Cooperation between fibre suppliers & nonwoven fibre producers is important for industry
Mr SS Iyer who is currently President of Zenith Fibres Ltd, graduated in chemistry from Bombay University in 1963. Later for ten years, he worked in a cotton research institute and then joined a leading polyester fibre manufacturing plant in 1974. Since 1979, he has been associated with polypropylene fibre and filament manufacturing units. Started in 1989, Zenith Fibres Ltd – an ISO 9001:2000 certified company is the only Indian company to produce the entire range of polypropylene staple fibre (PPSF). It also manufactures polypropylene spun yarn. It has an installed capacity of 8,400 tons per annum and exports around 40 percent of its produce to various countries.
The growth of the non wovens sector will have a direct impact on the fibre sector, particularly the polypropylene and polyester fibre segment. However, the share of polypropylene fibres in nonwovens industries in US and Europe is higher than that of polyester, while the consumption of virgin polyester/reprocessed polyester fibres is more than polypropylene fibres in India. Nonwovens are rapidly growing in the following areas – 1) Automobile segment – cars, carpets, acoustic/thermal insulation, backing for tufted carpets, liner for trunks, storage box, filters, and seat upholstery. 2) Hygiene products – Disposable diapers, female hygiene products and adult incontinence products. 3) Civil Engineering geotextiles – Road under lays, erosion control, canal lining, artificial turfs and pavement overlays. 4) Filtration - Dust filters, liquid filters, oil filters, air conditioner filters and filters for pharmaceutical producers. 5) Medical textiles – Disposable and surgical apparel, shoulder pads, gloves, etc. 6) Consumer products – Reusable carry bags, vacuum cleaner bags, tea bags, wipes, carpets and bath mats.
A wide range of fibres – both synthetic and natural are used in the production of nonwoven fabrics. The traditional fibres are polyester, polypropylene, cotton, rayon and wool. Hitech fibres like Aramid fibres, Bicomponent fibres, super absorbent fibres, spandex, glass and nano fibres. However of all, polypropylene fibres have very good characteristics like hydrophobic, voluminous and thermoplastic. Polyester fibres are used where strength and mechanical properties are of prime importance. Bicomponent fibres are used in thermally bonded nonwoven fabrics and super absorbent fibres are used in hygienic products.
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