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Dow Introduces Technology Platform for RHOPLEX™ ECONEXT™ Ultra-low Formaldehyde Binders

Published on 2012-06-06. Author : SpecialChem

CHICAGO -- WOW 2012 (World of Wipes) - The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) announced the introduction of its technology platform for RHOPLEX™ ECONEXT™ Acrylic Binders for the North American hygiene and medical market. This series of low and ultra-low formaldehyde binders allows companies an opportunity to manufacture end-use nonwoven products with minimal levels of formaldehyde and comply with the industry's most stringent standards.

The first line of products to be commercialized in North America - RHOPLEX™ ECONEXT™ 110, 210 and 230 Acrylic Binders - can be used in disposable and re-usable nonwoven applications and are particularly useful in environments that might be formaldehyde sensitive, including hospitals, schools, LEED certified buildings and manufacturing facilities.

Dow introduced this innovative technology platform to address growing demand for the best performance characteristics of the conventional self-crosslinking nonwoven binder technology, but with ultra low levels of formaldehyde. This family of acrylic binders enables customers to 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.)

"Our breakthrough RHOPLEX™ ECONEXT™ technology allows companies an opportunity to use this family of binders with the knowledge that they were made with minimal formaldehyde and frequently maintain the same performance characteristics as those traditionally served by formaldehyde-releasing solutions," said Courtney Fretz, Global Marketing Director for Textile, Non-Wovens & Films at The Dow Chemical Company. "With this new technology platform, we continue to expand the range of performance of Dow's binder solutions for North America that demand nonwoven products with low or ultra-low formaldehyde levels."

The RHOPLEX™ ECONEXT™ technology was introduced in Europe under its European trade name PRIMALTM ECONEXTTM at INDEX 11, one of the world's largest nonwovens trade shows held in Geneva, Switzerland. The technology received an innovation award from EDANA, a major European nonwovens trade association.

Like other nonwovens products from Dow, the RHOPLEX™ ECONEXT™ technology platform offers excellent wet strength, rapid fluid penetration (or hydrophobicity), and offers customers options to adjust the degree of softness or stiffness for differing applications. Dow has been making low and extremely low formaldehyde binders for textiles and nonwovens since the RHOPLEX™ ECO™ line of products were first brought to the marketplace a few years ago.

The RHOPLEX™ ECONEXT™ technology platform builds upon Dow's earlier successes and well-known experience in acrylic emulsion technology, which stretches back to the 1940s, and the commercial success of water-based, acrylic consumer paints. Dow began working on low formaldehyde formulations for paint binders in the 1990s and was among 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.

Dow's Performance Plastics Hygiene & Medical business offers a broad and deep product portfolio as well as the knowledge and resources to serve the entire value chain, meeting market needs in both emerging and mature geographies.

* Note: Dow categorizes its product as "ultra-low formaldehyde" when the cross-linking mechanisms of RHOPLEX™ ECONEXT™ Acrylic Binders do not generate formaldehyde under normal operating conditions. Nonwovens chemically bonded with these binders have no detectable formaldehyde using typical detection methods (<5 ppm or 2 ppm detection limits, depending upon the industry standard determination method used).

About Dow

Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology 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 2011, Dow had annual sales of $60 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 197 sites in 36 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


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