A stream of new fields found for Monforts ECO Applicator
According to Peter Tolksdorf, head of Technology Division at Monforts, “textile manufacturers continue to find new areas for the Monforts ECO Applicator as a highly economic alternative for precisely adding a wide range of functional finishing chemicals and treatments to their products”
In the focus of customers are the flexibility and precision of the new technology, as well as the option of treating either side of a material at any stage in the manufacturing run, or both – allowing two treatments to be added simultaneously and all other variants.
Tolksdorf adds: “The obvious example of what is immediately possible is the combination of a hydrophobic, water repelling surface with hydrophilic, moisture absorbing reverse side, in a single material. These are proving extremely popular in sportswear, for example, and the ECO Applicator allows tremendous savings to be made in respect of the energy in the subsequent drying process.
Textiles for sportswear are often subsequently laminated to other materials such as performance films, but if fully coated with fluorocarbons can prove difficult for processors, explains Tolksdorf, because if one is able to just treat on e side of the material, the subsequent lamination is much more effective, or as an alternative, the already-laminated material can be treated, depending on requirements”
The ECO Applicator found its initial success in the denim industry, where it is positioned in front of the stenter to work in combination with the traditional padder, or even as an alternative to it, in wet on wet applications for applying chemicals such as functional softeners, fluorocarbons to provide water and oil resistance and also in some applications pigments, for one side dyeing.
Another popular application is the ECO Applicator in front of a Monfortex shrinkage machine, where it makes the application of low viscose liquors possible. Such a configuration avoids problems with precipitations and blocked tubes and pipes due to insufficient cleaning.
Also in the focus of interest in wet-in-wet applications is on the production of terry towels where an additional liquor treatment can be applied to the fabric in very low quantities, eliminating an entire drying stage, with subsequent savings in energy. The additional add-on is well reproducible, with the precise amount electronically controlled.
A further example of added efficiency has found a mattress manufacturer in Portugal by employing the ECO Applicator to apply, for example, antimicrobial products instead of a conventional padder.
Tolksdorf concludes that the ECO Applicator requires just 50 % of the pick-up previously needed, with a resulting 50 % savings in energy in subsequent drying process, while doubling treated throughput capacity, and it is even possible to apply flame retardant treatments very economically”.
Many other applications in technical textiles are currently being found for this new technology. A patent has been meanwhile secured on a further adaptation of the technology for indirect liquor application.