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Teijin claims recycled nanofibre first

Company believes the technology will enable it to produce all of its polyester fibre products with recycled raw materials in the future.

13th April 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Tokyo

Protective, Sports/​Outdoor

Tokyo-headquartered Teijin Frontier has developed technology to mass produce a new version of its Nanofront ultra-fine polyester, which it believes is the world’s first nanofibre to be made from recycled polyester raw materials.

Key to the development are new polymer-control and spinning techniques for the company’s proprietary ‘sea-island’ composite-fibre processing technology, which distributes two types of polymers into the fibre’s sea and island parts, then dissolves and removes the sea part using an alkaline treatment, finally extracting only the island part as raw yarn.

Teijin Frontier believes this technology will enable it to produce all of its polyester fibre products with recycled raw materials in the future, including sportswear, functional clothing, industrial uniforms and more.

It is forecasting sales from the development of 300 million yen in 2021 and 800 million yen in 2025.

In recent years, the demand for Nanofront has expanded in a wide range of fields due to growing needs for materials offering high functionality, such as absorbency and grip, and excellent comfort, including soft texture and low skin irritation.

Meanwhile, the demand for recycling raw materials is rapidly increasing, but it has been difficult to mass produce ultra-fine fibres made from recycled polyester due to the need for high-level polymer control and spinning.

The new fibre can create highly absorbent structures since its capillarity enhances water absorption and diffusion. Its grip properties result from nano-sized irregularities on the fibre surface which creates friction. In filter materials, its fine pores and high void structure also improve collectability and in precision structures it can enhance impermeability and heat shielding.

Teijin Frontier stresses that while made from recycled polyester raw materials, the fibre maintains all conventional quality and functionality.

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