Dow Launches RHOPLEX™ ECONEXT™ Acrylic Binders In North America

The Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich., has launched in North America a series of acrylic binders designed to enable manufacturers of hygiene and medical products to produce end-use nonwovens products containing minimal levels of formaldehyde.

According to Dow, RHOPLEX™ ECONEXT™ binders offer the best performance characteristics of conventional self-crosslinking nonwovens binder technology — including excellent wet strength, hydrophobicity, and the option to adjust softness and stiffness — but contain low and ultra-low levels of formaldehyde so that manufacturers can meet increasingly stringent industry standards such as the Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 certification for textile raw materials, intermediates and end products.

Rhoplex Econext 110, 210 and 230 are the first binders in the product line to be commercialized in North America. The acrylic binders may be used in disposable and reusable nonwoven applications and are especially suitable for use in formaldehyde-sensitive environments such as hospitals, schools, and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®)-certified buildings and manufacturing facilities, Dow reports.

“Our breakthrough Rhoplex Econext technology allows companies an opportunity to use this family of binders with the knowledge that they were made with minimal formaldehyde and frequently maintain the same performance characteristics as those traditionally served by formaldehyde-releasing solutions,” said Courtney Fretz, global marketing director for Textile, Non-Wovens & Films, Dow. “With this new technology platform, we continue to expand the range of performance of Dow’s binder solutions for North America that demand nonwoven products with low or ultra-low formaldehyde levels.”

Dow introduced the technology last year under its European trade name PRIMAL™ ECONEXT™ at INDEX 11 — the nonwovens exhibition sponsored by Brussels-based EDANA, the International Association Serving the Nonwovens and Related Industries — and received an innovation award for it at the show.



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