Nonwoven innovations to shine

Nonwoven innovations to shine

Nonwoven textiles are integral components of surgical masks, N95 face masks and different PPEs, which have saved lives. The state of the nonwovens sector during the current pandemic, innovations in this sector and its contributions to counter future pandemics will be discussed in a forthcoming virtual conference.

COVID-19 has highlighted the importance and
need of life saving soft materials.

Nonwoven textiles are integral components
of surgical masks, N95 face masks and different PPEs, which have saved lives.
The state of the nonwovens sector during the current pandemic, innovations in
this sector and its contributions to counter future pandemics will be discussed
in a forthcoming virtual conference.

As part of TAPPICON 2021 event of the
Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Association (TAPPI), a nonwovens
conference will be held virtually between May 4-5, 2021. The event will kick
start with a keynote presentation on the industry’s response to COVID-19 by
Dave Rousse, President, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry
Association (INDA). The highlight of the program is a power packed panel
session on “Preparing for Future Pandemics and PPE.” Panel involves key leaders
in the industry including Karen Bitz-McIntyre, Editor Nonwovens Industry
magazine.

The event will bring leading organizations
such as TAPPI and INDA to discuss the state of the sector and innovations in
nonwovens and technical textiles. Speaking about the nonwovens field, Larry
Montague, TAPPI President & CEO stated, “While the pandemic has taught us
many things over the last year, one of the most significant has been the
sizeable role nonwovens played in ‘stopping the spread,’ both in the healthcare
community and beyond. Whether we’re talking about face masks, filters, various
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), or wipes, the industry was, and still is,
on the frontline of this fight providing lifesaving protection.”

Dave Rousse, President of INDA, stated,
“The nonwovens industry really stepped up in a responsible way to rapidly fill
the need for facemasks, disinfectant wipes, flushable wipes, and medical gowns,
booties and nets needed to push back against COVID-19.  We are now essentially self-sufficient in
these areas after being reliant on imports as the pandemic started, with much
new capacity added that will serve these needs as well as emerging needs in
indoor air quality.”

For newcomers to the field and due to the
need to create more awareness on nonwovens, a session will be dedicated as a
mini tutorial on technical textiles and nonwovens. A few key themes of the
conference include medical applications of nonwovens, novel materials for PPE,
functionalisation of nonwovens and textiles, etc.

The conference features presentations from
leading industry and academic leaders. A timely presentation on the recent
advances in spunmelt nonwovens will be delivered by a representative from Exxon
Mobil Corporation. Novel solutions to microbial problems will be dealt in a presentation
by ViaClean Technologies. International speakers from India, United Kingdom,
Turkey, and United States will deal with topics like design aspects of
coveralls, nanofibre filters, to name a few.

In talking about the importance of creating
more awareness on nonwovens in fight against infectious diseases, Gaurav
Pranami, Chairman of the Nonwovens Division of TAPPI stated, “Other than social
distancing, perhaps the single most important precaution one could take to
protect themselves and others was to wear a mask. However, it’s the masks made
from nonwovens that provide meaningful protection because of their high
filtration efficiency. With the experience of COVID-19, the nonwovens industry
must innovate to make more comfortable, effective and easily accessible masks
for future preparedness.”

New developments from the cotton industry
such as cellulosic films and day light induced antiviral coatings will be
discussed. The event will end with a presentation on state of the wipes sector
from Euromonitor.

Virtual event details can be found at: https://tappicon.org/virtual-program/virtual-program-tracks/nonwovens/

By Seshadri Ramkumar


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