LENZING AG

Innovation in man-made cellulosic fibres is one of the essential corporate elements of Lenzing’s success. Hence we constantly search for novel applications for our existing fibre portfolio.

Lenzing fibre products are part of the natural cellulose cycle. One outstanding trait of our products is that they are highly compostable and fully biodegradable.

The wood pulp used for our cellulose fibre products stems largely from sustainably managed sources certified by FSC or PEFC certification bodies. We therefore know the origins of our key forests and plantations and their methods of production. Own pulp and fiber productions using best available technologies giving highest resource efficiency and minimised environmental impacts.Man-made cellulose fibres are known today as premium products filling a special niche in the spectrum of fibres.

Thanks to its ongoing technological advances, the Lenzing Group is the only producer in the world today globally offering all three generations of man-made cellulose fibres, viscose, modal and the lyocell fibre TENCEL®. TENCEL® is the newest generation of man-made cellulose fibres.TENCEL® fibres have optimum moisture management properties that make them appealing for use in high-grade home textiles such as bedspreads, sheets and pillow cases, but also in sportswear and outer garments for women. The environmental friendliness and biodegradability of TENCEL® fibres are essential market criteria for sensitive segments such as cosmetics and hygiene. Innovations in applications help to open up new market segments with existing products or to transfer existing technologies to new markets.

Innovations in applications help to open up new market segments with existing products or to transfer existing technologies to new markets.  The use of fibres from Lenzing has expanded over the years to encompass broad areas of application. Along with classic uses in the textile industry, Lenzing fibres are also convincing choices for the products in technical textiles.

Lenzing Modal® Color as an alternative for plastic nets

One of these applications is the use of Lenzing Fibres for biodegradable packaging for fruit and vegetables. This new packaging solution bears significantly positive environmental impact. Wood based cellulose nets are fully biodegradable, compostable, allowing it to re-enter the food life cycle. Studies with regard to the rate of being compostable were carried out in carefully controlled environments (Picture 1).
Figure 1: Lenzing Modal® Nets for packaging

TENCEL® new solutions for the footwear industry

Fabrics and nonwovens containing TENCEL® provide excellent moisture properties. An outstanding characteristic of TENCEL® is the ability to absorb and release moisture, which results in a long-lasting optimal foot climate. TENCEL® contributes to the reduction of odour causing bacteria within footwear components. An increased wearing comfort is guaranteed.

Lenzing and a number of renowned partners are currently innovating footwear components like lining, inner lining, thermo-adhesive lining, paddings as well as insoles all focused on improved moisture management and requested technical performance.

Meanwhile also laces, zippers and even sewing threads can be obtained from TENCEL®. Shoe manufacturer and designer can choose for a sustainable footwear parts portfolio offering enhanced moisture management opportunities without compromising performance and longevity of the product.
Figure 2: Botanic shoe concept with TENCEL®

TENCEL® Twines, the sustainable solution for growing fruits and vegetables

Agro twines produced from TENCEL®, main for green-house use can be tailored to keep the required strength during the growth period of the plant, but being compostable after harvesting. With this unique feature it is possible to substitute plastic twines and wire twines. After harvesting period, no separation of the remaining plant and the twine is necessary. The residual biomass can be directly transferred to composting site, offering time saving and as well as cost reduction is an environmentally sustainable product.
Figure 3: TENCEL® twines for green-house

Outlook

Cellulosic fibers manufactured according to the lyocell process have a great potential to substitute standard plastics and oil based synthetic fibers. Coming from renewable origin, TENCEL® can be returned into the natural cycle without restrictions. The claim: ‘from nature’ to ‘usage’ ‘back to nature’ is truly fulfilled.

Currently Lenzing AG is evaluating additional promising applications where sustainability will meet demanding technical performance criteria like for carry bags, filters and even thermoplastic reinforcement and composite materials will be investigated.

 By Marina Crnoja-Cosic, Berndt Köll,