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Nanofibres: From Finer Filters to Advances in Electronics, Energy and Medical Applications
published in Issue 74, 3rd quarter 2008
A nanofibre can be defined as a cylindrical structure with an outer diameter below 1,000 nm and an aspect ratioóthe ratio between the fibreís length and widthógreater than 50. The market for nanofibres was worth an estimated US$62.5 mn in 2008, and is set to grow by 30% a year between 2008 and 2012. Growth is being driven largely by the use of nanofibres in nonwoven webs to provide more effective filters. Other potential applications for nanofibres include the electronics, medical and energy sectors. In the medical field there are numerous possibilities for using nanofibres in artificial organ components, tissue engineering and implants for delivering drugs. In the energy field, nanofibres could be used in the manufacture of solar cells and fuel cells.
One of the leading products is Ahlstromís Disruptor, a patented nanofibre technology licensed by the Argonide Corporation for use in water purification and other liquid filtration applications. DuPont Hybrid Membrane Technology (HMT) fills the gap between meltblown nonwovens and microporous films in filtration applications. Finetex was spun off from a South Korean university research project to develop electrospinning and now has three commercial nanofibre nonwoven lines running in the Philippines. Nanocomp Technologies has produced the largest ever cohesive sheets of carbon nanotube material. Other leading products include: a nanofibre version of m.doc wound dressing from Alltracel; Spider-Web and Ultra-Web from Donaldson; Nanoweb coating from Hollingsworth & Vose; CombiFil Nano from Johns Manville and FiberMark Gessner; Black Sophista and Kuralon EC from Kuraray; AHF and Ventcool from Mitsubishi Rayon; Nanofront, Morphotex and Tepyrus from Teijin; nanoMATRIX from Toray; and Moiscare from Toyobo. Leading manufacturing technologies include Nanospider from the Czech company Elmarco, Nanoval from the German company Nanoval, Integrated Nanofibre Technology from the German company Irema, and a meltblown technology for producing nanofibres from Hills in the USA.
At present most nanofibre production is carried out using an electrospinning process. But this has limitations in terms of speed, and a number of companies are working to develop technologies which could be more effective on a commercial scale.
Four times a year, Technical Textile Markets provides an overview of the global man-made fibre, nonwoven and technical textile industries. It provides market data and analysis of new and established markets for technical textiles, and is essential reading for senior executives in (or supplying) the man-made fibre, nonwoven and technical textile sectors Ė as well as for those who are not involved in the industry on a day-to-day basis, but who need an authoritative source which helps them to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues facing the companies which are actively involved in this fast-growing sector.
Reports in Technical Textile Markets include:
company and country profiles Ė giving you the opportunity to learn from strategies employed by others, in terms of production, sourcing, import/export, infrastructure and development, and plans for the future.
profiles of the world's top 40 producers of nonwovens Ė updated each year with details of developments from each of the leading producers, including acquisitions, investments and divestments, and analyses of trends which the "rising stars" are using to their advantage.
statistical reports Ė including consumption data, by fibre and end-use applications. Regular updates are published for fibre consumption in Japan, the rest of Asia, the USA, and Western Europe.
market sector information Ė analyses of important commercial end-user applications, and profiles of both established and emerging markets which take into account such innovations and developments as nanotechnology and intelligent textiles.
regular updates on innovations in fibres, technical textiles, apparel and machinery Ė including developments in the following categories: fibres and yarns; technical textile fabrics for industrial applications; machinery; technical textiles for apparel; composites; other technical textile products; and technical textile treatments and finishes.
reports on new technological developments and other topical issues Ė with clear, authoritative comments on their economic and commercial significance. The reports bring to your attention the key issues which you can use to develop your business, and provides contact details of useful organisations.
So whether you are involved in man-made fibres, nonwovens or technical textiles Ė in manufacturing, converting, import/export, or end use Ė or if you are in education or consultancy or investment or finance Ė a subscription to Technical Textile Markets will tell you what you need to know about the key trends in the industry.
Technical Textile Markets is available on subscription Ė either in printed format only, or in printed and electronic format. If you choose the printed only option, you will receive 4 printed publications a year. Each issue contains five research-based reports (see above) and an editorial.
Electronic supplement If you choose the printed and electronic option, you will receive an extra service. You will still receive each issue in printed format, delivered to you by traditional post.
In addition, you will be able to download PDF files containing the same information Ė but the PDF files will be available immediately on publication, so you donít have to wait for the printing and mailing. You also have all the benefits of electronic files: instant access even when you are away from the office; convenient storage in your PC or laptop; portability; electronic search facility; and copy/paste facility.
You will also receive a monthly update of business news, called "Technical Textiles Business Update" delivered to you by email, free of charge.
Technical textiles are used in a wide range of end-use applications and markets, including agricultural; automotive; building/ construction/ engineering; medical and hygiene; packaging; protective clothing; sports and sportswear; and transport. A subscription to Technical Textile Markets will support your decision making, and provide the information you need to expand into new markets.
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(Miguel ARISTIZ√ĀBAL; Marketing Support & Foreign Trade Affairs; Enka de Colombia S.A.)