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Frost & Sullivan Recognizes Kraton Polymers for Developing a New Generation of Polymer Grades Suitable for High-Speed Processing in Nonwoven Manufacture
Date:3/31/2009

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on its recent analysis of the elastic nonwovens market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Kraton Polymers LLC with the 2009 North American Frost & Sullivan Technology Leadership of the Year Award for its on-going measures to lead innovation in the field of styrenic block copolymers (SBCs). Already established as an innovator in this field for over four decades, the company's new family of SBCs, the MD6705, G1643, and MD6717 grades are in a class all by themselves. These new grades are suitable for an array of applications that demand superior quality of softness, breathability, and elasticity.

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Over the years, many technologies have been developed in the elastic nonwoven market, which primarily seeks to balance cost and performance. However, most of the conventional procedures do not offer high-processing rates, and they require multiple production steps. Currently, most elastic nonwoven fabrics are made using an expensive lamination process with an elastic film sandwiched between two non-elastic polypropylene spunbond fabrics. This new technology can achieve good elasticity and strength with a single elastic spunbond fabric, thereby eliminating the need to laminate three layers. In addition, the resulting elastic fabrics offer a soft feel, and good drape-ability.

The elastic melt blown grade allows customers, who do not have bicomponent fiber technology, to replace the elastic film in the current laminated constructions. The resulting spunbond-melt blown-spunbond (SMS) laminate could be made in a single step process, which would provide a significant manufacturing cost reduction.

In this context, Kraton Polymers LLC has developed a styrenic block copolymer formulation that is suitable for high-spe
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