Company Cameo

High-tech Nonwovens For Unusual Applications

December 2, 2005

Fritz Landolt AG was founded in Nafels, Switzerland in 1884 and was originally a producer of ropes.

Fritz Landolt AG
Bahnhofstrasse 35
Nafels, Switzerland
Telephone: 41-55-618-51-00
Fax: 41-55-618-51-01
Web: wwww.landolt.comrn

Since then the company has grown steadily and adapted its spectrum of products to new requirements whenever necessary. Since approximately 1960, its two facilities in Nafels, Switzerland and Cernay, France have been producing top quality nonwovens for a variety of both traditional and unique applications. The company operates five production lines covering both needlepunched and mechanically bonded technologies.

Sales are handled by subsidiaries in France, Austria, Italy and Switzerland and, on a worldwide basis, by Landolt headquarters in Nafels. The group generates 60% of its CHF 44 million in total sales outside of Switzerland and targets markets ranging from civil engineering,building and construction and interior finishing to residental and construction. Landolt employs a total of approximately 150 people and operates its own product development division.

The Landolt Development Team is always looking forward to new technical challenges. One recent example of a unique application is Landolt’s project on the Gurschen Glacier in Andermatt, Switzerland (pictured above). In this case, Landolt’s Ice Protector Optiforce nonwoven served as a glacier cover to prevent a ramp of snow from melting away during the summer months. By applying 3000 square meters of Ice Protector Optiforce at the summit station of the Gemsstock in Andermatt, it was possible to nearly stop the melting of the snow and ice ramp.

Fifteen years ago, the skiers could easily descend the short distance from the top station of the aerial cableway to the slopes, where they started their run down the glacier toward Andermatt. In the meantime, however, the glacier receded by approximately 20 meters and the access to its top end was no longer guaranteed. The effect wasevery autumn, a major personnel and equipment effort was required to build a ramp of snow to bridge the widening gap and the difference in altitude.

Last spring, the ramp of snow and the uppermost part of the glacier were covered by Landolt’s novel type of nonwoven. With the scientific support of glaciologist Andreas Bauder of The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), the project was continuously monitored over a period of several weeks. It was possible to preserve a layer of snow and ice approximately two meters thick, covered by the Ice Protector. The special fastening system proved its worth as well and stood up to wind and weather so the fixation was still perfectly intact at the end of the test period. In mid-September the nonwoven was rolled up and put into storage. Next spring it will be installed again.

The positive international reception of this project has attracted the attention of other mountain cableway operators. Several other tests are underway in Switzerland and Landolt has even received inquiries from overseas. Other promising application possibilities for this nonwoven are now being investigated.

In addition to its glacier protection product, the company’s portfolio of brands also includes Datex geotextiles, Floorliner covering and protective nonwovens, Allstopanti-slip products for carpets and Textomur steep slope systems. The Landolt Development Team is always looking forward to new technical challenges.—E.W.

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