NatureWorks Introduces Sustainable Biopolymer Solution for Hygiene Applications
Leading biopolymer and polylactic acid (PLA) manufacturer NatureWorks has further expanded the performance attributes delivered by Ingeo biopolymer in hygiene applications with the introduction of Ingeo 6500D for nonwovens. The new Ingeo solution offers increased softness and strength as well as improved fluid management when combined with optimized hydrophilic surface finish technology. As a certified renewably sourced, low carbon and biobased material, Ingeo 6500D also meets the growing demand from brands and consumers for products made from more sustainable materials.
“Building on our expertise in biobased nonwovens, we developed a product that, based on our rigorous testing, can improve the softness of spunbound nonwovens by 40% over nonwovens made with generic PLA,” says Robert Green, VP of Performance Polymers, at NatureWorks. “The tensile strength of the new Ingeo solution offers improved processing for converters offering efficient low basis weight fabric production on the latest generation of spunbond equipment. We are looking forward to collaborating with the supply chain as we continue development of this new Ingeo solution in nonwoven applications including diapers and wipes.”
When combined with tailored topical treatments developed in partnership with fiber lubricant manufacturer Goulston Technologies, the result is lighter, thinner absorbent hygiene products that offer improved fluid management and breathability for better skin health. Ingeo’s inherent hydrophilic properties result in nonwovens that require less surface finish and have better durability compared to polypropylene. Significant improvements are also seen in both the soak surface tension results and the multiple strike performance.
NatureWorks’ Ingeo biopolymer has a 62% smaller carbon footprint than polypropylene from its manufacturing alone, offering a low-carbon alternative to petrochemical-based materials. Making Ingeo begins when plants capture and sequester CO2, transforming it into long-chain sugar molecules. NatureWorks then ferments those sugars to make lactic acid, which becomes the building block of a wide array of high-performance materials under the Ingeo brand.