The lack of elasticity has limited nonwoven products in the past with expensive latex elastics having to be added to make them fit correctly. VitaFlex uses no latex and is less expensive to produce than other nonwovens and more environmentally friendly, according to the company.
As well as dramatically lowering the cost, because no latex or synthetic rubber materials are used, the process allows the recycling of these products, and eliminates the emission of dioxin and other noxious gases during the waste incineration process. The application of elastic nonwovens is also said to be further beneficial to consumers in that the new straps-free, form fitting disposable products offer increased softness and superior comfort.
Initially, the company will begin by manufacturing face masks and stretchable painters’ hoods. There may also be a market for the medical industry for masks and coverings, for diapers and other fields where breathable, durable and stretchable fabrics are needed. In addition, it can also be used in conjunction with other materials to form composites and durable products.
VitaFlex uses a manufacturing technology that can be used for creating cross-directional soft stretch elasticity with thermally bonded nonwovens. This technology provides a process for treating fabrics at high speeds, enabling a wide range of practical cross stretch/elastic fabrics with unique performance characteristics and high uniformity. Examples include polypropylene spunbond fabrics with up to 70% recovery at 150% elongation, and higher stretch fabrics with up to 400% elongation. This innovative technology is latex-free and utilizes no elastomeric polymers.