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Comment Sustainability

Teijin to mass-produce nanofiber filaments made from recycled polyester

By Mary Page Bailey |

Teijin Frontier Co., Ltd., Teijin Group’s fibers and products conversion business, announced that it has developed technology to mass produce a new version of its Nanofront ultra-fine polyester, which the company believes is the world’s first nanofiber to be made from recycled polyester raw materials. Moreover, the new technology will enable Teijin Frontier to produce all of its polyester fiber products with recycled raw materials. Teijin Frontier expects filament and textiles made with this new version of Nanofront made from recycled polyester materials to replace conventional Nanofront made from petroleum-derived raw materials in a wide range of fields, including sportswear, functional clothing, industrial uniforms and more. The company is forecasting sales of recycled-polyester Nanofront to reach JPY 300 million in fiscal 2021 and JPY 800 million in fiscal 2025. Nanofront made from recycled polyester offers the same functions as conventional Nanofront made from petroleum-derived raw materials, including absorbency, grip, texture, filterability, heat insulation and more.

In recent years, the demand for Nanofront has expanded in a wide range of fields due to growing needs for materials offering high functionality, such as absorbency and grip, and excellent comfort including soft texture and low skin irritation. Meanwhile, the demand for recycling raw materials is rapidly increasing, but it has been difficult to mass produce ultra-fine fibers made from recycled polyester due to needs for high-level polymer control and spinning.

Teijin Frontier has now developed new polymer-control and spinning techniques for Nanofront made from recycled polyester materials. The key was the company’s proprietary “sea-island” composite-fiber processing technology, which distributes two types of polymers into the fiber’s “sea” and “island” parts, then dissolves and removes the “sea” part using an alkaline treatment, and finally extracts only the “island” part as raw yarn.

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