Teijin Frontier, based in Tokyo, has developed technologies to mass-produce a new version of its Nanofront ultra-fine polyester, which the company claims are the world's first nanofibre manufactured entirely of recycled polyester raw materials.
New polymer-control and spinning techniques for the company's proprietary 'sea-island composite-fiber processing technology are key to the production. The technology distributes two forms of polymers into the fiber’s sea and island sections then dissolve and extracts the sea component using an alkaline treatment, leaving only the island part as raw yarn.
Teijin Frontier claims that with this technology, it will be able to manufacture all of its polyester fiber items, including sportswear, durable garments, manufacturing uniforms, and more, using recycled raw materials in the future. It expects revenue of 300 million yen in 2021 and 800 million yen in 2025 from the production.
Nanofront has seen increased demand in a variety of fields in recent years, owing to increased demand for materials with high functionality, such as absorbency and grip, as well as excellent comforts, such as soft texture and low skin irritation.
Meanwhile, the need for recycled raw materials is increasingly growing, but due to the need for high-level polymer control and spinning, mass-producing ultra-fine fibers manufactured from recycled polyester have proven difficult.
The modern fiber’s capillarity increases water absorption and diffusion, allowing it to create highly absorbent structures. Nano-sized defects on the fiber surface produce friction, which gives it its grip properties. Its fine pores and high void structure increase collectability in filter materials, and it can improve impermeability and heat shielding in precision structures.
Teijin Frontier emphasizes that the fiber retains both conventional quality and functionality while being manufactured from recycled polyester raw materials.
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