Industry News

Dow Chemical Company Introduces PRIMAL™ ECONEXT™ Water-based Acrylic Binders

Published on 2011-04-20. Author : SpecialChem

HORGEN, Switzerland -- There's a very good chance that you have touched a nonwoven material today if you:

  • Changed a baby diaper
  • Carried groceries home in a reusable bag
  • Closed the curtains in a hotel room
  • Visited a doctor's office or hospital
  • Used a feminine hygiene product
  • Polished your furniture, cleaned your bathroom or kitchen counter
  • Drove a car

You may not think about these moments, but The Dow Chemical Company scientists do.

For more than 30 years, the company has been using its technology to make nonwoven materials and wet wipes stronger, more absorbent, more durable and softer to the touch, among other things.

And, since 2009, Dow has been introducing a family of products for the textiles and nonwovens market with increasingly lower amounts of formaldehyde in them - a particular challenge since formaldehyde forms naturally in nature and remains an important building block for the performance and value of a broad array of consumer and industrial products.

Yet there is a small, but growing consumer market segment that wants the best performance characteristics of the latest nonwovens technology, but made without formaldehyde.

Dow is pleased to introduce the PRIMAL™ ECONEXT™ Technology Platform - a series of ultra-low formaldehyde binders that allow companies to make end-use nonwoven products without detectable levels of formaldehyde. "We are pleased with this breakthrough," says John Haigh, technical services and development manager for this technology in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. "Companies can use this family of binders knowing that they were made without formaldehyde, and that it does not generate formaldehyde as it cross links with the nonwoven material it is binding."

Haigh points out that this family of products helps customers meet increasingly stringent industry standards, such as the OEKO-TEX 100 standard for textile raw materials, intermediates and end products. (The OEKO-TEX Association is a third party certifier that evaluates products used in textile applications.)

The first three products from this platform - PRIMAL™ ECONEXT™ 110, 210 and 230 - can be used for disposable and re-usable nonwoven applications, but are particularly useful in market applications which might be formaldehyde sensitive - wipes, baby and adult diapers, medical/hospital underpads, medical packaging, drapes, gowns and facemasks. Like other nonwovens products from Dow, the products from this new technology platform offer excellent wet strength, rapid fluid penetration (or hydrophobicity), and a soft hand. Dow has been making low and extremely low formaldehyde binders for textiles and nonwovens since the PRIMAL ECO™ line of products were first brought to market a few years ago.

The PRIMAL ECONEXT Technology Platform builds upon Dow's earlier successes and well-known expertise in acrylic emulsion technology, which stretches back to the 1940s and the commercial success of water-based, acrylic consumer paints which created the consumer do-it-yourself market. Dow began working on low formaldehyde formulations for paint binders in the 1990s, and was the first to bring what was then called "formaldehyde-free" binders for the creation of home insulation in 2002, which eliminated all binder related emissions of formaldehyde during its manufacture. This breakthrough earned a top-ten ranking from the European Environmental Press in 2007, in association with the European Association of Environmental Professionals.

About The Dow Chemical Company

Dow combines the power of science and technology with the "Human Element" to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2010, Dow had annual sales of $53.7 billion and employed approximately 50,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 35 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.

Source: Dow Chemical Company

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