In June, The Nonwovens Network will hold its annual seminar which will explore some of the many routes that are being taken by manufacturers to exploit existing and new markets. SAF™ (Super Absorbent Fibre) manufacturer Technical Absorbents is an example of one such company, and during the event will take to the floor to discuss how it has taken its core technology and created a washable fabric for use in high performance applications.
Superabsorbents are infamous for their use within disposable applications. However, as a result of market demand, Technical Absorbents has developed a fabric with clever SAF™ containment and given it a durable edge.
James Docherty will discuss the drivers for this development, the challenges met along the way, and how this technology can be integrated within products that require high levels of absorbency, coupled with the additional benefit of being washable. Application areas explored will include hygiene, medical, filtration and apparel.
“This particular SAF™-containing absorbent nonwoven is sandwiched between two other fabric layers to provide a three-layer absorption fabric, which is capable of being laundered multiple times,” explains Commercial Director Paul Rushton. “While the outer layers are required to allow the fabric to be laundered, these layers can be tailored as required to suit garment design and functional requirement. For example, one layer can be water-proof and the other layer water permeable.
“The final three-layer fabrics can be converted into many forms. These can be: as a washable, highly absorbent insert into incontinence products; as a water store for evaporative cooling apparel; an absorbent, re-usable soaker mat; or many other uses where durability and high absorption are required.
“The use of SAF™ within the fabric allows for very high absorption and retention capabilities, which still maintaining a low weight and thickness. The construction of the final fabrics allows the materials to be washed multiple times, with minimal loss in absorption and retention. Studies have shown around a 20% loss in capacity after 40 wash cycles.”
Technical Absorbents Ltd manufacture a wide range of super absorbent fibres that can be incorporated into high performance nonwovens to offer advanced features and functionality. This is just one of its latest innovations