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Nonwovens / Technical Textiles

Fitesa Expands, Offers Biobased Bico Spunbond

Fitesa Simponsville Inc., Simpsonville, S.C., is investing $50 million to expand its facility and create at least 32 jobs. The company will improve the infrastructure of its 190,000-square-foot plant and add equipment to increase production capacity for its spunmelt nonwoven hygiene fabrics, which are used in baby diapers and adult incontinence products.

Fitesa also has partnered with thermoplastic resins producer Braskem S.A., Brazil, and Ingeo® lactides and biopolymers developer NatureWorks LLC, Minnetonka, Minn., to develop and market a 100-percent-biobased bicomponent spunbond nonwoven that can replace petroleum-based bicomponent spunbonds in hygiene and personal care applications.

The material features a sheath made with Braskem's I'm green™ polyethylene (bio-PE) derived from sugarcane-based ethanol, and a core made using NatureWorks' Ingeo polylactide derived from annually renewable resources. According to Fitesa, the bio-PE sheath lends softness to the fabric, and the Ingeo core provides strength and robustness.

November/December 2013