Archiv 2016

29th September 2016

Kelheim Fibres develops a static dissipative viscose fibre


By developing a viscose fibre which provides static dissipation, Kelheim Fibres broadens its already comprehensive range of speciality viscose fibres.
The black fibre receives its specific properties by the incorporation of electrically conductive additives into the fibre’s core. As a result, the functional additives are evenly distributed in the whole fibre, while at the same time the typical properties of the viscose fibre - as for example its high absorbency - are preserved.
First tests with these fibres that have been successfully produced on a laboratory scale have shown a significant increase of the fibres’ electrical conductivity in comparison to a standard viscose fibre.
Depending on requirements, Kelheim fibres can produce fibres in the middle conductivity range from about 10-4 S/m to 0,1 S/m.
The functionalized fibre could be used in protective work wear for electrostatic discharge, for the protection of electronic components or humans.
Used as humidity sensor – wherever an immediate detection of moisture is required - this dissipative fibre offers a significant advantage.
Here, the fibres could be used in completely different applications: in bed pads for the health and care sector as well as in roof linings that detect possible leakages.
When the fibres absorb moisture, they swell, which leads to a decrease of their electric conductivity. When water is stored in the fibre’s matrix, the conductive pathways of the additives are interrupted. The change in conductivity depending on the fibre’s moisture is reversible.

Customers will decide the next step of the journey of the static dissipative fibre. Dr. Nina Köhne, R&D project manager at Kelheim Fibres: “This topic is as fascinating as it is wide – up until now, we have created a strong foundation. Depending on the market’s requirements, the future way of the functionalized fibre can lead in different directions. From now on it is important to follow the specific demands of our customers and of different applications in the further development of the fibre.”



12th September 2016

Endless Possibilities: Viscose Speciality Fibres from Kelheim, Germany, improve filter performance


Unlike other cellulosic fibres such as cotton or wood pulp, viscose fibres are distinguished by their well-defined and reproducible properties that allow them to be designed to meet the needs of processing steps and adapted to each application. For example, the porosity and surface of a filter can be precisely controlled by adding viscose fibres with different cross-sections. The incorporation of functional additives into viscose fibres allows the optimization of the fibres in respect of the intended application, for example for the removal of tannins from beer.

The advantage of functional viscose fibres: as the additives are incorporated in the fibres they do not impact the physical properties of the filter and can not migrate into the filtered product but can still function effectively. As viscose fibres are manufactured from renewable raw materials incineration at the end of filter life is CO2 neutral, or – if the residue in the filter allows – they can be composted, an ideal disposal route for precoat filter cakes in the beverage industry.

The use of viscose speciality fibres from Kelheim is completely safe both for people and for the environment, and this is one of the reasons why the fibres have been used for decades in medical products. The fibres are certified for food contact by ISEGA and the absence of harmful substances in the products is confirmed by their certification to the Oeko-Tex standard 100 in the most demanding product class. Viscose fibres are taste neutral and are currently used in food and beverage applications: coffee pads and tea bag papers are two examples for applications in which viscose fibres are used to a considerable extent.

Now, the fibre specialists are looking into a new area of applications and are exploring the suitability of their hydrophobic Olea fibre for emulsion separation.

Olea is a viscose fibre with durable hydrophobic properties. The additives used in production are approved for food contact by the FDA and the BfR and at the same time free of silicones. In a series of tests over the next months, the leading manufacturer of viscose speciality fibres will analyse how these hydrophobic properties influence the separation of water/oil mixtures. Preliminary trials have shown an accumulation of oil on the fibre’s surface which then enables the separation of the larger oil droplets.

In a next step, the Bavarians will examine the efficacy of separation of different emulsions, as well as the influence of the nonwoven construction and suitable blend partners.

Kelheim Fibres GmbH is the world’s leading manufacturer of viscose speciality fibres and the largest supplier of viscose fibres for the manufacture of femcare tampons. Every year approximately 90.000 tons of viscose fibres are produced and tested at the plant in Kelheim. The fibres are used in a wide range of applications – from fashion to hygiene and medical products, from nonwovens to speciality papers. Innovative products, flexible technologies and a strong customer orientation are the foundation for the success of the company.



05th September 2016

Tailor-made viscose fibres with benefits for hygiene and the environment


These aspects are the key elements of two presentations at this year’s Dornbirn Man-made Fibers Congress that will highlight the latest activities of renowned viscose speciality fibre manufacturer Kelheim Fibres.
The presentations, however, will show completely different applications of Kelheim’s viscose speciality fibres.
While Dr. Roland Scholz – together with Dr. Jörg Zacharias from Krones AG – will report on the current status of a joint research project regarding the use of viscose fibres as a filtration aid in breweries, Sebastian Basel will talk about the use of viscose short cut fibres in hybrid nonwoven technologies as, for example, in the production of wet wipes.
Despite the completely different end uses, in both cases Kelheim’s specialities impress with their typical core properties:
These fibres can easily be adapted to the specific needs of the customer. In beer filtration, the formation and the structure of the filter cake of a viscose precoat filter can be controlled by the fibres’ geometry. Cross section, diameter and length of the fibres play a key role.
Entirely different aspects are important for the broad range of nonwovens products in the hygiene sector: Here, softness, flushability or high absorbency are required.
But these, too, can be controlled by modifications in Kelheim’s viscose short cut fibres - and not only by the last process steps of converting or finishing, as it is often assumed.

