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GKD at IDEA: Filter media for the production of spunlaid nonwovens

The IDEA 2016 in Boston this year broke all records for numbers of exhibitors and participants – an impressive indication of the rising importance of technical textiles and nonwovens. For the fourth time, GKD – GEBR. KUFFERATH AG was present at this prestigious specialist conference with its accompanying trade fair to showcase its all-round expertise in spunlaid processes.

With its comprehensive range of products and services for the production of spunlaid nonwovens and its well-established reputation as a solutions provider, GKD was a highly sought-after expert at the event. Hardly surprising, considering the pressure spunlaid manufacturers are under from increasingly challenging consumer requirements. To prevail in this highly competitive market, they have to constantly adapt their processes to the ever-increasing demands of the converting industry. The crucial factors are long service life of plant components and consistently reliable processes. As an integrated provider of solutions and services, along with its portfolio of established high-quality products GKD also presented its latest innovations to the top-class professional audience in Boston. The woven solutions on show ranged from filter media for central filters and spin beams to quench screens and laydown belts.

Visitors were very impressed by GKD’s optimised dutch weave (ODW) meshes made of stainless steel for the polymer filtration stage. Thanks to their special construction, these meshes combine precise filtration at ultrafine separation rates with low differential pressure. Their high dirt-holding capacity and low clogging tendency guarantee the process reliability required for long life-cycles. They also reliably filter out poorly dispersed additives and solid particles, while gel-like impurities in the melt are crushed by the shearing forces that arise. In screen changers, this mesh type is deployed as a multi-layer construction in process-specifically assembled filter discs or cartridges. In the spin beam, several layers of made-to-measure, perfectly phased meshes ensure reliable filtration of the flow of the melt and thus improved the service life of the spinneret. These frame-mounted long filters or filter discs, which can be up to 6 metres in size, are custom-made by GKD to ensure an optimal level of process success – high-performance premium products that reflect GKD’s engineering expertise as well as comprehensive quality control and automated cleaning of the mesh before cutting to size. Visitors at the stand also showed great interest in quench screens, which are used to generate a homogeneous stream of cold air to harden the still-hot continuous filaments before the laydown section. For the construction of these quench screens, large-format honeycomb carrier plates are covered on both sides with specially pre-treated mesh and mounted in a frame. Here, the proof of GKD’s expertise in constructing and covering these screens lies in the absolute consistency of the cold-air flow. And this caught the attention of visitors in Boston, whether their interest was primarily in initial outfitting or retro-fitting.

There was also extremely positive resonance to GKD’s electrostatically conductive laydown belts. These endless polyester belts from the CONDUCTO® and CONDUCTIVE® product range, capable of running at speeds of up to 1000 m/min, offer substantial benefits in terms of process quality. Bronze wires or graphite filaments woven into their warp reliably conduct away any electrostatic charge caused by the process itself. Thanks to their high degree of cross-stability, non-marking pin seams, excellent traction, low fibre penetration, uniform card web formation and trouble-free nonwoven doffing, they represent a reliable guarantee for maximum process efficiency. No wonder, then, that Thomas Maßen, GKD’s Sales & Application Manager, is extremely pleased with how things went at the IDEA: “The three-day trade fair was an ideal platform for us to prove our all-round competence regarding polymer filtration and nonwovens forming in dialogues with discerning professionals.” And the numerous promising discussions and specific enquiries clearly show that, at this flagship event for the nonwovens production sector in the USA, GKD was successful in expanding its excellent reputation as an expert for filtration and process belts.

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