Voith Paper and Trützschler Nonwovens have reached an important milestone in their efforts to create and market a flushable nonwoven substrate. In October, the materials made through their jointly developed production process successfully passed the official INDA and EDANA flushability test and became certified as "flushable."
Voith and Trützschler Nonwovens have been successful in producing wet laid and hydroentangled nonwovens with a high level of wet strength, consisting only of fibers of natural origin that quickly disperse in water and that are 100% biodegradable. The two companies announced earlier this year they had partnered to make spunlaced and wetlaid production lines.
The raw material used in the process is exclusively cellulose. The main component is bleached long fiber pulp as used in paper manufacturing and a small percentage of viscose fibers spun from cellulose ensures the strength of the nonwovens. The newly developed production process uses neither binding agents nor melt fibers. For this reason, the cloths quickly disperse in water, and the fiber material is completely biodegradable. Another advantage of the large quantities of long fiber pulp is that they lower production costs significantly, according to the companies.
From a machinery standpoint, the process relies on Voith's HydroFormer for web formation and the Trützschler Nonwovens’ AquaJet for web bonding.
INDA and EDANA, the nonwovens trade associations in North America and Europe, respectively, have been developing flushabiltiy guidelines for the wipes market for nearly a decade. In August, the associations published the third edition of these guidelines. They specify seven material tests, thus establishing standardized measurement methods, which a product must pass to be awarded the "flushable" certificate.