Bast Fibers - An Overachieving Natural Fiber

Developments in Substrate Technologies II - Introducing Polyethylene based Wipes

Wipes is one of the fastest growing market segments for nonwovens. Smithers report in 2019 placed the current market size at 3B lbs with 6.1% CAGR. The wipes market has been sub-segmented into consumer and industrial segments, with majority share (~80%) for consumer segment. The consumer wipes have been further sub-segmented into baby wipes, personal wipes and homecare wipes with almost equal market size. The most widely used polymeric materials in wipes are polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polypropylene (PP), along with an increasing amount of biobased renewable contents such as wood pulp and cellulosic fibers. Traditionally polyethylene (PE) has not been used in wipes. This presentation will focus on the challenges and propose a method to introduce polyethylene based nonwoven substrates for the wipes application and provides a performance comparison with incumbent wipes.
Dow polyethylene resins were used in a melt extrusion process to produce wipe substrates which were subsequently treated using specific surfactants to create wet wipes. The non-woven wipe substrates were tested for key material properties such as tensile and abrasion, and application properties such as liquid and dirt pick-up to compare the performance of the polyethylene wipe substrates to the traditional wipe substrates made from PET, PP and cellulose fibers. The basis weight of PE based wipes was kept at an average basis weight of incumbent wipes. The tensile strength and abrasion/fuzz performance of PE based wipes showed equivalent or better performance than branded products. The PE based wipes also provides value propositions such as soft feel, potentially lower CO2 footprint and option for recyclability. There are added cost benefits from simpler supply chain and reduced amount of raw materials.
The goal of this presentation is to highlight the key performance metrics of polyethylene in wipes with prospective cost savings and sustainability implications.

Developments in Substrate Technologies II - Cellulose Based Wipes: Our Renewable Future

There is a growing demand from consumers and governmental organizations for natural and sustainably sourced single-use wipes. Many of the disposable wipes in the segment today do not meet these demands because they contain plastics that may be harmful to the environment and sewage treatment systems. Because of this, governments are proposing more regulations that are stringent and the industry is moving towards products that are 100% biodegradable and completely dispersible when flushed.
Wood-based cellulose fibers harvested from renewable, sustainably managed forests are an excellent raw material choice for manufacturers of baby and personal care plastic free wipes. 100% native cellulose nonwoven wipes substrate were produced by wetlaid and airlaid process, followed by hydroentanglement bonding technique. This presentation highlights the impact of fiber type on physical properties of 100% cellulosic wipes made under varying hydroentangling conditions. The new physical property data of 100% cellulosic wipes are compared with the physical properties data of some commercial wipes.

Flushable Wipes: Progress & Problems - Battle of Determining “Flushability:” INDA’s GD4 vs IWSFG PAS

What testing protocol to use in determining if a wipe can be marketed as a “Flushable Wipe” has come down to a choice between the INDA/EDANA GD4 testing guidelines, and the Publicly Available Specification (PAS) of the International Waster Safety Flushability Group (IWSFG). While some progress has been made aligning on “Do Not Flush” labeling of non-flushables, a large gap remains between the scientifically-based GD4 tests and pass/fail criteria, and the “Pee, Poop & Paper” ideology of the IWSFG. This talk will delve into the main differences between the two, and expose the dangers of policy makers opting to PAS.

Flushable Wipes: Progress & Problems - U Can't Flush This

After a brief lull in 2018, during 2019 and 2020, our industry has seen a significant uptick in activity of various states considering legislation intended to address wastewater system clogs being caused by the inappropriate flushing of products, including wipes, not designed or intended to be disposed of in the toilet. Currently, several states, including California, Minnesota and New Jersey, are working on bills to address this issue while Washington state is on the verge of adopting joint industry-wastewater legislation that would focus on the “Do Not Flush” labeling of non-flushable wipes after a months long cooperative effort between industry and wastewater groups there. Here INDA’s Director of Government Affairs Jessica Franken, who has been quarterbacking the flushable wipes issue, talk about legislative activity in the various states and what we can expect next.

