Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tencel in Lenzing Annual Reports 2010 - Part 2

The unusually large mention of Tencel in the 2010 report continues with coverage of expansion plans, integration of Fibre with Pulp production, growth in nonwoven wipes, Tencel powders, Tencel with Chitosan, Tencel derivatives for Gel Dressings and spunlaid Tencel nonwovens.

In December 2010, further, far-reaching fundamental decisions were made as the basis for ensuring the medium-term growth of the Lenzing Group. It was decided to build the first TENCEL production plant in Lenzing (Upper Austria), with planned investments of about EUR 130 mill. required to achieve an annual capacity of approximately 60,000 tons. It will be the first backward integrated TENCEL. plant in the world which can be directly supplied by pulp manufactured by the pulp factory in Lenzing. Furthermore, it was also resolved to invest in the expansion of the TENCEL facility in Mobile (Alabama) with investment  costs of close to USD 30 mill., enabling capacity to be raised to about 50,000 tons. The production line shut down by the previous owner will be modernized and re-equipped as a means of satisfying the strong demand for TENCEL fibers in North and South America.

Cooperation in the field of baby products with the leading U.S. retailer Costco could be further intensified. In this regard, Lenzing benefits from the trend towards own brands, which opens up new perspectives to carry out cobranding activities with brands such as TENCEL and thus raise awareness of Lenzing brands among a very broad consumer base.

TENCEL displays a wide range of useful features, for example when used as TENCEL powder incorporated into mattress foam to improve moisture management. In cooperation with partners, corresponding products were prepared to be launched on the marketplace.

Other potential application areas of TENCEL powder are as plaster (used in the construction industry), in fiber-reinforced plastics, and as a replacement for fiberglass incorporated into injection molded parts.

A further new area of application for TENCEL fibers is in upholstery fabrics used in homes and in hotels. TENCEL has enabled the fabric to achieve excellent utility values (abrasion resistance), which are far superior to those of cotton.

The specialty fiber TENCEL C was also developed to market maturity. It features the application of chitosan, a natural raw material extracted from the shells of crustaceans, to the fibers. This process improves the already outstanding skinfriendliness of TENCEL fibers.

The largest development project currently being undertaken in the nonwovens area is TencelWeb. This new technology enables the production of TENCEL nonwovens from very fine filaments directly from the spinning solution. These filaments feature a large share of microfibers and a low weight. This innovative nonwoven was further optimized in cooperation with key customers. The nonwovens are to be incorporated into hygiene products and filter media.

Other research projects involved the development of products for wound treatment, a segment in which TENCEL in gel form is used as a wound dressing. TENCEL is also used as a replacement for the cotton incorporated into such well-established products such as gauze and cotton wool.


No comments: