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5th December 2013, Egelsbach

Flushable wipes awarded quality certificate

A nonwovens fabric jointly developed by Voith Paper and Truetzschler Nonwovens, has successfully passed the official INDA and EDANA test, becoming certified as ‘flushable’.

Voith and Truetzschler Nonwovens have been successful in producing wet laid and hydroentangled nonwovens with a high level of wet strength, consisting only of fibres of natural origin that quickly disperse in water, and that are 100% biodegradable.

Flushable wipes

Flushable wipes are moist wipes that can be disposed of down the toilet, for instance baby cleaning wipes, or cleansing tissues.

The product certified by INDA/EDANA at the beginning, as well as after 12, 30 and 50 cycles in the tube tester. © Truetzschler Nonwovens

For the producers, this has been a small but economically interesting market segment up to now, with high demands on the product. On the one hand, the cloths must be strong enough for cleaning, on the other hand, they must not pollute the sewage system or the environment after disposal.

The certificate is an example of the efficiency of the newly developed production process, whose core components are the Voith’s HydroFormer for web formation, and the Truetzschler Nonwovens’ AquaJet for web bonding.

Production process

The raw material used in the production process is exclusively cellulose, the main component is bleached long fibre pulp as used in paper manufacturing. A small percentage of viscose fibres spun from cellulose is said to ensure the strength of the nonwovens.

The newly developed production process uses neither binding agents nor melt fibres. For this reason, the cloths are said to quickly disperse in water. Another advantage of the large quantities of long fibre pulp is that they lower production costs significantly, manufacturers report.

INDA and EDANA guidelines

In August, the American and European Nonwovens Associations INDA und EDANA published the third edition of the flushability guidelines.

The ‘Guidelines for Assessing the Flushability of Disposable Nonwoven Products’ have been developed in cooperation with waste water authorities and the nonwovens industry. They specify seven material tests, thus establishing standardised measurement methods.

To be awarded the ‘flushable’ certificate, a product must pass all the tests. The tests include such properties as flushability and dispersement of the nonwoven product into single fibres, as well as degradation by means of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. Just one negative test result makes the ‘Do not Flush’ marking mandatory.  

www.truetzschler.de

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