The market availability of this new technology is particularly timely, given the industry’s current preoccupation with the development of new substrates based on biopolymers, sustainable resins or recycled fibers.
FET has already supplied one of these new spunbond lines to the University of Leeds, and second, in combination with a metlblown line, to the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg/Germany.
The new spunbond technology is unique in providing the ability to process a wide range of polymers, including those normally not considered appropriate for the spunbond process, at the scale required to fully explore material combinations and bring new products to market. The company has built on its melt spinning expertise to develop a true laboratory scale spunbond system.
According to the University of Leeds, the new spunbond line from FET forms part of a wider investment in facilities to support fundamental, academic research on future manufacturing, where the focus is on studying the small-scale processing of unconventional polymers and additive mixes to form spunbond fabrics with multifunctional properties. Key to this research is developing the underlying process-structure-performance relationships, based on the measured data, to provide a detailed understanding of how final fabric performance can be controlled during processing. By leveraging mono, core-sheath and island-in-the-sea bicomponent technology, the Leeds team is working with polymer and biomaterial research scientists, engineers and clinicians to explore the incorporation of unusual materials in spunbond fabrics, potentially widening applications.