Another benefit is the environmental credentials of viscose fibres. Wet wipes and other everyday hygiene products are made for one-time use only. Shortcut fibres from Kelheim allow for the production of nonwoven wipes that can be flushed down the toilet without the danger of clogging and that are completely biodegradable.
In beer filtration, too, the object is to substitute diatomite – which is viewed in an increasingly critical manner – with eco-friendly viscose fibres that are a 100% compostable and can therefore be disposed at low cost.
And finally, there is another common aspect: both applications require an extremely high level of physiological safety and hygiene standards. That is self-explanatory when it comes to wipes for personal care and even more obvious in food and beverage filtration – viscose fibres from Kelheim are ideally suited for both applications.

The presentations highlight only two specific applications of Kelheim’s viscose speciality fibres – but there are many more. For further information on their range of versatile specialities, Kelheim’s fibre experts are available at their info booth in the foyer of the congress center.



28th July 2016

Wound dressings made from bacterial alginate


Press Release



23rd May 2016

Fibres just for textiles? We can do more!


Kelheim Fibres supports Biocampus Straubing’s competition “Plan B Biomasse.Business.Bayern” with its own idea contest. Enter your idea for a chance to win a joint innovation project!
For more information, please click here or visit http://www.planb-wettbewerb.de/ideenwettbewerb/

Plan B



02nd May 2016

Kelheim Fibres breaks new ground in filtration


For many years, Kelheim Fibres has been working on fibres for filtration applications, boasting a number of well-known commercial products as well as innovative new developments. The use of viscose fibres in papers for tea bags or coffee filters and R&D activities in the sector of beer filtration are just two examples.
Now, the fibre specialists are looking into a new area of applications and are exploring the suitability of their hydrophobic Olea fibre for emulsion separation.
Olea is a viscose fibre with durable hydrophobic properties. The additives used in production are approved for food contact by the FDA and the BfR and at the same time free of silicones. In a series of tests over the next months, the leading manufacturer of viscose speciality fibres will analyse how these hydrophobic properties influence the separation of water/oil mixtures. Preliminary trials have shown an accumulation of oil on the fibre’s surface which then enables the separation of the larger oil droplets.
In a next step, the Bavarians will examine the efficacy of separation of different emulsions, as well as the influence of the nonwoven construction and suitable blend partners.
In order to include the technical and commercial requirements of different potential markets, Kelheim Fibres intends to include industrial partners at a very early stage in this development.



15th March 2016

Completeley dispersable Wet Wipes with tailor-made properties:
Viloft® Short Cut Fibres selected as Finalist of IDEA16 Achievement Awards


Flushability continues to be an important topic for the hygiene industry and will be the centre of attention at IDEA 2016.
Kelheim Fibres, the world’s leading manufacturer of viscose speciality fibres and long-time partner of the hygiene industry, has been successfully producing viscose fibres for flushable wipes for many years.
“Our fibres, in particular our Viloft® short cut fibres, enable the manufacture of wipes that by far exceed the requirements of the current INDA/EDANA Flushability Guidelines and disperse completely within a very short amount of time”, says Sebastian Basel, Business Manager at Kelheim Fibres. “That is a must. But we offer an additional plus for our customers: Our fibres can help them to differentiate their products in their markets – and that will be more and more important as those markets grow.” Kelheim offers fibres that are exactly tailored to meet the requirements of the end product and so enable the production of wet wipes that distinguish themselves from others and will stand out at the point of use. Strength, softness or bulk are the relevant criteria, and Kelheim’s products allow these to be controlled precisely during the production process. At the same time, the short cut speciality fibres can be easily incorporated into the wet-laid process and therefore and therefore deliver excellent processability.
Basel is especially pleased by the recognition the fibres are receiving within the industry: Viloft® short cut fibres have been chosen as a finalist of the IDEA16 Achievement Awards in the raw materials category.
Kelheim Fibres is responding to the growing demand for short cut fibres by converting one of their production lines to a modern multifunctional line. Increased short cut capacity and more flexibility are the goal.
Kelheim will presents short-cut fibres and other viscose specialities at this year’s IDEA Section 1, booth 1019.



29th January 2016

UP to 95 % Light Reflectance:
Kelheim tests New IR-reflecting Viscose Speciality Fibre


Kelheim Fibers, a leading manufacturer of viscose specialty fibres, has completed the next step in the development of IR-reflecting fibres.

During the last months, the incorporation of mineral IR-reflecting particles has been tested in several spinning trials. Different levels of these particles were integrated into the fibre’s core, thereby preserving the fibre’s inherent properties, rather than being added as a topical finish using additives based on titanium oxide or other metal-based compounds. The effects of the new method are permanent and cannot be washed out.

The trials showed that the new fibre delivers a level of IR-activity that could be proven in measurements of the Total Solar Reflectance Value (TSR). Visible light is reflected by 90 to 95 %, while in the near infrared range, a reflectance of up to 90 % is reached, depending on the wavelength spectrum. This proves a clear benefit in the reflectance of direct sunlight, where the fibre is capable of providing a cooling effect, for example by protecting the human body from outside radiation.

At the same time, the fibre may also be used in warming applications, where the thermal radiation emitted from the body is reflected by these particles back to the body, reducing the cooling effect and keeping the person warm. In the mid IR-range an increase of reflectance of about 20 % of m IR radiation was achieved in tests compared to normal viscose.

The fibre can be used for both textile and nonwoven processes, where the fabric can either protect against outside influences or reflect the IR-radiation back to the inside source. “Comfortable feel-good clothes and functional special clothing are just two obvious applications for our new IR fiber,” says Dr. Daniela Bauer of Kelheim Fibres’ R&D team. “The level of loading can be adapted according to the requirements of the final product, which provides high versatility. As a next step, the fibre will be tested for its effectiveness in various end-applications in cooperation with our partners.”