“New applications for nonwovens – as highly-adaptable engineered materials – continue to be found, especially for high performance industrial applications which are frequently niche, overlooked, or under the radar.
The third Nonwovens for High-Performance Applications conference (March 2017) highlighted a number of key development areas, including the use of nonwovens as automotive components for lightweighting and as substitutes for other materials; as flexible reinforcements for composites, and as highly-efficient filter media. Their potential in energy generation and storage, as second life carbon fibre components and as groundbreaking new medical devices and implants were also detailed. On the technology front, the growing commercial adoption of nanofibre layers and coatings was a key theme, as was the expanding applications for both spunmelt and spunlaced nonwovens, beyond their established use in the disposable hygiene and wipes mass markets.
At NHPA2018, I think it became clear that legislation is often a key driver in areas such as cleaner air and water, as well as reducing the emissions from vehicles via lightweighting. Providing solutions to satisfy key new needs has always been a particular strength of the nonwovens industry and we reflected this in the comprehensive two-day event.
Speakers demonstrated how technology is creating new markets with new processes, materials and machinery and how the search for new high-performance applications are shaping these developments, alongside increasingly important sustainability requirements.This fourth NHPA represented a key opportunity to discover what some of the most forward-thinking organisations are planning, and to profitably exchange ideas." Adrian Wilson, Conference Chair, NHPA2018