Techtextil North America Review

August 17, 2005

a look at what exhibitors brought to Atlanta last month

More than 4000 visitors convened at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta, GA, last month for the second edition of the Techtextil North America trade show and exhibition, which attracted 291 exhibitors from 21 countries.

Showing the increasing role of nonwovens in technical textile applications, the exhibitors at Techtextil North America included roll goods producers and machinery and equipment and raw material suppliers to the nonwovens industry as well as commission converters that use nonwoven materials.

Held concurrent with the show, the Techtextil-Symposium North America was also well attended, featuring three full days of presentations from renowned individuals in the field of nonwovens and technical textiles. Topics included new and emerging technologies, standards and testing for the industry, product development and marketing, transportation textiles, construction textiles and new research and product applications.

Roll Goods Producers Show Their Presence
The increasing role of nonwovenroll goods in technical textiles was apparent at Techtextil North America. With materials ideal for protective apparel, automotives and other technical applications, many of the leading roll goods producers in the world were on hand at the show.

Ahlstrom Corporation, Windsor Locks, CT, was exhibiting a variety of nonwoven materials for technical textile applications such as filtration and automotives. It was the company’s first Techtextil North America exhibit as a unified company incorporating the activities of Ahlstrom and the nonwovens business of Dexter Corporation, which was acquired last year.

Crane Nonwovens, Pittsfield, MA, introduced Craneglas 500, a new line of wetlaid nonwoven media incorporating belCoTex silica fibers. The product features superior thermal resistance and affords chemical resistance to organic solvents, hot acids and water.

DuFlot Industries, Beauvois en Cambrésis, France, was exhibiting its technical nonwovens that are designed using high performance fibers such as stainless steel and silica to perform under extreme conditions. Applications for these materials include railways, automotives, protective clothing, filtration and building.

New from FiberDynamics, High Point, NC, is the Kyrel Black Mat Facing, a new line of premium nonwoven facings for the automotive, transportation and related industries. The facings are engineered to have exceptional moldability, superior abrasion resistance, deep rich black color and embossed decorative pattern surface. They are available in a variety of weights and widths with a wide range of adhesive backings with fire retardency and repellency options.

PGI Nonwovens, N. Charleston, SC, was showcasing its Titan high strength spunbond material, which features 40% higher strength than traditional spunbond materials and is ideal for coating substrates, furniture and bedding applications and landscaping fabrics. Additionally, Durapex filtration media for bag house applications were on display as well as Endura car covers made from a microporous film and spunbond combination.
Polimeros y derivados, Leon, Mexico, was displaying its high-tech spunlaced nonwovens for a variety of applications in the technical textiles industry including construction, automotives and filtration. Additionally, the company supplies spunlaced materials to the wipes, medical and hygiene markets.

Spunfab Adhesive Fabrics, Cuyahoga Falls, OH, creates nonwoven webs made of 100% thermoplastic adhesive polymer resins. These webs are used in various applications ranging from clothing and intimate apparel to armored protective covers as well as filters, medical applications, carpets, construction materials and technical textiles.

Machinery And Equipment Manufactuers Show Products
Because the cross-over between nonwovens and technical textiles is so great, many machinery and equipment suppliers to the nonwovens industry attended Techtextil North America.

American Trützschler,
Charlotte, NC, was promoting its tailor-made solutions for the nonwovens and technical textile industries. Among the machinery types Trützschler offers are bale openers, mixers/reserve hoppers, dosing units, fiber blending installations, tuft feeders and controls.

Glenro’s Jim Alimena, Thomas Van Denend, Richard Hoffman and John Walsh.

Pin rollers developed by exhibitor Christoph Burckhardt, Basel, Switzerland, have been reliably perforating nonwovens and films for years. The rollers create perfectly round holds and a three-dimensional hole shape that allows the production of a soft material with an attractive appearance. The company was particularly promoting recent innovations in industries such as short fiber airlaid, polymer to web and formed film.

Cavitec, Münchwilen, Switzerland, was exhibiting its hotmelt coating and laminating lines for garments, technical textiles and automotives. The company also manufacturers scatter, powder, paste and double dotcoating lines.

On display from Dilo Inc., Charlotte, NC, were its latest developments in needle loom technology. For instance, Dilo’s Hyperpunch technology is designed for fine and quality fleeces, synthetic leather, spunbonds and paper machine felts. It allows considerable increases in throughput speed and improves the belt evenness of needle felts.

Enka technica,
Heinsburg, Germany, attended Techtextil North America to promote its spinnerets and spin packs. Among the company’s specialties are four meter spin plates contain 20,000 perfectly uniform holes for nonwovens production, compact spinnerets for staple fiber production, spinnerets for special spinning processes, microfiber spinnerets and spinnerets and spin packs for bicomonent fibers.

Fleissner, Egelsbach, Germany, displayed several production lines at Techtextil North America. Among the lines offered by Fleissner is AquaJet spunlace; AquaJet enhancement technology; lines for thermal bonding, chemical bonding and spray bonding, heat setting lines and high tech through-air dryers for nonwovens, paper and tissue. The company also offers complete nonwovens production lines for needled web floor coverings, filters, geotextiles, roofing membranes, automotives, home textiles, sanitary and hospital use garments and shoes, household applications, wiping clothes and technical textiles as well as fiber lines for the production of homopolymer, bicomponent and microdenier split fibers.