Developments in Substrate Technologies I - Can 100% Cellulosic Fabrics Be Designed to Meet the Same Performance of Synthetic Fiber Web Blends? An Investigation of Performance of Novel Fiber and Fabric Treatments on 100% Cellulosic Nonwoven Wipe Fabrics

100% cellulosic fiber webs are gaining market interest to replace synthetic fiber webs because of consumer demand for a more natural, biodegradable material and the recent legislation against traditional plastic-containing materials. There is, however, a question of how the different properties of 100% cellulosic fiber webs impact the final product performance versus the synthetic fiber web blends. Fiber finish or post web treatments could potentially change the performance of the cellulosic webs to obtain properties similar to the synthetic fiber web blends, but with an improved environmental profile.
An investigation has been initiated to evaluate a series of finish formulations to provide enhanced cellulosic web performance The evaluations will be completed by comparing the absorbency profiles that are critical to the function of wipes and how they retain and/or release lotion and active ingredients. Testing of the optimum performance web finish treatments on the 100% cellulosic will be completed and compared to the performance of synthetic web blends with respect to the absorbent and release profiles. From this testing, conclusions can then be drawn on the 100% cellulosic web performance with respect to end uses such as: baby, cosmetic, and disinfecting wipes.
In conjunction with this evaluation, work will be completed to characterize the performance of a renewable source finish that is currently under development for nonwoven substrates.

Developments in Substrate Technologies I - Can 100% Cellulosic Fabrics Be Designed to Meet the Same Performance of Synthetic Fiber Web Blends? An Investigation of Performance of Novel Fiber and Fabric Treatments on 100% Cellulosic Nonwoven Wipe Fabrics

100% cellulosic fiber webs are gaining market interest to replace synthetic fiber webs because of consumer demand for a more natural, biodegradable material and the recent legislation against traditional plastic-containing materials. There is, however, a question of how the different properties of 100% cellulosic fiber webs impact the final product performance versus the synthetic fiber web blends. Fiber finish or post web treatments could potentially change the performance of the cellulosic webs to obtain properties similar to the synthetic fiber web blends, but with an improved environmental profile.
An investigation has been initiated to evaluate a series of finish formulations to provide enhanced cellulosic web performance The evaluations will be completed by comparing the absorbency profiles that are critical to the function of wipes and how they retain and/or release lotion and active ingredients. Testing of the optimum performance web finish treatments on the 100% cellulosic will be completed and compared to the performance of synthetic web blends with respect to the absorbent and release profiles. From this testing, conclusions can then be drawn on the 100% cellulosic web performance with respect to end uses such as: baby, cosmetic, and disinfecting wipes.
In conjunction with this evaluation, work will be completed to characterize the performance of a renewable source finish that is currently under development for nonwoven substrates.

Developments in Substrate Technologies I - Hemp Fiber from Front to Back: Wipe the Right Way

Sustainable designs, processes, and supply chains that create ethical and diverse product offerings are now the norm and expectation to meet both consumer and regulatory demands. Hemp fiber integration meets and exceeds these demands but not without some difficulties. We will review the extraordinary technical advantages and sustainable processes inherent to hemp fiber and the unique challenges we face to bring this compostable feedstock to the wipes market.

Developments in Substrate Technologies I - The Shifting Sands on Single Use Plastics – Navigating Regulation, Legislation and Consumer Opinion

The pressure on single-use plastics continues, in the last 12 months more countries and municipalities have banned the sale of certain single-use plastics and there seems to be an endless wave of consumer awareness of plastics in the ocean and marine litter.

This paper will try to provide the latest information on where regulation and legislation activities are today in North America and in other parts of the world. It will also highlight the positioning that key retailers are taking in response to both this & potentially more importantly the opinions of their customers, all from the perspective of the consumer wipes business.

A summary and assessment of the nonwovens industry response to these pressures will be provided along with a roadmap for potential technology solutions and their relative merits.

Academy - Monday