New technology for finest fibres of high performance polymers

Finest fibres (</> 1 µm) open new applications in the areas of personal protective textiles, hot gas fine dust filtration, battery separators and fuel cell membranes. Currently production plants are limited in terms of temperature and pressure.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy supports a consortium for the development of an energy optimized finest fibre technology with about 600.000 €. The process technology is designated for temperatures up to 450 °C and high pressures. The hot air stream required for the process will be optimized including energy recovery. A new high temperature resistant filter band will ensure the homogeneous lay down of the finest fibres.

In the frame of a completed public funded research project (AiF 17563), DITF, the Deutsche Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung Denkendorf have shown that finest fibres may be produced even from high viscous polymer melts. A nonwoven of these finest fibres can e.g. be used in hot gas filtration. Encouraged by the request of customers from the filtration and battery industry two companies aim to convert this basic knowledge to a production plant: Nanoval GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin, Germany (spin die and plant manufacturer) and Siebfabrik Arthur Maurer GmbH & Co. KG, Mössingen, Germany (producer of specialized woven fabrics for the lay down, formation and transport of nonwovens). The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM, Kaiserslautern, Germany introduce their know-how in simulation to optimize the energy lay out.

The cooperative research project focuses on the energy optimization of direct spinning plants for high temperature polymers (PEEK, PPS, PPA) to finest fibre webs. Both, the melt-blow technology and the energetic favourable Nanoval-process will be improved for temperatures up to 450 °C.

Based on an existing melt-blow line the process will be fully analyzed, evaluated and simulated regarding energy consumption and its fluid dynamics with respect to melt process and fibre formation; air processing and recovery; fibre laid down and web formation. A Nanoval-spinneret with multirow concept designed for high performance polymers complement the development.

Deutsche Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung Denkendorf DITF

From the molecule to the finished product and its market launch, DITF conduct research and develop products along the entire textile value chain, always taking into consideration the corporate processes and business models. This makes Denkendorf a unique location world-wide for innovations in the textile industry.

Founded in 1921, today the research centre employs about 300 scientists, technicians and laboratory assistants.

On 25,000 m² research and production area the DITF conduct interdisciplinary research and development projects involving chemistry, material sciences, process technology, material technology, mechanical engineering and plant design and management.

The scientists utilize the latest findings in fundamental and application- oriented research for the textile industry, and set new standards with their own developments. This not only applies to products but also to production and analytical methods.

Due to three chairs and two professorships, the DITF are closely connected to the University of Stuttgart and Reutlingen University.

Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM – Kaiserslautern

Mathematical methods make it possible to simulate reality in a computer- appropriate way and to deal with large amounts of data or complex structures in a meaningful way; optimal solutions to technical problems can be found by means of simulations. The specific competence of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics in Kaiserslautern is the mathematical approach to practical problems; it ideally complements engineering work and therefore leads to a broad spectrum of applications: automotive industry, mechanical engineering, textile industry, aerospace, energy and finance.

More than 250 employees work in the fields of fluid dynamics, visualization of large data sets, optimization of production processes, virtual material design, quality inspection, HPC.

Company Profiles

S I E B F A B R I K Arthur Maurer GmbH & Co.KG – Mössingen, Germany

Our users know they can rely on our wires.

We resolve screening problems for our customers throughout the world, whether in the card-board, paper or cellulose manufacturing industries, the fibre cement industry or the non-woven or chipboard manufacturing industries – SFU weaves can be counted on to give reliable, long-lasting service as, e.g.

  • De-watering and filtration screens
  • Forming and dryer screens
  • Conveying and press screens
  • Woven fabrics made of twisted wire for wide-ranging applications
  • Architectural mesh for external wall designs and functional purposes

In our machine manufacturing department, we make cylinder moulds, couch rollers, extractor rollers and other components of above-average endurance for stock preparation and paper manufacture. We also offer expert services such as maintenance and preparatory work, installation, assembly, on-site repairs and a covering service.

Nanoval GmbH & Co. KG – Berlin, Germany

Nanoval was founded 1987 to develop plants and processes using a unique gas-dynamic effect at supersonic flow in a Laval-nozzle. Initially, Prof. Alfred Walz – a scholar of Ludwig Prandtl in Goettingen – received a patent for this effect to atomize metal melts to powder, e.g. for 3D printing. In 1999, the founder of Nanoval, Dr Lueder Gerking, who was co- developer of the spunbond process at Freudenberg 1960/1970, started to develop the spinbeam for the new process based on this effect as an alternative to the conventional meltblown spinning.

After nearly 20 years of development, Nanoval recently received its first contract for a commercial spinning plant having 1.6 m width for filters. The Nanoval process for spinning nonwovens having finest filaments at higher throughputs and less energy consumption works for PP, PE, PET, PBT, PPS, PLA, PA, PC, Kraton and Lyocell/Cellulose.

Now, in this joint project, high temperature nonwovens shall be spun.