Fleissner executives pose by their Techtextil North America booth
First-time Techtextil exhibitor Glenro, Paterson, NJ, presented its new line of flatbed laminating machines that use dry adhesives and a combination of heat and pressure for clean, high performance bonding at fast line speeds. For instance, the company showed its Silcurv and Conductaplane heating modules that are used in Glenro’s laminating machines to provide even heat for uniform bonding. Glenro also had demonstration units on hand to show the variety of infrared heating elements and heater configurations that are included in its products.

Quality inspection equipment supplier Lasor/Systronics, Norcross, GA, was exhibiting its Advanced Defection Classification system that is able to classify similar defects in nonwovens, film, paper and other roll goods during production. Additionally, the company’s Uniformity Analysis program measures the uniformity of each web and can be tailored to individual applications.

Burckhardt’s Heiner Hausdorf poses with Fi-Tech’s Christopher Layton and Jeffrey Bassett
The Qualiscan QMS-A quality control system was the focus of Spartanburg, SC-based Mahlo’s Techtextil North America display. This system monitors and controls critical process-related parameters such as weight per unit area, weight or thickness of applied coating and moisture retention. It is fully modular and can accommodate up to four traverse assemblies, each with facilities for attachment of up to three types of sensor.

National Drying Machinery Company, Philadelphia, PA, offers thru-air suction drum and conveyor dryers for nonwovens. These dryers are designed to set a new standard in efficient thermal bonding, heat-setting and drying of all types of nonwovens as well as other textiles.

Machinery supplier Nordson, Dawsonville, GA, used Techtextil 2002 to present its company as a unified entity capable of providing hot melt equipment, web forming machinery and coating equipment to a wide range of industries.

Additionally, Nordson was showcasing its Center Of Excellence, a state-of-the-art melt blown pilot line that is capable of producing genuine materials for customer trials. Located in Dawsonville, the Center of Excellence was inaugurated earlier this year.

Kleinewefers Kunststoffanlagen, Greenville, SC, produces multi-color rotogravure printing machines for high-quality surface finish with color printing of web materials. The machines are used for foils, unsupported materials or in conjunction with supporting materials such as wovens, materials and paper. Applications include furniture foils, decorative foils, adhesive films covering foils imitation leather and floor coverings.

The North American arm of machinery supplier Reiter Perfojet, which is based in Greensboro, NC, exhibited samples of spunlaced fabrics made with its Jetlace 3000 as well as Perfobond spunlaced fabrics and fabrics that incorporate both spunlace and spunbond technologies.

At the stand for Ungricht GmbH, Mönchengladbach, Germany, was information about and samples of its complete range of capabilities for the production of embossing and bonding rolls. Ungricht is a full service engraver offering customers engraving of new rollers or repair/re-engraving of old rollers as well as design service for new products. All technologies for the design and manufacture of roller bodies for embossing or thermal bonding are under one roof including CAD, galvanic coating, plasma coating and laser and traditional engraving, allowing Ungricht to service all of a customer’s needs without a roll leaving the factory.

Raw Materials Bring Innovation
A wide variety of fiber suppliers and chemical manufacturers attended Techtextil North America to show how their products can meet the demands of technical textiles and nonwovens.

American Kynol, Pleasantville, NY, was showing spunlaced nonwovens made from its Novoloid fibers. These materials are ideal as fire blockers in furniture applications.

Bostik Findley, Middleton, MA, was exhibiting its flame retardant back coating adhesive for mattresses, upholstery and window covering applications. Additionally, the company offers powder and web adhesives for textiles, nonwovens and fabric-to-fabric applications.

BASF, Charlotte, NC, was promoting the use of its Basofil synthetic fiber in home furnishing applications. Basofil is an inherently heat and flame resistant fiber that is able to char rather than burn. This feature as well as its soft, supple hand makes it a superior choice for open flame protection in home textiles.

Cargill Dow, Minnetonka, MN, was promoting its NatureWorks PLA fibers, which demonstrate superior flame-resistance properties. These products are an unprecedented product option for home furnishings, hospitality and industrial markets where strict fire regulations apply. Made entirely from annually renewable resources such as corn, NatureWorks fibers have the performance benefits of both natural and synthetic fibers.

The Rebound range of elastomeric netting from Conwed Plastics, Minneapolis, MN, is engineered to achieve and precisely control stretch and recovery properties. It can be customized with various force and mesh designs to meet specific customer needs. Rebound is the only plastic netting with bi-directional properties that allow the net to stretch and recover in both cross and machine directions consistently. Some of its key features include breath ability, high extensibility, energy recovery, two dimensional integrity and custom designed elasticity.

A manufacturer of performance chemicals, Clariant Corporation, Charlotte, NC, introduced new technologies in three major product categories: antimicrobials, fluorochemicals and flame retardants. Clariant’s Sanitized line of antimicrobials is used in all textile applications where mold and bacterial growth can occur. Clariant’s Nuva fluorochemicals are used in textile applications where water and oil resistance is critical. Nuva products are ideal for all technical applications where protection against liquids, soils and stains is critical. Clariant introduced a line of Pekoflam flame retardants that meet fire resistance requirements without the use of heavy metals and halogen-containing organics.

Lenzing Fibers, a Toronto, OT-based manufacturer of cellulosic fibers, presented its range of fibers for the nonwovens and technical textiles industry. Among the products offered were Lyocell, Lenzing FR and Profilen.

Martin Color-Fi, Edgefield, SC, was promoting its fibers for nonwovens and technical textiles. The company offers polyester staple fibers in custom colors for applications ranging from automotives, floor coverings, home furnishings and construction.