Kraton Polymers, a global producer of engineered polymers, has developed new innovation in elastic nonwoven technology. Kraton believes its new product, MD6705, breaks the processing barrier of conventional styrenic block copolymers, now allowing fabricators to make bicomponent elastic nonwovens on commercial production equipment at full speed. Until now, bicomponent elastic nonwovens based on thermoplastic elastomers were difficult to make. Polymers that spin well typically do not have good elastic properties. The unique design of MD6705 allows it to be processed at commercial production rates with excellent elastic properties. High speed runs have been demonstrated on Hills, Reifenhauser, and Neumag lines with PP, PET, and nylon sheaths. Nonwovens with different weights and sheath ratios were produced. Performance of the finished fabric can be easily fine-tuned for individual application needs.
Nonwovens made with this new bicomponent fiber technology can be used as elastic components in personal hygiene applications such as diaper waist bands, diaper ear tabs, training pant side panels, adult incontinence cover sheets and feminine hygiene components. It can also be used in clothing, medical device parts, industrial applications, food service, automotive parts, and sporting goods.
"Kraton Polymers has been a key supplier to the elastic fiber and film market for many years. End users in this market want their final products to have good hand feel, soft draping characteristics, and elastic fit. Due to the inherent tackiness of many elastic polymers, multiple manufacturing steps are frequently used to achieve desirable properties," said Michael Oberkirch, global vice president of advanced materials for Kraton Polymers. "Kraton MD6705 allows fabricators to convert pellets to elastic fabrics in a single step. The bicomponent spunbond nonwovens not only provide significant system cost savings but also achieve excellent elastic recovery and a soft, fabric-like feel. This new product demonstrates how our advanced innovations bring value to our customers."