Airlaid specialist Glatfelter has been promoting its eCore material, a pulp-based airlaid substrate containing as high as 85% super absorbent polymer (SAP). Intended for use baby diapers and adult incontinence products, eCore can create an end product that is significantly thinner and more discrete than existing diapers and other absorbent devices while reducing costs associated with SAP spillage.
According to Jonathan Bourget, vice president of Glatfelter’s Advanced Airlaid business, products featuring the technology will soon be available in Germany and the technology can be used in light incontinence products all the way to pull-up adult or baby diapers. “It is a much more efficient use of powers. It reduces usage by as much as 20% because of the lack of spillage,” he says. “We have developed a process that allows manufacturers to avoid handling the superabsorbent polymer and they can concentrate the material, which is very expensive, exactly where they need it.”
Glatfelter purchased the airlaid business from Concert Industries in 2010. The company manufactures thermal bonded airlaid nonwovens on lines in Quebec and Germany. Since acquiring the business, Glatfleter has steadily won marketshare in feminine hygiene core materials and outpaced market growth, in terms of both profits and volumes.
Bourget adds that the use of eCore not only saves on SAP usage, it also streamlines the diaper making process, eliminating excess equipment like hammer mills and SAP dosers and lowers energy costs.
Glatfelter is not alone in its efforts to develop an airlaid core with widespread use in the diaper market. Jessup, GA-based EAM, which is now owned by Domtar, has been marketing a multibonded airlaid core materials for years but those familiar with the industry say much of its output is targeted at sister businesses within the adult incontinence and baby diaper markets and the company is currently operating at sold-out capacity. Meanwhile, McAirlaids’ multibonded airlaid core material—made in Germany and the U.S.—is largely targeted at the food pad market.