The main production methods to be exploited for these hybrid textile-like materials will include the wet-laid process for nonwovens, similar to modern paper making processes. The technical goal is to achieve high production volumes of such materials using print-grade paper machines while maintaining product performance required for massive applications such as home textiles, automotive, etc.
Innovations within this project include the implementation of state of the art paper-forming technologies for textile production, e.g. stratified forming and foam-forming processes and Expancel technology, all of which can supersede the traditional wet-laidprocess. Hybridmaterials will be produced using a combination of cellulose and strengthening fibers and will achieve functionalities including high flexibility, extensibility, strength, softness and porosity. The underlying objective is an increased marketshare for wet-laid non-wovens on the order of 20-50 percent.
This project will contribute to sustainable growth of the Swedish forest, paper, and textiles industries for the foreseeable future, all of which are currently facing severe challenges, namely in finding new applications for its renewable raw material, new product and market segments, and replacement of cotton and/or oil basedraw materialsr espectively. A successful project would revitalize these three key Swedish industries significantly.