World’s first padding made from fiberballs
Bangalore, September 24, 2019:Freudenberg Performance Materials presents a new dimension in thermal insulation: comfortemp® fiberball padding. This first ever padding made from fiberballs combines the benefits of loose down filling and padding with a whole new level of quality. As the material insulates 80 percent better than conventional padding even though the new material is as light and soft as down.
The sports and outdoor clothing industry is booming. Freudenberg Performance Materials has developed a special thermal insulation, which is soft, warm, breathable, and sustainable. A material that benefits both industry and consumers.The mountain calls, the forest beckons: More and more people are spending time outdoors to unwind after a hard day’s work. In every type of weather, they go out to clear their minds, re-energize, play sports or simply have a nice time with friends and family. Inclement weather such as rain, snow, and cold mean they need the right equipment to truly enjoy the hours spent. Reliable clothing is a must. No wonder the sport and outdoor clothing industry is booming.
To be part of this trend, Freudenberg Performance Materials developed the comfortemp®fiberball padding. The popular Italian outdoor-sportswear brand, Napapijri, is a partner in this process.comfortemp®fiberball padding is the first wadding in the world made from contiguous small fiberballs. It is warm, breathable, and durable. For customers and producers, it is a compelling alternative to loose materials such as down.
Warm, light, and flexible
Though downs are light and very good at keeping a body warm, they can trigger allergies and clump when they get wet. “Working with loose material like down is much more complicated and difficult for the clothing industry,” explains R&D specialist and comfortemp®fiberball padding project manager Sarah Ziem. The loose material must be filled in small pockets, which are then quilted, but they can still slip, allowing thermal bridges to form on the seams. This is not possible with meter goods like comfortemp®fiberball padding. It provides excellent and consistent warmth. And Comfortemp allows greater design freedom for producers in less time and at lower costs.
“Our wadding is versatile and combines the best characteristics of loose materials and meter goods,” says Sarah Ziem. The wadding is made up of loose fiberball and binder fibers. During production, the balls are mixed with fibers and are formed to a cohesive nonwoven material using the “Airlaid” process. Afterwards, it can be further processed without time lost.
Another important factor here is the material’s rebound force. This is the force with which the wadding recovers after it has been vacuum packed together. comfortemp®fiberball padding has a high-volume recovery force. “After being manufactured, the material is tightly vacuum- packed and then sent at relatively low cost,” says Sarah Ziem. After being unpacked, it rapidly “rebounds”. Freudenberg’s customers can then use it in production a few hours later. This also saves time and money. Other materials take much longer to unfold. The positive effect also benefits end consumers. When they pull their jacket out of their backpack on a mountain peak, they don’t have to waste time fluffing it out.
For four years Freudenberg Performance Materials researched and developed comfortemp®fiberball padding. Fiberballs are also used in the furniture and bedding industries. “The greatest challenge for us was finding a process for the clothing industry to produce such light, soft, and voluminous products,” says Sarah Ziem. The Freudenberg engineers thought hard, tinkered and combined various elements in a clever, integrated process: Starting with finding the right raw materials and fiber mix, using the Airlaid technology and the associated homogeneous nonwoven deposition, and then finding the perfect speed and temperature in the oven. A process with prospects that provides room for the development of further diversified products in the Freudenberg Group.
Last but not least, comfortemp®fiberball padding impresses in terms of sustainability. It consists of 70% recycled polyester that is derived from post-consumer PET bottles. Although the fiberballs themselves are 100% recycled, binder fibers are used in the manufacturing process, resulting in a total of 70% recycled material. Sustainability is a key sales proposition, particularly in the outdoor industry. “Sustainability is at the top of the agenda in the clothing industry,” says Christiano Zanetti, Sales Manager for Freudenberg Performance Materials in Italy. “Practically all companies are working on it, as the end customers are demanding it.” In the end, many people benefit from comfortemp®fiberball padding: the clothing industry, consumers, Freudenberg – and the great outdoors, which the clever padding makes it possible to enjoy in any weather.
Freudenberg Performance Materials India Pvt. Ltd. was established in 1998 at Chennai in India. The company is active in the Interlining and Industrial Nonwovens business area besides shoe components. The Interlining Division, located in the city of Chennai, produces Vilene® interlinings, offering high quality and reliable inter- lining solutions to garment exporters in India covering nonwoven, woven weft and shirt interlinings. Nonwovens are furthermore used in the shoe export industry with high function components for shoe manufacturing. Cable wrap materials such as water blocking tapes are sold to the fiber op- tic and power cable industry.
The company also supplies non-wovens for automotive interiors and industrial wipes. In addition, Freudenberg Performance Materials India is engaged in the medical field with the development of nonwovens for wound pads and transdermal patches. “Freudenberg Performance Materials is the world’s leading specialist in nonwoven, woven and knitted interlinings, developing tailor-made solutions in close collaboration with customers in all parts of the world. Our solutions are world class and apt for many applications across industries and markets. Rapid growth has been a priority in India to date. Overall, sustainability and the protection of resources are only slowly gaining in importance. However, with a view to future generations, we have a duty to focus much more strongly on waste prevention and energy saving. Sustainability is increasingly becoming an incentive and a measure of the value of products and my team is already working on other ideas to further promote environmental protection at the site.” says SivasailamG, Managing Director, Freudenberg Performance Materials India Pvt Ltd.
About Freudenberg in India
Freudenberg has held business ties with companies in India for more than 90 years. The Group employs some 2,750 associates at 50 locations. Freudenberg in India recorded sales of ₹2401crores in 2018.
About Freudenberg Performance Materials
Freudenberg Performance Materials is a leading global supplier of innovative performance materials offering differentiated value propositions to a broad range of markets and applications such as Automotive Interiors, Apparel, Building Materials, Filtration, Hygiene, Medical, Shoe Components and Specialties. In 2016, the company generated sales of over €900 million and has more than 20 manufacturing sites in 14 countries and more than 3.800 associates. Freudenberg Performance Materials has many years of experience in technical textiles and applications. The company attaches great importance to social and ecological responsibility.For further information please go to www.freudenberg-pm.com
About the Freudenberg Group
Freudenberg is a global technology group that strengthens its customers and society long-term through forward-looking innovations. Together with its part-ners, customers and research institutions, the Freudenberg Group develops leading-edge technologies and excellent products and services for about 40 markets and for thousands of applications: seals, vibration control components,technical textiles, filters, specialty chemicals, medical products and the most modern cleaning products.
Strength of innovation, strong customer orientation, diversity, and team spirit are the cornerstones of the Group. The 170-year-old company holds strong to its core values: a commitment to excellence, reliability and pro-active, responsible action. In 2018, the Freudenberg Group employed more than 49,000 people in some 60 countries worldwide and generated sales of more than €9.4 billion. For more information, please visit www.freudenberg.com
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