TPU nonwovens have many talents, although these are not easy to tap into. Now, nonwoven manufacturers can receive help, as Oerlikon Nonwoven has expanded its know-how, providing support in all areas from the selection of the right primary materials and their processing – all the way through to ensuring the colors are right.
Industry, agriculture, textiles, outdoor equipment – the applications for thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer-based (TPU) meltblown nonwovens are extremely diverse. This is due to the fact that each of the numerous TPU elastomer types have very specific properties in terms of stretch, tenacity, wear abrasion resistance and hardness as well as varying resistances to oils, lubricants, oxygen and ozone.
For this reason, items manufactured from TPU meltblown nonwovens can be used for the most diverse applications – such as toothed belts and tool handles for industry, ear tags for cattle, foldable kayaks and breathable, coated textiles, soccer boot soles and ski boots and equipment for outdoor enthusiasts and sportspeople. However, as different as the applications for TPU nonwovens are, so too are the requirements for processing thermoplastic polyurethane elastomers when manufacturing the nonwovens. Meltblown nonwovens manufacturers therefore frequently specialize in manufacturing one or just a few TPU types.
If the product portfolio needs to be expanded and another TPU type processed, nonwoven manufacturers have to invest a lot of time and effort into process optimization. The challenges here include the extreme temperature sensitivity of the TPU raw material, for example. As a result, the temperatures in the system have to be set precisely when switching production from one TPU type to another.
In comprehensive research work, Oerlikon Nonwoven has acquired expertise covering the properties and processing of the various TPU types. “We can supply in-depth consultation services if nonwoven manufacturers wish to switch to a different type of nonwoven or would like to produce an appropriate TPU type with special properties,” said Oerlikon Nonwoven technology manager Michael Latinski. Furthermore, Oerlikon Nonwoven is capable of taking on the time-consuming development work on behalf of nonwoven manufacturers.
Oerlikon Nonwoven not only knows which TPU type is best suited to which application, but thanks to the collaboration with a masterbatch manufacturer, Oerlikon can also provide recommendations on how TPU nonwovens can be accurately dyed in accordance with the RAL color chart.
For more information, visit oerlikon.com/manmade-fibers.
This content is sponsored by Oerlikon Nonwoven.