Engineering News

Kraton Announces Breakthrough in Bicomponent Fiber Technology
Monday June 19, 2:00 am ET

HOUSTON, TX--(MARKET WIRE)--Jun 19, 2006 -- Kraton Polymers LLC (Kraton), a leading global specialty chemicals company and the most recognized brand in the styrenic block copolymers (SBCs) industry, today announced a significant breakthrough in bicomponent fiber technology by taking a major step toward commercialization of its next generation of SBCs in fiber offerings for industrial, personal hygiene and textile applications.

Kraton's advancement in bicomponent fiber enables for the first time the combination of elastic spunbond grades offering biaxial stretch, with the well-known and expected strength of a Kraton SBC. These spunbond grades require no additional drying, offer excellent process stability, and can be spun at world-class speeds.

From an application standpoint, Kraton's spunbond grades offer excellent compatibility with polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) for elastic bicomponent spunbond fabrics. Fabrics made with bicomponent fibers, having a PP or PE sheath and a Kraton polymer core, are elastic in both the machine and cross direction, and offer excellent drape character. In addition, the fabric's coefficient of friction can be controlled using various bicomponent fiber configurations. Potential applications include industrial and consumer wipes, disposable and durable fabrics for healthcare, infant and child care industries.

"This is another example of Kraton's extensive development portfolio coming together to provide unique materials, applications and technologies not previously considered in fibers," said Richard Brennan, Global Vice President and General Manager for Kraton's Personal Care Market. "We continue to find and develop new opportunities that bring unique Kraton innovations to the industry, in this case to make fibers perform better, more efficiently and at lower cost for customers and consumers."

Potential applications include industrial and consumer wipes, disposable and durable fabrics for healthcare, infant and child care industries.

Kraton, an innovation leader, recently announced its new brand identity and redesigned website which showcases Kraton's new strategic focus on breakthrough quality and innovation.

About Kraton

Kraton Polymers LLC is a premier, global specialty chemicals company and is the world's largest producer of styrenic block copolymers ("SBCs"), a family of products whose chemistry was pioneered by Kraton over forty years ago. SBCs are highly-engineered synthetic elastomers, which enhance the performance of products by delivering a variety of attributes, including greater flexibility, resilience, strength, durability and processability. Kraton polymers are used in a wide range of applications including road and roofing materials, numerous consumer products (e.g., diapers, tool handles and toothbrushes), tapes, labels, medical applications, packaging, automotive and footwear products. Kraton has the leading position in nearly all of its core markets and is the only producer of SBCs with global manufacturing capability. Its production facilities are located in the United States, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Brazil, and Japan.

Source: Kraton Polymers LLC

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