Swerea is investing in the development of non-wovens that are manufactured from dissolved polymers, primarily cellulose.
Non-wovens are presently manufactured based nearly exclusively on fossil raw materials, which is neither ecologically nor economically sustainable. There is a surplus of cellulose in Sweden, mainly from forestry, that can be used to produce non-wovens from regenerated cellulose.
The solution-blown process starts from a dissolving mass that is broken up in a solvent, such as an ionic liquid or sodium hydroxide. The solution is pumped through a spin nozzle where air is blown at high speed concentrically along each spun filament, which is elongated and collected on a drum or in a bath. This is followed by a coagulation bath, cleaning and then drying.
The technology is still at an early stage, but much of the development that has already occurred in conventional wet spinning of cellulose can also be applied to the solution-blown process. The aim is to be able to manufacture environmentally correct materials that can compete with for example, a spun bond of polypropylene.
Contact and more information
marten.alkhagen [at] swerea.se