The main trends in our markets are to deliver products with added functionality and to deliver value for money. For example, a big opportunity for us is to develop lower basis-weight SAF- containing material that can better compete in the higher volume markets, such as hygiene disposable goods. Additionally, we are looking at new and exciting technologies that improve product performance in existing markets or open up new market sectors to SAF products. It is difficult to talk about such programmes for reasons of commercial sensitivity. However, an example of a new product we recently launched is an SAF-containing yarn-net-laminate used for living roofs on top of buildings. This product helps to prevent flooding by rapidly absorbing rain water and preventing it running off into the sewers, whilst at the same time providing a water reservoir for the growing plants to prosper.
Nonwovens provide healthcare products that are hygienic, cost effective, versatile and deliver a high level of performance over more traditional materials. This is contributing to their increased use. Wound care products containing SAF offer improved product performance as they are able to absorb high amounts of wound exudate over prolonged use saving both money and aiding healing.
We are actively working on a number of new and exciting products in new market sectors or technologies. However, for confidential reasons, we are not able to share specific examples at this time.
Evanesce is a water soluble fibre that dissolves in both saline and pure water with little temperature dependence. It is a non-irritant and stable up to about 200oC. With appropriate environmental conditions and the correct machine set-up, it is possible to process Evanesce fibres into nonwoven or yarn materials. It is used in a number of specialist applications requiring nonwovens or yarns that dissolve in contact with water.
The medical market is healthy and well-established in these highly developed markets as the products are affordable. For emerging economies, the medical markets are smaller and less robust due to the affordability of the products. The use of SAF in products for the hygiene markets is limited to niche applications for both developed and emerging economies. This is driven by affordability and the existing industry equipment legacy.
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