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PLA nonwovens for the hygiene industry

Company’s new portfolio based on 100% renewable and industrially compostable materials.

13th November 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Prague, Czech Republic


PFNonwovens, headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic, has developed a portfolio of sustainable resins for spunmelt nonwovens production on the latest Reifenhäuser Reicofil 5 technology.

It includes a number of breakthrough materials made entirely from NatureWorks Ingeo polylactic acid (PLA), setting new standards in eco-friendly products.

In an era where environmental concerns have reached critical levels, the textiles and nonwovens industries face intense pressure to bring more sustainable options to the market. The production of traditional nonwovens typically uses petroleum-based polymer resins. These resins have significant greenhouse gas emission footprints and constitute most of the footprint of the spunmelt nonwovens produced globally.

 As a result, the industry has been actively seeking greener alternatives to reduce its environmental impact.

The new 100% PLA materials set new standards for eco-friendly spunmelt nonwovens, while delivering the performance and quality levels expected in applications such as advanced hygiene and medical products.

The company recognises the industry’s quest for softness without compromising performance, while improving the sustainability profile of the materials. The biodegradable nonwovens are said to be characterised by unparalleled softness while being industrially compostable, and include both spunbond and SMS structures.

Developing products that met the goal was a challenge and was enabled by the state-of-the-art Reicofil 5 technology.

“Developing 100% PLA spunmelt nonwovens that meet the industry expectations posed substantial challenges,” said Simon Frisk, global R&D director at PFN. “PLA differs greatly from the usual polypropylene and polyethylene resins in both processing and properties. Overcoming these obstacles required intensive in-house and collaborative development work. The Reicofil 5 technology played a pivotal role, ensuring top-notch quality, consistency and performance in the final products.”

“Reicofil is proud to have been part of such a successful development with PFN, and thank them for the continuous trust in our R&D capabilities and technology,” added Markus Müller, sales director at Reifenhäuser. “We look forward to the commercial success of these new and indfustrially compostable nonwoven products.”


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