A new grade of Super-absorbent fiber (SAF) designed for utilization within a new range of SAF non-woven fabrics that has a greater resistance towards shrinkage has been developed by Technical Absorbents Ltd. (TAL).
This fabric has been developed to fulfill the rise in demand for a super-absorbent fabric required in the medical industry for wound pad dressing. To ensure the product safety and compliance the fiber had to be capable of withstanding the moisture in the Eto sterilization process which is also frequently used in the production of pads.
Eto sterilization is a low-temperature process where the temperature is between 37° to 63°C and utilizes ethylene oxide gas to reduce the level of infectious agents. The gases used are often mixed with other substances and steam.
TAL Product Development Director Dr. Mark Paterson, states his concerns about combining superabsorbents and moisture in this stage of processing and can cause problems. He further adds that other methods are used however when silicone materials are included EtO becomes the preferred treatment method. He also explains how regular SAF grades have the tendency to shrink and can’t become hard making it undesirable hence their innovative SAF grade significantly reduces these problems.
Dr. Mark Paterson also states the amount of shrinkage caused by Eto sterilization is dependent on the product's design and construction. He then assures that the new SAF the company has developed has tested and proven to reduce fabric shrinkage by 70%. He also claims that the fabric is suitable for all SAF nonwoven formats, whether needle punched, thermally bonded, or air-laid.
While this was developed to fulfill medical needs with respect to the wound pad dressing, TAL has envisioned its application in other areas as well.
Mark concluded by stating that the flexible fiber can easily be switched with existing SAF grades during the manufacturing of the fabrics and they have a number of exploding other end-uses.
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