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NatureWorks Unveils Two Ingeo™ Bioresins For Meltblown Nonwovens

NatureWorks LLC, the Minnetonka, Minn.-based manufacturer of biopolymers derived from plant sugars and offered under the Ingeo™ brand, now offers two grades of Ingeo bioresins for use in meltblown nonwovens applications including filters and wipes. With the addition of the new grades to the Ingeo product range for nonwovens applications, a comprehensive range of Ingeo fabrics can be produced using all primary nonwoven fabric-forming processes, according to the company.

Tests conducted at Greenville, Wis.-based meltblown machinery manufacturer Biax-FiberFilm Corp. have shown the two new grades, 6252D and higher-viscosity grade 6201D, are suitable for a variety of applications. The company reports its meltblowing lines feature a unique high-pressure die design that enables processing of higher-viscosity grades and production of fabrics exhibiting greater strength than can be achieved using conventional meltblowing machinery.

"Our development of an Ingeo meltblown substrate significantly broadens the variety of applications in which this material can be used," said Doug Brown, president, Biax-FiberFilm. "An Ingeo meltblown nonwoven offers an estimated 30 to 50 percent cost savings over conventional fiber-based nonwoven roll goods and a significant advantage in price stability compared to petroleum-based products." He added that Ingeo meltblown fiber can be mixed with wood pulp or viscose to provide significantly increased absorption properties for applications such as performance wipes.

In addition, Ingeo's suitability for use in nonwoven substrates produced on conventional meltblowing equipment has been evaluated by researchers at the University of Tennessee Nonwovens Research Lab, Knoxville, Tenn.

"As interest grows in polymers made from renewable resources, equipment manufacturers, process developers and researchers have been exploring solutions that offer meltblown nonwoven fabrics that both perform well and achieve a lower carbon footprint than the existing petroleum-based incumbents," said Robert Green, director of fibers and nonwovens, NatureWorks.

According to NatureWorks, production of Ingeo produces significantly fewer carbon dioxide emissions and requires significantly less energy usage than production of polypropylene or polyethylene terephthalate.

September 22, 2009

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