DuPont, Wilmington, DE, was at the IDEA show presenting samples of its brand new Engineered Elastic Nonwoven Technology, a versatile fabric designed to fit a range of industry needs. Fabrics produced through DuPont’s new technology can be high stretch or high stretch with varying degrees of elastic recovery power, depending on end user needs. The proprietary fabrics offer 100% stretch and 80% recovery; between 200% and 500% extensibility is possible with some recovery power.
“DuPont Engineered Elastic Nonwoven Technology is a breakthrough development that enhances our traditional nonwoven media portfolio and provides a cost-effective substrate for high-power elastic sheeting applications,” stated Matt Trerotola, vice president and general manager—DuPont Nonwovens.
The fabrics are latex-free and utilize no elastomeric polymers. Targeting both converters and end users, the soft and high stretch materials provide unique elastic functionality and deliver soft-stretch comfort and ease of use. Potential applications include ear-loop facemasks, soft-stretch hoods, knit-like stretchable gown sleeves and cuffs in protective and cleanroom apparel, hygiene side panels, wound dressing, elastic bandages and low-power wound care sleeves, elastic protective covers, elastic interlinings and elastic composites.
“DuPont commissioned this technology on a large-scale pilot line in the second half of 2006,” explained Michael Truby, market development manager. “This is a secondary process that runs at commercial speeds, which makes it cost-effective. For now, the base material is polyester spunlace, but we have also used this technology on polypropylene spunbond. Coating and laminating open up other possibilities as well.” Mr. Truby added that DuPont’s Engineered Elastic Nonwoven Technology has not yet adopted a trade name. “Through strong R&D efforts, we are exploring potential target markets and customers. That is one key reason why we launched this technology at the IDEA show. This venue brought many applications and we saw significant interest there.”