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Nonwovens / Technical Textiles

NatureWorks Offers Two High-Performance Ingeo™ Grades For Fibers, Nonwovens

Minnetonka, Minn.-based NatureWorks LLC has begun commercial production of two high-performance Ingeo™ biopolymer grades that it reports are suitable for a range of processes used in the production of fibers and nonwoven fabrics. According to the company, the new grades offer lower shrinkage, faster crystallization and higher melting points than any other Ingeo fiber-grade resins currently available.

Ingeo 6100D is a mid-viscosity grade suitable for spunbond nonwoven as well as conventional staple fiber and filament melt spinning applications. When compared to grade 6202D, which is often used for those applications, 6100D exhibits a melting point that is  8°C higher; a melting shoulder that is 15°C higher; approximately 20-percent increased fiber crystallinity; three to four times the rate of quiescent crystallization; and reduced stress requirements for stress-induced crystallization. In addition, the fibers, which range from 15 to 35 microns in diameter, exhibit a high strength-to-weight ratio. Suitable fabric applications include automotive, geotextile, hygiene and medical.

Ingeo 6260D is a low-viscosity grade used to make fibers that typically range from 2 to 7 microns in diameter, and which are suitable for meltblown nonwoven applications such as filtration and hygiene. The fabrics produced exhibit 80-percent lower shrinkage than conventional nonwoven fabrics used for those applications.

Ingeo™ is shown being processed on Biax-Fiberfilm equipment to make meltblown nonwovens. Photograph courtesy of Biax-Fiberfilm

NatureWorks reports that fibers made using the two new grades enable improved fabric dimensional stability owing to the reduced shrinkage. Other advantages include increased hydrolysis resistance and approximately 30-percent higher modulus at temperatures higher than the grades' glass transition temperatures. Their higher melting point makes them suitable for bicomponent applications in which they can be combined with Ingeo low-melting-point resins.

"These grades are the result of intensive research and development and significant long-term investments in state-of-the-art production processes," said Robert Green, fibers and nonwovens industry global segment manager, NatureWorks. "These new grades are the first of a number of next generation solutions."

October 8, 2013