A comprehensive program of products for the wide range of technologies and applications in the nonwovens sector was presented by polyester fiber specialist Trevira at the Index in Geneva/Switzerland. Besides new sustainable products and customized fresh developments, the focus is on further developing and optimizing existing fiber types servicing this important segment.
Sustainable biobased and biodegradable solutions
A new offering in the portfolio of Trevira GmbH, Bobingen/Germany, are bicomponent fibers based on polylactic acid (PLA) and polybutylene succinate (PBS). Both biopolymers have outstanding properties in terms of environmental care and sustainability whilst rendering the required functions. PLA and PBS are recyclable and up to 100% biodegradable under industrial conditions.
Another approach to more sustainable products is modified virgin and recycled polyester fibers that become biodegradable through an additive solution. The additive is permanently and uniformly embedded in the matrix of the fiber, so it never washes off.
When the fibers go to landfills, they are exposed to moisture, oxygen, and microbes (bacteria). The additive provides little spots within the polymer that the bacteria can attach itself to, and it then starts breaking down the polymer chain. These biodegradable fibers are available as mono and bi-component fibers.
Pre- and post-consumer-recycled fibers
When polyester (PET) fibers are manufactured, the process inevitably results in some residual waste. But this residual waste is actually a precious resource that can be recycled for further use. Trevira’s residual waste is fed back into the production process wherever possible. The agglomeration plant in Bobingen takes a variety of residual waste from the manufacturing sites and transforms it into serviceable raw materials. The agglomeration facility can process both standard fibers and those with special functionalities. The processed recyclates retain the same characteristics as the original products and are equally high-performing. They have been awarded GRS (Global Recycled Standard) certification.
For the recycling of PET bottles, Trevira processes bottle flake regranulate into fibers. The portfolio of fibers from recycled materials contains standard fibers but also fibers with flame retardant or low-pill functionalities.
Optimized fiber types
The comprehensive product range for airlaid applications is being continuously enhanced. This also applies to special fibers for the carding sector and shortcut types for the paper industry, where the focus is on improving dispersion. For this industry, there is a new micro short cut fiber in the portfolio: 0.6 dtex and 5 mm cut.
For both, the PET and the PLA program, the company has also developed modified fibers for the hygiene sector (e.g. for wet wipes), where these stand out due to their particularly soft handle.
Emphasis is also being placed on finishes for fibers that must meet food industry standards, likewise on antimony-free polyester fibers, the aim here being to enhance product safety. Trevira has the ISEGA certificate for specific fiber types in applications with hot water filtration (coffee and tea filters) as well as packaging materials with food contact. As well as the bicomponent portfolio, all standard (virgin) and flame-retardant fibers are antimony-free.
At Index 2023 Trevira will again participate in a joint presentation with sister companies from the parent group Indorama Ventures Public Company Ltd. (IVL), Bangkok/Thailand, as the company did at the last events in 2014 and 2017.