Is polypropylene a non-woven plastic?

Polypropylene fabric characteristics

The first record of a non-woven fabric is in Greek mythology, with the golden fleece, in the legend of Jason and the Argonauts. It was a veil of very special wool fibers that marked the beginning of a textile article as a product of a literary fantasy.

Later in time, from the Chinese, who from the mulberry tree extracted fibers from the layers between the bark of the wood, and the Egyptians from the papyrus plant, made cloaks of interwoven fibers, obtaining a non-woven sheet.

From this time to the present, nonwoven fabrics have not stopped growing in terms of production volume and technological innovations, which have made it possible to obtain specific products for the most diverse sectors of industry in general.

Nonwovens are a type of fabric produced by forming a network of fibers that are joined together by mechanical, thermal or chemical processes, but without being woven, without passing through a loom. In this sense, these materials are defined by their negative; that is, by what they are not. The nonwoven fabric is a sheet, made of flexible and porous fibers, without weft.

Polypropylene is plastic

This type of plastic was originally developed by the U.S. corporation Phillips Petroleum in 1951. Chemists Robert Banks and J. Paul Hogan were trying to obtain gasoline from propylene, and accidentally created polypropylene. While this experiment was considered a failure, it was quickly recognized that this new compound had the potential to be on par with polyethylene in many applications.

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However, it was not until 1957 that polypropylene became a substance suitable for mass production. In 1954, Italian chemist Giulio Natta and his German colleague succeeded in transforming this substance into an isotactic polymer. Subsequently, the Italian corporation Montecatini quickly began to produce this substance for commercial and consumer use.

The use of polypropylene became increasingly popular in a number of consumer and industrial applications. For this reason, it was gradually discovered that this type of plastic also showed potential as a textile. Polypropylene fabric is a nonwoven textile, which means that it is made directly from a material without the need for spinning or weaving. The main benefit of it is as a fabric is its ability to transfer moisture. This textile cannot absorb moisture and, instead, moisture passes through the fabric completely.

Polypropylene fabric for mouth covers

The collaboration between the two companies builds on SABIC’s Trucircle circular plastics portfolio and Fibertex Personal Care’s extensive experience within nonwovens to offer sustainable solutions in hygiene products.

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SABIC is collaborating with Fibertex Personal Care, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of spunbond nonwovens for the hygiene industry. The goal is to create a range of nonwovens with high purity recycled plastics from SABIC’s Trucircle portfolio. It will be the world’s first range of nonwovens based on recycled plastics for the hygiene sector.

The new nonwovens will be made from SABIC’s circular polypropylene, using raw material derived from previously used plastics certified under the ISCC PLUS (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) system.

The material is part of SABIC Purecares’ portfolio of polypropylene for personal care applications. The certified circular PP material produced by SABIC is created from post-consumer mixed plastics that have been broken down into their molecular building blocks and then re-polymerized to create virgin plastics.

Polypropylene nonwoven fabric characteristics

Fibertex, a specialist in nonwoven materials, and SABIC collaborated together to achieve the first nonwoven fabric with circular Polypropylene certified by ISCC Plus (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification).

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Nonwoven is a textile material formed from fibers bonded together by mechanical, thermal or chemical processes that do not require the process of converting the fibers into yarns.

The collaboration between Fibertex and SABIC has achieved the first nonwoven fabric created with circular polypropylene, a result that is part of both brands’ portfolio of sustainable solutions for hygiene products.

The companies are collaborating to create a range of nonwovens made from high purity recycled plastics from SABIC’s Trucircle portfolio. The resulting products will be the world’s first nonwoven range based on recycled plastics for the hygiene sector.

Notably, the certified circular PP material produced by SABIC is created from post-consumer mixed plastics that have been broken down into their molecular building blocks and then re-polymerized to create virgin plastics.