Eastman pushes ahead with Cyphrex microfiber development

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Eastman pushes ahead with Cyphrex microfiber development

May 06, 2015 - 14:59
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KINGSPORT, TN, April 16, 2015 (Press Release) - With the ability to produce high-performing, high- strength synthetic nonwovens on standard papermaking equipment using Eastman Cyphrex microfibers, product developers can achieve performance without any of the final product trade-offs that typically come with using a combination of synthetic and cellulosic fibers. Due to their unique geometry and composition, these microfibers behave differently than existing synthetic fibers, as they process very much like cellulose fibers. 

Processing benefits 

Unlike most synthetic fibers, Eastman Cyphrex flat polyethylene terephthalate (PET) microfibers process well on inclined wire, Rotoformer and Fourdrinier machines. These microfibers can be run at standard consistency (1.0 percent to 3.2 percent) on the wet end, disperse easily with minimal sheer and can blend with cellulose to improve strength and formation of paper products. 

Another benefit is that Eastman CyphrexTM microfibers can be easily run as 100 percent of the fiber furnish on conventional papermaking machinery and can be processed very much like cellulose on flat wire machines, a benefit not typically expected from synthetic fibers. 

An improved synthetic 

Overall, Eastman CyphrexTM flat PET microfibers behave differently than other synthetic fibers, providing benefits previously unseen. For example, unlike other non-fibrillated synthetic fibers for wetlaid applications, Cyphrex microfibers improve strength, formation and permeability of high- strength paper products - without requiring significant processing compromises. In fact, uniformity of the novel flat fiber substrate made on a Fourdrinier or Rotoformer machine is similar to that seen on an inclined wire machine. 

These microfibers, too, can be converted to nonwoven substrates without the processing and performance tradeoffs often observed when incorporating existing synthetic fibers. Eastman CyphrexTM microfibers provide excellent wet strength, they can be run at standard consistency on the wet end and they provide high dry strength without the use of a wet strength agent or bonding agent; they do, however, respond exceptionally well to wet strength agents when those materials are used. 

Ideal for papermakers 

Product developers can realize the benefits in using Eastman CyphrexTM microfibers for their papermaking needs as the microfibers can add strength and merit to paper products. Cyphrex microfibers can improve formation and durability of these products, which allows papermakers to innovate and add value to assets with exceptionally uniform sheets that are lightweight and remarkably strong. 

"Eastman CyphrexTM microfibers are well-suited for paper, pulp and nonwoven industry technical professionals who want innovations that can help them stay ahead of product commoditization," said Jon Woods, general manager, nonwovens microfibers, Eastman. "Because technical professionals want synthetic fibers to enable product performance without the processing challenges that often accompany them, Cyphrex microfibers could enable new attributes to allow for more customizable applications in the high-strength paper applications." 

In addition, these microfibers provide impressive tensile, tear and burst strength within a lightweight nonwoven sheet and produce highly uniform sheets with high green strength. The uniformity of Eastman CyphrexTM microfibers can allow for printability advantages, which adds value to specialty paper applications such as strong and lightweight backing for wall coverings and practical alternatives to high-strength polyethylene as a 100 percent Eastman CyphrexTM sheet. 

Eastman at PaperCon 2015 

Eastman experts will be presenting about the benefits of using Eastman CyphrexTM microfibers for high-strength paper during PaperCon 2015, April 19-22, in Atlanta. Keh Dema, applications development scientist, and John Allen, senior research associate, will be presenting "Microfibers Designed for Wetlaid Nonwoven and Paper Processing" during NET Inc.'s "2015 Innovative Nonwovens Conference Program." The presentation is part of section N6 "Wet End Processes," which runs from 3:30 and 5 p.m. on April 21. 

For more information about Eastman CyphrexTM microfibers for high-strength papers, visit www.EastmanCyphrex.com/TransformingPaper

About Eastman Chemical Company 

Eastman is a global specialty chemical company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With a portfolio of specialty businesses, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. Its market-driven approaches take advantage of world-class technology platforms and leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. Eastman focuses on creating consistent, superior value for all stakeholders. As a globally diverse company, Eastman serves customers in approximately 

100 countries and had 2014 revenues of approximately $9.5 billion. The company is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA, and employs approximately 15,000 people around the world. 

For more information, visit www.eastman.com.