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05 | 2010

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Fibers | Textiles PA11

Fibers | Textiles PA11 Fibres and Polyether Block Amide Nonwovens Bag made from Rilsan PA11 fibres A special grade of Rilsan ® Arkema’s 100% bio-sourced technical polymer PA11 can be applied to spin high performance fibres. These technical fibres combine a unique set of characteristics: light weight, soft touch, bacteriostatic properties, and wear resistance. With its long-standing experience over more than 60 years, Arkema today is the world leader in castor oil chemistry, which produces Rilsan PA11, the first high performance polyamide entirely derived from a 100% renewable and ecological raw material. In addition to its renewable source, Rilsan PA11 production is characterized by 15% (average) lower fossil energy requirements than for petroleum-based nylon polyamides 1 . The CO 2 missions related to the production of Rilsan PA11 are on average 75% lower 1 On the strength of its expertise, Arkema continues its development work on its bio-sourced polyamide in order to target new markets in which ecological challenges and a quest for technical performance have become a genuine concern as well as a differentiating factor. Mindful of these expectations, Arkema has developed a specific PA11 grade that can be extruded into fibres. The most advanced textile applications using these fibres may currently be found in the footwear, clothing and luggage markets. Arkema plans to extend the development to other textile applications requiring both optimum technical performance and a vegetable origin. Rilsan PA11 fibres feature key characteristics such as pleasant touch, dimensional stability, bacteriostatic activity without the need for a specific treatment, and outstanding resistance to wear and abrasion. The French company SOFILA and the Japanese company UNITIKA FIBRES offer innovative textile products based on Rilsan PA11, combining both the environmental and the technical benefits, for the footwear, clothing and luggage markets. Another innovation from Arkema promises to open up revolutionary opportunities for the design of durable elastomer nonwovens for superior performance, lighter weight, and ease of assembly. Arkema’s high elongation and high energy recovery polyether block amide Pebax ® nonwoven material is produced with the meltblown process. As a meltblown web, Pebax and Pebax Rnew (with its 20 to 90% renewable carbon content) can be used to make roll goods with a large width which are then cut into narrow widths. These nonwovens are suitable replacements for many narrow elastic and spandexcontaining woven or knit textiles. As potential waistband for example, 200 g/m² Pebax webs afford total recovery when stretched 100% repeatedly, and elongation at break of up of 600%. They also have excellent hot-wash and dryclean resistance. Melt spinning of nonwovens is a rapidly growing process, and is a simple and inexpensive approach to convert polymer directly into roll goods. Both Rilsan PA11 textiles as well as Pebax Rnew will be shown at K’2010 (see separate article). MT www.arkema.com 1: Source of data for the petroleum-based nylon polyamides: Plastics Europe 14 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/10] Vol. 5

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