Change size. Change shape. Change material.
To satisfy demanding and ever-increasing performance needs, Eastman Cyphrex™ microfibers are designed to target unique functionality by independently or simultaneously fine-tuning:
Eastman Cyphrex microfibers help manufacturers of nonwoven media achieve desired functional properties with a completely new set of tools — all without forcing them to compromise performance in one area to make gains in another.
Exclusive innovations in Cyphrex technology and process allow Eastman to produce these easily dispersible synthetic microfibers in uniform and precise lengths, diameters and shapes.
Through leveraging its insight and capability, Eastman is positioned to offer Eastman Cyphrex microfibers that can make the most meaningful difference in nonwovens performance and substantially shorten the innovation cycle. With an understanding of critical performance requirements for specific wetlaid nonwoven applications, Eastman designs new microfibers targeted to satisfy those needs. In its fibers and nonwovens & specialty paper research labs, prototype fibers are developed, incorporated into nonwoven media, and evaluated to best understand their impact on critical parameters, such as porosity, permeability or strength.
Eastman Cyphrex™ microfibers offer customers access to highly uniform fibers in previously unavailable lengths, diameters and cross sections.
By delivering microfibers below 0.4 denier in both round and flat cross-sections, Eastman Cyphrex™ microfibers offer access to high-specific-surface-area materials that are both highly uniform and easily dispersed. As a result, a range of desired functional properties can be achieved through blending different Eastman Cyphrex microfibers to achieve precise and repeatable nonwoven properties. For instance, you can pinpoint precise permeability, pore size, and strength.
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Eastman Cyphrex™ microfibers can be made in a variety of shapes, including round, flat, and wedge.
Eastman has conducted extensive research with round and flat microfibers to show how the properties of wetlaid nonwoven media can be fine-tuned to achieve targeted functionality.
Recently, Eastman introduced a flat PET microfiber that is less than 0.4 denier with a unique cross section that enables manufacturers to produce exceptionally uniform synthetic nonwovens that are lightweight and remarkably strong.
Cyphrex flat PET microfibers demonstrate that the microfiber shape can impact the attributes of wetlaid nonwovens in ways that changing microfiber size alone may not allow.
Eastman Cyphrex™ microfibers allow expanded options for synthetic microfibers in wetlaid nonwoven media applications.
Eastman Cyphrex™ microfibers technology enables access to the widest range of synthetic polymers for microfibers. Eastman has the capability to leverage a broad set of polymers, from the most commonly used PET and PP to materials considered specialties for nonwovens, such as nylon, PLA, copolyesters, and others. Eastman uses this capability to target the right functionality for the right application.
Eastman has conducted research to measure how varying Cyphrex microfiber size, shape, and material enable the creation of unique wetlaid nonwoven products with an endless array of formulations and performance advantages, such as pore size, permeability, formation, and strength.
The ability to control the permeability of nonwoven media is critical in many high value applications — such as filtration. PET microfibers of discrete diameters and 1.5 mm in length were blended with NBSK pulp at levels of 20 and 40 wt% based on total furnish solids (Figure 1).
Not surprisingly, significant improvements in the permeability of the otherwise impermeable cellulosic sheet were observed, and those were seen to be directly related to both the diameter of the PET microfiber and the amount of microfiber present. What may be somewhat surprising is the relatively linear response with respect to microfiber diameter.
When you change size, precision is no small thing.
One might question whether the wide and useful range of permeability enabled by the 40% microfiber blends would necessarily require a number of fiber sizes to access that functionality. Figure 2 shows the discrete fiber diameters of Figure 1 replaced with a blend of two commercially available microfibers — specifically 2.5-micron and 4.5-micron diameters. Figure 2 shows how the apparent diameters created by blending these microfibers allow manufacturers to more precisely achieve targeted permeability properties.
The uniformity of a nonwoven media (aka “formation”) is an attribute of some importance, as it can influence a wide range of functional media characteristics, which can be negatively impacted by the non-uniformity of the substrate. These characteristics can range from relatively simple appearance requirements to rather complex filtration phenomena. Formation can be evaluated visually (by those sufficiently experienced) or instrumentally (e.g., M/K Systems, Inc., Formation Analyzer). The impact of PET microfibers of multiple sizes and shapes on the formation of a cellulose/synthetic blend was evaluated (see Figure 3).
While the 4.5 micron round Cyphrex microfiber significantly improves the formation when compared to a cellulosic blend, the flat Cyphrex microfiber delivers more than twice the improvement.
Eastman Cyphrex™ flat PET microfibers have a profile and aspect ratio that enable them to disperse easily in water — without special shear or agitation. By allowing a wider useful range of synthetic fiber content ratio than other commercially available synthetic microfibers, Cyphrex flat fibers are compatible with all standard wetlaid processes and equipment.