Vacuum insulation panels offer the same insulation effect as rock wool with only one tenth the thickness. Such panels are used, for example, in refrigerators and freezers, as well as in building insulation. Transport logistics that demands an uninterrupted cold chain is another promising future market for these speciality fibers.
Fresh from Kelheim’s R&D laboratory comes the new viscose speciality fiber, Danufil QR. It is specifically designed for use in disinfectant wipes. While standard viscose fibers, due to their negative ionic charge, bind up to 80% of “quats” (quarternary ammonium compounds, a common disinfectant) and so hinder their actual purpose, the positively charged Danufil QR fiber can reduce this undesired effect to less than 10%. Softness, excellent fluid management and full biodegradability are the typical properties of viscose fibers – with the use of Danufil QR, disinfectant wipes can now also benefit from these.
Supply chain transparency and protection against forgery is another topic addressed by the viscose fiber experts: A marker fiber enables the – invisible for the human eye, but definite and even customer-specific – coding of products. So, the traceability of a product can be guaranteed, and customers and manufacturers can be protected from possible economic damages by plagiarism.
Alongside these new fibers, Kelheim is showcasing its well-known speciality fibers as well as a range of new development projects.
That, according to Matthew North, commercial director at Kelheim Fibres, demonstrates the optimistic and future-oriented atmosphere at Kelheim: After a fire in their production plant in October 2018, the Bavarian viscose fiber specialists are gradually rebuilding their production capacity.
Currently five lines are working, which is the equivalent of about 50% of Kelheim’s former production capacity. The rebuilding process is expected to be completed by the middle of 2020.
“Until then, we concentrate all available resources on the creation of innovative new fibers and the development of new application areas so that we will restart with new state-of-the-art production lines, combined with more than 80 years of experience in viscose fiber production and numerous fiber innovations,” says North. “'Coming back stronger‘ will be our motto for 2019.”