The fiber-product converting company Teijin Frontier Co., Ltd., Tokyo/Japan, claims to have developed the first nanofiber to be made from recycled polyester raw materials. With this new technology a new version of its Nanofront ultra-fine polyester can be produced.
Teijin Frontier expects filaments and textiles made with this new version of Nanofront made from recycled polyester materials to replace conventional Nanofront made from petroleum-derived raw materials in a wide range of fields, including sportswear, functional clothing, industrial uniforms and more. These rPET nanofibers offers the same functions as conventional Nanofront.
In recent years, the demand for Nanofront has expanded in a wide range of fields due to growing needs for materials offering high functionality, such as absorbency and grip, and very good comfort including soft texture and low skin irritation. Meanwhile, the demand for recycling raw materials is rapidly increasing, but it has been difficult to mass produce ultra-fine fibers made from recycled polyester due to needs for high-level polymer control and spinning.
Teijin Frontier has now developed new polymer-control and spinning techniques for Nanofront made from recycled polyester materials. The key was the company’s proprietary “sea-island” composite-fiber processing technology, which distributes 2 types of polymers into the fiber’s "sea" and "island" parts, then dissolves and removes the "sea" part using an alkaline, etc. treatment, and finally extracts only the "island" part as raw yarn.