Textile Technology section
Herbold Meckesheim: boom in the recycling industry
The supplier of waste disposal and recycling technology Herbold Meckesheim GmbH, Meckesheim/Germany, is receiving extensive incoming orders for 2020 and 2021.
For Germany and France, this increased demand is based on the programs and subsidies of the EU as well as on regional decisions to catch up on obvious backlogs in plastics recycling. Even countries that have exported their waste so far are now converting. This also includes Germany, aside from Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. In addition, a self-sustaining recycling industry has emerged in the USA, Canada and Mexico. In China and Russia, on the other hand, the development of a modern waste management system has begun as well.
Waste and recycling technology is also benefiting from long-term technological trends: Herbold Meckesheim contributes to the development of larger chemical recycling plants in North America and Europe with process solutions that treat waste streams cost-effectively, with consistent quality and at high performance. For the production of higher quality equal to virgin recycled plastic, the company offers optimized washing processes that enable high percentages of recycled plastics to be used in new products. Compared to previous processes, odor reduction and low optical defects caused by foreign color or residual contamination have been achieved. In the recycling of PET and polyolefin bottles, it has again been possible to develop energy-efficient shredding and washing systems that produce high quality at low operating costs.
Oerlikon: new thrust pad contacting device for the Baltic crimper
Technological changes have been made to the Baltic crimper thrust pad contacting device from Oerlikon Neumag, a brand of the Manmade Fibers segment of Oerlikon Management AG, Pfäffikon/Switzerland, have resulted in considerably reduced friction in the crimper rolls. This means less wear and fewer metal particles contaminating the crimped staple fibers.
Thrust pads close the gap between the crimper rolls on either side. Normally, these thrust pads are continually pressed – under high pressure – against the sides of the crimper rolls. Wear and metal debris on the thrust pads is the result of this constant contact. The metal debris can contaminate the fibers, something that is particularly undesirable in hygiene applications.
With the new system, the thrust pads are pressed against the rolls with less pressure and then fixed into place. This prevents fibers from being caught and the frictional force between the pressure disk thrust pad and the crimper roll is minimized. Pilot applications have demonstrated that metal debris from the pressure disks thrust pads is dramatically reduced, making them between 3-7 times more durable.
Reifenhäuser: meltblown test lines converted for up to 1 million face masks daily
The machinery and components manufacturer Reifenhäuser Reicofil GmbH & Co. KG, Troisdorf/Germany, has temporarily converted 2 of its test plants due to the corona pandemic. The lines installed in the nonwovens technology center, which are otherwise exclusively used for research and development as well as customer trials, have been producing meltblown material for the production of face masks for one week. This is the company’s response to the current emergency in the supply of medical protective material.
Until further notice, the meltblown lines will be operated in 4-shift operation 24/7. The daily output is sufficient for up to 1 million face masks. Trial operations will be almost completely suspended during this period.
The meltblown material from the nonwovens technology center is already sold out for the next 5 weeks. As no German or European producer for further processing could be found so far, the nonwovens fabric is going to a Vietnamese manufacturer of face masks. However, Reifenhäuser continues to look for opportunities to strengthen the local supply during this crisis. The company is in close contact with associations, authorities and other companies.
Lenzing: suspension of 2020 guidance due to COVID-19 crisis
As a result of the global corona crisis, the producer of cellulosic fibers, Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, expects, based on recent developments, a negative impact on its textile sales volume. The potential impact cannot yet be reliably estimated, as it strongly depends on the duration of the crisis as well as its further effects on the global economy and textile markets. Consequently, Lenzing suspends its result forecast for 2020 as disclosed on March 12, 2020, when it expected the result for 2020 to be below the level of 2019. In order to mitigate a potentially stronger than expected decline in earnings, Lenzing has already started to implement cost saving measures across its sites globally.
Texas Tech: decontamination wipe could help corona virus cleanup efforts
A decontamination wipe from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX/USA, to clean up toxic agents also could clean up bodily fluids contaminated with the corona virus. FiberTect is a 3-layer, nonwoven wipe that features an activated carbon core sandwiched between absorbent top and bottom layers.
The wipe's structure is effective in containing bodily fluids – like saliva and mucus – through which viruses could be transmitted. Its activated carbon also can absorb particles transmitted in vapor phase through the air. It is widely used as the primary dry decontamination method in hospitals and ambulances in the USA. Hospitals use it in bulk and in rolls, and ambulances use it in a kit called the FastGrab to do immediate decontamination of patients contaminated with a wide variety of substances.
