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SITTARD - Sabic has developed a new, ultra-high, melt flow polypropylene for lightweight breathable nonwoven fabrics for personal hygiene applications.

The Dutch firm unveiledl the new resin, engineered to deliver enhanced properties in melt-blown fibres for nonwoven fabrics, at this week's RISI Asia Pacific Hygiene Products Symposium.

The new product, designated Sabic PP 514M12, can serve a wide range of potential end-uses in personal hygiene applications and other market segments. It is the first grade of a new family of high-flow resin compounds which Sabic started to develop two years ago, and is expected to be commercially available by end of 2018.

According to Sabic, the current hygiene market challenges and the high level of consumer needs have pushed the partners along the entire hygiene value chain to accelerate their development programs and deploy highly innovative solutions.

Sabic PP 514M12 material is based on phthalate-free and odour-free technology that offers very good processability for melt-blown fibres with high levels of drawability, spinnability and uniformity. The resulting nonwovens are developed to combine high barrier properties and absorption with breathability in thin and lightweight high-performance webs of enhanced conformability and reduced material consumption.

With a final melt flow rate of >1,000 g/10 min, melt-blown fibres made from Sabic 514M12 polymers are said to open unique potential manufacturing possibilities for very lightweight and thin nonwovens aiming to provide improved wearability and air permeability. The potential improved absorption and barrier performance of fabrics based on the new polymer has also been underscored in hydrostatic head tests, a frequent requirement for specific configurations of spun-bond/melt-blown/spun-bond (SMS) nonwovens for hygiene applications.

"The personal hygiene industry is constantly seeking advanced material solutions helping manufacturers to push the limits of consumer safety and convenience, function, sustainability and cost control," Sabic said. "Our innovative new polypropylene product for melt-blown fibers aims to address these challenges, while meeting strict hygiene and consumer protection standards."

Sabic also notes that PP 514M12 can be easily tailored to specific customer and application needs. Trials performed in collaboration with a dedicated machine manufacturer’s latest high-speed machine using production quantities of the new melt blown PP confirmed its very good processing and performance properties on par with or better than reference market grades.

"Subsequent sampling by selected nonwoven manufacturers successfully underscored the innovative new material as a great candidate for a wide range of potential end-use products, from diapers, sanitary napkins and other hygiene applications," Sabic said. "Beyond single-material and composite nonwovens, it can also lend itself as base resin for color master-batches."


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