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Superabsorbent Polymers: From Diapers to Crops of the Future
published in Issue 65, 2nd quarter 2006
Superabsorbent polymers, generally referred to as SAPs, have the ability to absorb and store many times their own weight of aqueous liquids. For this reason, they have been widely employed in the disposable hygiene sector—in diapers, feminine care items and adult incontinence products.
SAPs are barely 25 years old. They were first introduced commercially into the hygiene market by Japan’s Unicharm in 1982 and were adopted in the mid-1980s by the brands of major Western consumer product companies such as Procter & Gamble and Kimberly Clark.
Today, the bulk of global SAP production, by far, is being swallowed up by the nonwoven disposable hygiene products industry. But small quantities of SAPs are also being used in other fields—especially in advancing the growth of crops, where there is vast potential for future growth.
SAPs are also being employed in other applications—including food packaging, the protection of cables from water damage, and firefighting aids.
Superabsorbent fibres (SAFs)—which are made from SAPs—are being produced by the UK company Technical Absorbents, based on technology originally developed by Courtaulds. SAFs have many niche technical uses in yarn and fabric form, including food packaging, medical fabrics and power cable yarns.
Four times a year, Technical Textile Markets provides an overview of the global man-made fibre, nonwoven and technical textile industries. It provides market data and analysis of new and established markets for technical textiles, and is essential reading for senior executives in (or supplying) the man-made fibre, nonwoven and technical textile sectors – as well as for those who are not involved in the industry on a day-to-day basis, but who need an authoritative source which helps them to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues facing the companies which are actively involved in this fast-growing sector.
Reports in Technical Textile Markets include:
company and country profiles – giving you the opportunity to learn from strategies employed by others, in terms of production, sourcing, import/export, infrastructure and development, and plans for the future.
profiles of the world's top 40 producers of nonwovens – updated each year with details of developments from each of the leading producers, including acquisitions, investments and divestments, and analyses of trends which the "rising stars" are using to their advantage.
statistical reports – including consumption data, by fibre and end-use applications. Regular updates are published for fibre consumption in Japan, the rest of Asia, the USA, and Western Europe.
market sector information – analyses of important commercial end-user applications, and profiles of both established and emerging markets which take into account such innovations and developments as nanotechnology and intelligent textiles.
regular updates on innovations in fibres, technical textiles, apparel and machinery – including developments in the following categories: fibres and yarns; technical textile fabrics for industrial applications; machinery; technical textiles for apparel; composites; other technical textile products; and technical textile treatments and finishes.
reports on new technological developments and other topical issues – with clear, authoritative comments on their economic and commercial significance. The reports bring to your attention the key issues which you can use to develop your business, and provides contact details of useful organisations.
So whether you are involved in man-made fibres, nonwovens or technical textiles – in manufacturing, converting, import/export, or end use – or if you are in education or consultancy or investment or finance – a subscription to Technical Textile Markets will tell you what you need to know about the key trends in the industry.
Technical Textile Markets is available on subscription – either in printed format only, or in printed and electronic format. If you choose the printed only option, you will receive 4 printed publications a year. Each issue contains five research-based reports (see above) and an editorial.
Electronic supplement If you choose the printed and electronic option, you will receive an extra service. You will still receive each issue in printed format, delivered to you by traditional post.
In addition, you will be able to download PDF files containing the same information – but the PDF files will be available immediately on publication, so you don’t have to wait for the printing and mailing. You also have all the benefits of electronic files: instant access even when you are away from the office; convenient storage in your PC or laptop; portability; electronic search facility; and copy/paste facility.
You will also receive a monthly update of business news, called "Technical Textiles Business Update" delivered to you by email, free of charge.
Technical textiles are used in a wide range of end-use applications and markets, including agricultural; automotive; building/ construction/ engineering; medical and hygiene; packaging; protective clothing; sports and sportswear; and transport. A subscription to Technical Textile Markets will support your decision making, and provide the information you need to expand into new markets.
This is what our customers say:
"I subscribe to Textile Outlook International and Technical Textile Markets. I find that they contain valuable information which helps me in my research"
(Howard Lo; Project Manager at Taiwan Textile Industry Promoti; )