The Road to ANEX 2018 Series 14: Kuraray Kuraflex Focuses on Nonwovens Boasting Originality

Kitchen wipes have obtained HACCP product certification

Kuraray Kuraflex Co., Ltd. offers nonwovens made by various manufacturing methods such as spunlace, meltblow and original steam-jet technique, and plays the center role in the Living Goods and Materials Division of Kuraray Fibers and Textile Company. An emphasis is also placed on offering nonwovens made from Kuraray’s original special polymers. Atsumi Adachi, President and Representative Director of Kuraray Kuraflex aims at making it a nonwovens business that demonstrates originality.

An item that continues to do well in recent years is kitchen wipes. Cases are increasing in which the company’s products are introduced in sanitation management manuals, such as in the restaurant service industry, and initiatives with a specialized trading firm are producing results. Even in 2018, sales continue to remain strong. The company recently obtained HACCP product certification, which is widely recognized as a quality control method in the food industry. It is the first time in the industry that certification has been given to commercial sanitary wipes, and this increases hopes for expanding sales in the future.

Sales of meltblown fabrics are steady for use in air filters, liquid filters such as coffee filters and sound-absorbing materials for automobiles. Under such circumstances, the expansion of applications for meltblown nonwovens made from special polymers is a major theme. Besides using the current main material of polypropylene, Kuraray Kuraflex is moving to develop new applications and demand with nonwovens made from Kuraray’s original materials, such as Vecrus liquid crystal polymer nonwovens and Septon nonwovens made from styrene-based thermoplastic elastomer.

Expectations are great for the original steam jet nonwovens manufacturing method. Sales are currently expanding for medical bandages, and developments for application in agricultural and horticultural materials are also advancing, such as water-absorbing tapes for Ikebana. In this group-wide business, Kuraray Kuraflex produces the nonwoven fabric, and Kuraray Fastening Co., Ltd. undertakes dyeing and finishing. The creation of demand is carried out in collaboration with group companies. For instance, a nonwoven tape for mending broken tomato branches has been developed, and sales of this tape in Japan is undertaken by Kuraray Trading Co., Ltd. (distributor is Sakata Seed Corporation.)

Making the most of its strengths, Kuraray Kuraflex will show nonwovens made by a chemical manufacturer at the fore at ANEX 2018. The company will introduce nonwovens made from special polymers and products made with its original manufacturing method with an intention of creating new applications and demand from its meetings with users who are showing interest.