‘bacteria toxins’, we work on the applied development of ‘photocatalytic titanium apatite’ in terms of a filter that could be utilized for air purification.  The results of experiments were announced at the Institute of Biophysics, China Academy of Science showing that the SARS virus can be inactivated.

Application Development of Nonwoven for substitutional field Foam as a target

KURARAY KURAFLEX CO.,LTD, Mr. Yasurou Araida
We point to substitute for a part of application field of non-fiber system structure
material with advancing the porosity structure which nonwoven has. The target is to develop new material which has excellent morphologic stability, mechanical properties and various functional grants also, using special fiber material towards new application in fields such as automotive, electric appliances, construction.

The Movement of the Pet Industry in Japan

Unicharm PetCare Corporation, Mr. Hiromitsu Kodama
No English text available.

Application of nonwovens for liquid filter

ROKI TECHNO CO.,LTD. / TAPYRUS CO.,LTD, Mr. Yoshinori Takada /Mr. Shigeo Minami
First, in the meaning to understand about the filter for liquid, we would explain about the classification of the filter and the overview of the application. After that, we want to introduce about the using of nonwovens to the filter and the performance that is required to nonwovens.  Extremely fine fibers give excellent filtering ability,
so TAPYRUS MELTBLOWN NONWOVENS is being used in liquid filters etc..

FEM Analysis on Slope Stability of a Geosynthetics Multi-Liner  System in a Controlled Sea-based Disposal Site
Toyobo Co., Ltd., Mr. Shigeki Tanaka
Nonlinear elasto-plastic FEM analysis was conducted to simulate interaction behaviors of a geo-synthetics multi-linear system installed in a slope that is made by overburden geo-materials to resist uplift force behind the seawall of a controlled sea-based disposal site. The interaction model was proposed based on the shear resisting characteristics obtained from a series of direct shear tests between geo-synthetics and geo-materials that are used in the liner system. Then, the analysis method was verified by simulating the measured behaviors in direct shear tests on five-layered linear models. For a fundamental case of the slope, having sufficient safety factor obtained from a limit equilibrium method, In which two sets of geo-synthetics multi-linear system are installed, distribution of tensile forces induced in geo-synthetics wereobtained by incremental analysis method that can simulate actual execution procedures. In addition, parameter studies were conducted on the effects of shear resistance between geo-synthetics and their tensile rigidity.

R&D on advanced secondary batteries-role of non-woven cloth technologies

National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Mr. Tetsuo Sakai
Advanced batteries such as nickel-metal hydride battery and lithium ion battery are  widely used in the society, especially, in portable appliances and hybrid electric vehicles, serving as  lightweight, high-power and clean power sources. Further improving both performances and safety  R&D on advanced separators are in progress based on non-woven cloth technologies.

Automotive technology in a sustainable society

HONDA R&D Co., Ltd., Mr. Osamu Aoki
No English text available

The sheet-type products made of curled carbon fiber " DONACARBO®"

Osaka Gas Chemicals Co., Ltd, Mr. Kenji Okuda
DONACARBO is a pitch-based carbon fiber and is characterized by its curled shape. It comes in chopped fiber, milled fiber, and sheet-type products such as needling-punch felt and paper-like products. The sheet-type products provide a variety of properties, including heat and chemical resistance, and very small bulk density and high restoring force resulting from its curled shape. The general view of carbon fibers and the features of the sheet-type products made of DONACARBO are presented.

CARPET RECYCLING

TOLI CORPORATION, Mr. Mamoru Kubota
Among all the carpet products, carpet tiles generate the largest quantity of waste.
As carpet tiles are the complex of fibers like nylon and PVC resin, basically it is not easy to recycle. However, their recycling technology is now being researched and developed from the aspects of both chemical-recycling and material-recycling.

Fibers for Automobile

SCI-TEX(Consultant), Mr. Matsuo Tatsuki
Various fibers such as PET, Nylon, PP, p-aramid, rayon, glass, carbon, PVA, PEN,
vegetable/vegetable originated, inorganic heat resistant, specific functional fibers are explained in terms of their features and applications to automobile.
New applications to automobile are also discussed in terms of nonwovens. 


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