According to estimates, the demand for airbags will increase by 5 per cent annually over the next five years. To date, airbags have been predominantly manufactured using polyamide 6.6 yarns.
Industrial yarn producers are increasingly perceiving the airbag yarn segment as a growth market. To this end, four projects for manufacturing airbag yarns from polyamide 6.6 (PA6.6) and polyester (PET) supplied by systems builder Oerlikon Barmag have been successfully commissioned in the past 12 months alone. The systems – installed at well-known yarn manufacturers in North America and China – cover titer ranges of between 235 and 700 dtex for PA6.6, and between 470 and 550 dtex for PET.
The systems concept offers the highest level of flexibility: the proven SP4 spinning system with ex-changeable melt distribution enables the conversion of the airbag yarn systems from PA6.6 to PET or vice-versa without much effort. To this end, yarn producers can react flexibly and swiftly to changing market requirements.
The reason for the increased demand for airbag yarns is the global rise of road safety requirements. Within this context, the Indian government and the Department of Road Transport and Highways, for example, have revised their vehicle safety rules and regulations. The new version, which comes into force in the fall of 2017, demands considerably greater occupant safety, particularly with regards to side and front impact. According to the estimates of numerous automobile manufacturers, compliance with these new safety rules and regulations can only be achieved with the installation of airbags.
And, according to research conducted by PCI, greater safety in vehicles is also a much-discussed topic in Latin America, which is having a positive impact on the airbag and safety belt manufacturing industry: two South Korean airbag producers have already announced investments in Central America. The average volume of textile fibres and filaments in automobiles is around 30 kg; according to PCI Fibres, just under 19 per cent of this is airbag yarn. This opens up a highly-profitable growth market for industrial yarn manufacturers.
Oerlikon Barmag Huitong Engineering’s system for Chinese unit
Despite the continuing market slowdown in China, the new Manmade fibres segment joint venture Oerlikon Barmag Huitong Engineering recently signed an order for a 60,000 tons-per-day polycondensation system. The system, which will al-ready be commissioned in the Jiangsu Province in the second half of 2017, will be installed upstream to an existing filament spinning system to covert it into a direct spinning system.
What’s s special about the new system: It caters to the high demand for differentiated fibres. To this end, yarns with bright, cationic dyeable, semi- and full-dull features can be produced, as can special polyester with flame-retardant, low-melting-point, high-shrinkage, water-soluble and anti-static proper-ties. Such polyesters can also be deployed in the manufacturing of films, bottles and industrial yarns. Furthermore, the system is sufficiently flexible to process polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polytri-methylene terephthalic (PTT).
Oerlikon Barmag Huitong Engineering Co. Ltd. has comprehensive experience in polycondensation sys-tems concepts for differentiated polyester fibres. In this regard, the company was the world’s first sup-plier to develop and manufacture the corresponding technology ten years ago.
Oerlikon Barmag Huitong Engineering supplies the engineering and construction of polycondensation plants for textile as well as bottle grade chips. Oerlikon is a leading global technology Group, with a clear strategy of becoming a global powerhouse in surface solutions, advanced materials and materials processing. The Group is committed to investing in value-bringing technologies that provide customers with lighter, more durable materials that are able to increase performance, improve efficiency and reduce the use of scarce resources. A Swiss company with over 100 years of tradition, Oerlikon has a global footprint of over 13 500 employees at more than 170 locations in 37 countries and sales of CHF 2.7 billion in 2015. The company invested CHF 103 million in R&D in 2015 and has over 1 350 specialists developing innovative and customer-oriented products and services.
With its Oerlikon Barmag and Oerlikon Neumag brands, Oerlikon Manmade fibres segment is the world market leader for manmade fibre filament spinning systems, texturing machines, BCF systems, staple fibre systems, nonwovens and artificial turf systems and – as a service provider – offers engineering solutions for the entire textile value added chain. As a future oriented company, the research and development at this division of the Oerlikon Group is driven by energy-efficiency and sustainable technologies. With the expansion of the product range to include polycondensation systems and their key components, the company now caters to the entire process – from the monomer all the way through to the textured yarn. The primary Oerlikon Barmag markets are in Asia, and – for Oerlikon Neumag – in the USA, Turkey and China. Correspondingly, Oerlikon Barmag and Oerlikon Neumag – with just under 2,500 employees – has a worldwide presence in 120 countries as part of the Oerlikon Manmade fibres network of production, sales and distribution and service organisations. At the R&D centers in Remscheid, Neumünster and Chemnitz, highly-qualified engineers and technicians develop innovative and technologically-leading products for tomorrow’s world.
TENCEL® sets high standards in hotel trade
The TENCEL® fibre is demonstrating its worth in the hotel business in bed linens. TENCEL® fibre has no problem meeting the highest standards in bed linens. Years of product developments with international partners in industrial linens and bed linens manufacturers have led to success. The results were presented at Heimtextil 2017 in Frankfurt for the first time.
Bed linens of TENCEL® are not only for home use
“Following intensive effort on our part, we have developed excellent bed linens for the hotel trade.
Now business travelers or wellness guests can also experience TENCEL® bed linens,” Susanne Jary, Home & Interior Director at Lenzing, comments. “It was no easy task to get TENCEL® fit for industrial laundries. After years of cooperation with partners in industry, technical recommendations have been developed for cleaning hotel bed linens in industrial laundries,” Jary explains.
International partners are ecstatic
“The properties of the TENCEL® fibre, such as high dry and wet strengths, make it possible to use the fibre in industrial laundries. As a result of the softness and high moisture absorption, it is possible to process the TENCEL® bed linens faster and save more CO2 than bed linens of other materials,” Textilpflege Leitgeb, a rental service provider from Austria, comments.
The German rental service providers Dibella are well known for the responsible way they handle hotel textiles and constantly search for new eco-compatible materials. “With the TENCEL® fibre we have found a material that has a lower eco footprint and a high textile resistance, which is again extremely important for the hotel industry,” Dibella explains. “After three years of development work, we have found the right fibre blend that meets our demands and the demands of our customers,” Dibella continues.