Frost & Sullivan has awarded Kraton Polymers with the 2009 North American Frost & Sullivan Technology Leadership of the Year Award for its ongoing measures to lead innovation in the field of styrenic block copolymers (SBCs). Already established as an innovator in this field for more than four decades, the company has launched a new family of SBCs, including the MD6705, G1643 and MD6717 grades. The new grades are suitable for an array of applications that demand superior quality of softness, breathability and elasticity.
Currently, most elastic nonwoven fabrics are made using a lamination process with an elastic film sandwiched between two non-elastic polypropylene spunbond fabrics. This new technology can achieve good elasticity and strength with a single elastic spunbond fabric, thereby eliminating the need to laminate three layers. In addition, the resulting elastic fabrics offer a soft feel, and good drapeability.
The elastic melt blown grade allows customers, who do not have bicomponent fiber technology, to replace the elastic film in current laminated constructions. The resulting spunbond-melt blown-spunbond (SMS) laminate could be made in a single step process, which would provide a significant manufacturing cost reduction.
"Key features seen with Kraton Polymer's polymer-based nonwovens are that they are drapeable, non-tacky and breathable, allowing for products that are soft and discrete," said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Christina Priya Dhanuja. "This is in direct correlation with current nonwoven industry needs —high-speed processability, breathability, comfort, high elasticity and non-tackiness."