Discover a new dynamism at NHPA2018
By Adrian Wilson, Conference Chair
In the latest addition to the programme for the 2018 Nonwovens for High Performance Applications (NHPA) conference, which takes place in Cannes, south of France, from October 10-11, Ania Krolak, Senior Consulting Manager at Smithers Pira will provide a comprehensive list of the disruptive technologies poised to drive growth over the next few years.
There is abundant evidence, for example, of a new dynamism among European fibre manufacturers in response to recent initiatives such as the EU’s Circular Economy action plan and also its directive on single-use plastics.
Without doubt, these will have a decisive effect on the nonwovens industry, as new raw materials pave the way for the development of more sustainable products and processes, and re-use and resource efficiency assume an ever greater role.
Already in 2018, new product launches have been announced by the companies of NHPA speakers including Kelheim Fibres, with its new Leonardo flat viscose fibre for wetlaid nonwovens, which provides unique characteristics including enhanced levels of skin friendliness and liquid storage capacity.
At NHPA2018, Kelheim’s Commercial Director Matthew North will present the case for viscose as a fibre of choice for the next-generation of nonwovens.
Oliver Crasser and Thomas Weigert, of Germany’s Voith Paper and Trützschler Nonwovens respectively, as well as Harri Kiiskinen of the VTT in Finland, will meanwhile explain why wetlaid technology is likely to assume an increasingly important role. Marion Sterner of Gruppo X in Italy will also provide details of a new process, derived from paper production, of imparting natural stretch into such products, without the need for elastanes.
Heinz Meierkord will explain why synthetic fibres will continue to play a pivotal role in a balanced use of resources. His company Advansa, has just expanded its Adva shortcut product portfolio with a new microfibre which is also for wetlaid nonwovens processing.
DuPont Industrial Biosciences has also completed a multi-million dollar expansion project at its Sorona polymer plant in North Carolina, to meet growing demand, and Business Development Manager Christian Lenges will present new enzymatic polymerisation breakthroughs for coating and bio-based materials.
Delegates will meanwhile discover what Fibre Extrusion Technology is doing with nonwovens based on engineered resins and how EcoTechnilin is advancing in materials based on flax for the automotive sector.
I only have the space here to have touched on the influential fibre developments for nonwovens, but there will be much, much more to discover at NHPA2018 in terms of products, processes and end-markets, including:
- E-mobility challenges and opportunities.
- Needlepunched nonwovens based solely on superabsorbent fibres.
- Nanofibre nonwovens for niche applications.
- Dry powder impregnated substrates.
- Next generation binders.
- New universal blood filtration media.
- Printable nonwoven structures for energy generation.
- Patent protection.
I look forward to welcoming everyone interested in these exciting and fast-changing fields within the nonwovens industry to Cannes next month.