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High-Loft, Ultra-Soft Nonwovens Said to Unlock New Business Opportunities

New nonwoven materials developed by ExxonMobil in collaboration with Reifenhäuser Reicofil reportedly achieve new benchmarks in lofty thickness, cotton-like softness, and silky feel. 

New nonwoven materials developed by ExxonMobil in collaboration with Reifenhäuser Reicofil reportedly achieve new benchmarks in lofty thickness and cotton-like softness. The low-lint material, which can also be formulated to have a silky smooth, feel is suited for use in premium diapers, pant-type diapers, and feminine care and adult incontinence products.

A blend of ExxonMobil’s PP3155E5 and PP3684HL and Vistamaxx 7050BF performance polymer, the solution is easily processed using bi-component (BiCo) spunbond technology from Reifenhäuser Reicofil, an acknowledged market leader in complete nonwoven, melt-blown, and composite production lines, said ExxonMobil in a news release. By adjusting the formulation, nonwovens can be tailored to meet the needs of different hygiene product components such as the bellyband, back sheet, and top sheet used in baby diapers, feminine care, and adult incontinence products.

Offering the thickness required for cushiony softness, the nonwoven fabric provides good drapability, uniformity for consistent products, and low lint for surface stability, said ExxonMobil. The formulation can be adjusted to produce nonwovens with cotton- or silk-like feels to suit various applications. The spunbond fabrics can be manufactured up to 15% thicker for enhanced protection compared with other BiCo spunbond high-loft solutions. Plus, 80% of the thickness is maintained after being placed under load for an extended period.

“Collaboration can deliver true innovation, as this cutting-edge, high-loft solution proves,” said Tristan Kretschmann, R&D Manager, Reifenhäuser Reicofil. “Delivering enhanced performance, this solution is an ideal and cost-efficient replacement for carded fabrics that will enable brand owners and converters to create innovative solutions to meet different application needs.”

Olivier Lorge, Global Market Manager, Polypropylene, Vistamaxx and Adhesions Business, ExxonMobil, added that by addressing the hygiene market’s desire for innovative, differentiated soft nonwovens, ExxonMobil has unlocked “business opportunities for [its] customers across the value chain.”

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