The Lenzing Group has successfully pioneered a new technology platform, Lenzing Web Technology, with a focus on sustainable nonwoven products that will open up new market opportunities for the industry. Following an investment of €26 million and several years of research and development, Lenzing completed the commissioning phase for a one-meter wide pilot facility located at its headquarters in Lenzing, Austria.
Currently, most of the nonwoven products are made with plastic materials like polyester or polypropylene, which take hundreds of years to decompose. Coupled with inadequate disposal techniques, the nonwoven industry is a leading contributor to landfill issues globally. With the Lenzing Web Technology, absorbent nonwoven fabrics with botanic origin will be manufactured using environmentally responsible production process. The nonwoven fabrics produced in 15-gsm basis weights with a wide range of surface textures and drapeability properties will also be certified biodegradable, clean and safe.
“While the nonwoven segment currently represents 30% of our core business, we are committed to driving stronger growth through more active involvement in innovations across the value chain," says Stefan Doboczky, CEO and chairman of the Lenzing Group management board. "Lenzing Web Technology is a key milestone that embodies our focus on specialty products under our corporate strategy sCore TEN. We will continue to lead the innovation of sustainable specialty products and empower industry partners and customers with more sustainable offerings to drive business success.”
The new Lenzing Web Technology is a nonwoven web formation process that starts with botanic wood pulp and produces a nonwoven fabric made of 100% continuous Lyocell filament. This web can be integrated with standard non-thermal based nonwoven bonding technologies, such as hydroentangling and needlepunching. In addition, the patented technology enables a unique self-bonding mechanism where filaments bond into a fabric during the laydown process. This self-bonding mechanism enables a product range with a much wider variety of surface textures, drapeability and dimensional stability than other nonwoven technologies utilizing 100% cellulosic fibers.
“The Lenzing Web Technology is a perfect example of Lenzing’s testament for strategic growth and its commitment to developing new break through innovations, by providing more sustainable products to consumers," says Robert van de Kerkhof, CCO. "We will continue our quest to address consumers’ changing awareness about single-use products, and proactively take part in our customers’ journey to success through technology innovation and sustainable cellulosic products."
Lenzing Web Technology will serve as a platform technology for a wide range of future products for the nonwoven industry. The flexibility of the technology and the possible integration with other nonwoven and textile technologies will enable the development of a wide range of composite structures for highly engineered end use applications.