As a wipe or mitt, FiberTect holds great potential for cleaning in settings where transmission of the corona virus is a main concern. Highly porous carbon in the structure can trap the vapors and aerosols in which microbes are contained. The wipe structure is flexible and can take the shape of the objects to be cleaned. The 3-ply structure without glue helps this effective cleaning.
FiberTect has previously been used successfully by the US military to decontaminate both personnel and equipment, for oil spill cleanup during the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and by emergency response teams across the USA in dealing with highly dangerous chemical substances, including Fentanyl.
Domo: new plant in Zhejiang
The integrated supplier of polyamides Domo Chemicals NV, Gent/Belgium, has announced plans for a new state-of-the-art plant in Zhejiang/China.
The modern factory will integrate R&D, production, and sales. It will mainly develop and produce modified engineering plastics such as polyamide (PA) 6 and PA66 as well as high temperature polyamide (HTN).
In this, Domo is meeting the rising demand for modified materials for the automotive, electronics and consumer industries. The company plans to install multiple production lines at the new plant, starting with an estimated capacity of 25,000 tons/year of sustainable engineered PA compounds and leading up to a production of 50,000 tons/year. Furthermore, Domo will be investing in new air and water treatment technologies, and in the reduction of water and energy consumption.
Production is expected to commence in the 4th quarter of 2020.
DSM: new partnership enables the production of bio-based Dyneema
With the intention to reduce the environmental footprint of DSM Dyneema’s high performance fibers, the global life sciences and materials sciences company Royal DSM NV, Heerlen/Netherlands, has announced a partnership with the chemical company Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), Riyadh/Saudi Arabia.
Using the bio-based feedstock from the residue of the pulping process by the manufacturer of advanced biofuels UPM Biofuels, Helsinki/Finland, SABIC produces a renewable ethylene under their umbrella of solutions named Trucircle. This includes certified renewable products, specifically resins and chemicals from bio-based feedstock that are not in competition with the food chain and help to reduce carbon emissions. By applying a mass balancing approach, DSM is then able to create bio-based Dyneema fiber that delivers consistent durability and performance with a reduced environmental impact.
This new partnership is in line with DSM’s commitment to realize a more sustainable value chain.
Lenzing: new Vice President Capital Markets
Effective March 1, 2020 Stephan Trubrich assumed the new role as Vice President Capital Markets of the producer of cellulosic fibers Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria. In his capacity, Trubrich will oversee the Lenzing Group’s capital markets activities, including Investor Relations and ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) Reporting. He will report directly to Stefan Doboczky, Chief Executive Officer of the Lenzing Group.
Trubrich has more than 9 years of experience in the field of equity research with Kepler Cheuvreux, Paris/France, UniCredit SpA, Milan/Italy, and Deutsche Bank AG, Frankfurt/Germany.
Stephanie Kniep, Head of Investor Relations, will leave Lenzing, effective April 30, 2020.
Advansa: acquisition completed
The acquisition of the manufacturer of polyester fibers Advansa GmbH, Hamm/Germany, has been legally completed by Sverige Netherlands B.V., Hoofddorp/Netherlands, – an investment holding company which is affiliated with the major shareholders of PT Asia Pacific Fibers Tbk. (APF), Jakarta/Indonesia.
For Advansa, this sale signifies a long term and enduring continuation of the polyester production. The closing is related to the relevant companies of the Advansa Group (Advansa Marketing GmbH, Advansa IT Service GmbH, Advansa Logistik und Dienstleistungsgesellschaft mbH, Advansa BV and Bergers Technik und Maschinenbau GmbH), as well as the start of business operations of the new production company Advansa Manufacturing GmbH.
It also marks the beginning of the cooperation between Advansa and APF, with the advantages of being a leading integrated global polyester company.
The former Advansa GmbH will remain as a liquidation company under the responsibility of the insolvency administrator Achim Thiele of Husemann Eickhoff Salmen & Partner, Dortmund/Germany.
nova-Institut: 1st International Conference on Cellulose Fibers
With 210 participants and 15 exhibitors from 26 different countries, the 1st conference on cellulose fibers organized by the nova-Institut, Hürth/Germany on February 11/12, 2020 in Cologne/Germany, was a great success. The focus of the conference was on markets, technologies and sustainability – and especially alternative cellulose feedstocks.
Cellulose fibers are the fastest growing fiber group in the textile industry and also the largest investment sector in the bio-based economy worldwide. The entire cellulosic segment, including viscose staple fibers and filaments as well as acetate tow, accounts for about 6 % of the world fiber market. This segment has continuously gained weight thanks to dynamic growth rates of viscose and lyocell fibers.