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Techtextil: Freudenberg’s multi market nonwovens solutions

Freudenberg Nonwovens presented new product solutions from six market segments at last week’s Techtextil - Apparel and Footwear, Building Interiors, Automotive Interiors, Energy, Medical and Specialities. At an international press conference which took place on the first day of the Frankfurt trade fair Bruce Olson, CEO of the Freudenberg Nonwovens Business Group, outlined the new strategic orientation of the company.

21st June 2013

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Frankfurt

Sports/​Outdoor, Medical/Hygiene, Transport/​Aerospace, Clothing/​Footwear, Industrial, Interiors, Packaging, Agriculture, Civil Engineering, Construction, Sustainable

Freudenberg Nonwovens presented new product solutions from six market segments at last week’s Techtextil - Apparel and Footwear, Building Interiors, Automotive Interiors, Energy, Medical and Specialities. At an international press conference which took place on the first day of the Frankfurt trade fair Bruce Olson, CEO of the Freudenberg Nonwovens Business Group, outlined the new strategic orientation of the company.

Freudenberg Nonwovens CEO Bruce Oslon

In keeping with its motto “The Solution Engineers – Wherever you are”, the company presented its broad spectrum of product innovations in all market segments, from the latest generation of Viledon battery separators and the steady stream of new applications for Evolon microfilament technology to the new Vildona Airliner 2.0 in the footwear industry.

Click the image below to view Bruce Olson's presentation...

What drives Freudenberg Nonwovens?

Viledon

Megatrends such as urbanization and energy storage are said to motivate and drive developers at Freudenberg Nonwovens. As an example of how that translates into products, Dr. Christoph Weber, Head of Separator R&D Department at Freudenberg Nonwovens, presented the company’s latest solutions for high-performance batteries in the shape of the most recent development in separators for Lithium-ion batteries.

Freudenberg‘s novel separator technology Viledon is created by applying a paste to an ultra thin wetlaid PET nonwoven by a high speed coating process which is then slit to the required width. The result is a highly flexible, porous ceramic/polyester compound sheet structure with a thickness of 22 - 30 μm, in the weight range 22 – 35 g/m² with a porosity of 50 – 55%.

Christoph Weber

“This is an ultrathin nonwoven with a special surface coating which outperforms conventional separator materials especially in terms of thermal and mechanical stability. These Vildeon separators provide the needed improvements in battery technology that play a key role in the safety, reliability and service life of large Lithium-ion batteries for emerging mobile and stationary applications.”

Viledon battery Seperator

Dr Weber pointed out that the long term trend is the need for bigger, better and more batteries and that large format Li batteries are required, which must become more reliable and safer. He concluded that Freudenberg Nonwovens offers a novel separator design with unique safety features which is beginning to enter the market.

Evolon

12 years after Evolon microfilament technology was launched, Freudenberg Nonwovens is investing around €5 million in expanding production capacity at its plant in Colmar, France. From the end of October this year, production will be raised to 3000 tonnes per annum.

Jean-François Kerhault, Business Section Manager Evolon, presented the numerous applications and versatile properties of Evolon at the press conference. According to Mr Kerhault, Evolon is a revolutionary chemical free fabric for anti allergy bedding and the most breathable and comfortable fabric complying with the toughest requirements. It is a physical barrier to allergens thanks to its high density microfilament layer and is safe due to the fact that it requires no coating or chemical post treatments.

Evolon’s microfilament structure is also said to provide outstanding cleaning and lint free properties which make it a perfect cloth for high-tech wiping.

Freudenberg Nonwovens booth at Techtextil

According to Freudenberg, the scratch free characteristics of the Evolon fabric also offer the best surface protection for the transport of sensitive parts such as those used in the automotive or electronics industry.

The latest applications relate to LCD wet wipes, sports and bath towels or eco-friendly printing media - banners at Freudenberg’s exhibition booth provided a good demonstration of Evolon’s performance as a printing substrate.

Evolon’s features can be enhanced by all traditional textile finishing processes such as dyeing, printing, calendering, embossing, coating, laminating, impregnating, brushing and grinding. It can also be cut or welded ultrasonically.

The latest applications relate to LCD wet wipes, sports and bath towels or eco-friendly printing media

Airliner 2.0

Freudenberg says that with 300 times more breathability than conventional membranes, its Vildona Airliner 2.0 has exceeded all expectations as a shoe insole. The technology is based on a substrate, in this case a spunlace nonwoven, in which a superabsorbent polymer is anchored using a chemical reaction.

Freudenberg’s original Airliner 1.0 product was a superabsorbent polymer, (SAP), sandwiched between two layers of spunlaced nonwoven, laminated to a binder free insole, (BFI), in shoe applications. Its advantage was better breathability compared with membranes and its prime application was in  waterproof and air circulation elements for shoe insoles.

Simon Browne of Freudenberg Nonwovens

Airliner 2.0, on the other hand is comprised of one layer of spunlaced nonwoven incorporating SAP anchored by a revolutionary chemical reaction. Lighter and potentially softer in handle than Airliner 1.0, Airliner 2.0 is said to have greater potential for waterproof upper lining/insock shoe applications, offering “breathability miles ahead of even the best membranes”. Freudenberg aims to broaden its customer base with premium functional brands in leisure, sports and trekking shoes with Airliner 2.0 and advance the breathable summer shoe concept.

And that is just the beginning, the company says: “Other major brands are also extremely interested in this revolutionary shoe technology,” Simon Browne, who is responsible for the shoe business in Europe, commented.

At the same time as Techtextil was taking place, an agreement to cooperate with a leading Turkish brand Greyder, as an addition to the existing technology partnership with the Deichmann Group, was also concluded.

Dialogue with customers

Freudenberg Nonwovens says it gives priority to a dialogue with customers and this was confirmed by excellent attendance at the company’s Techtextil exhibition booth. “An intensive dialogue with customers from all world market regions is the key to our success. This comprehensive exchange generates a succession of new solutions,” Bruce Olson, CEO Freudenberg Nonwovens, concluded.

Freudenberg Nonwovens at Techtextil

Freudenberg Nonwovens is the world's largest producer of nonwovens, with 21 manufacturing and processing sites in 13 countries. The company manufactures interlinings for the apparel industry and develops nonwovens for energy, automotive interiors, hygiene, medical, building interiors, geotextiles and specialty markets. In the 2012 financial year, the company employed 3,000 people and generated sales of €650 million.

www.freudenberg-nw.com

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