WO2018184044A1 - A nonwoven web designed for use in a wet floor cleaning wipe - Google Patents

A nonwoven web designed for use in a wet floor cleaning wipe Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2018184044A1
WO2018184044A1 PCT/AT2017/000025 AT2017000025W WO2018184044A1 WO 2018184044 A1 WO2018184044 A1 WO 2018184044A1 AT 2017000025 W AT2017000025 W AT 2017000025W WO 2018184044 A1 WO2018184044 A1 WO 2018184044A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
nonwoven material
nonwoven
filaments
mop
layers
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/AT2017/000025
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Tom Carlyle
Mirko Einzmann
Gisela Goldhalm
Malcolm John Hayhurst
Katharina Mayer
Ibrahim SAGERER-FORIC
Original Assignee
Lenzing Ag
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
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Publication date
Application filed by Lenzing Ag filed Critical Lenzing Ag
Priority to PCT/AT2017/000025 priority Critical patent/WO2018184044A1/en
Publication of WO2018184044A1 publication Critical patent/WO2018184044A1/en

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Classifications

    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D04BRAIDING; LACE-MAKING; KNITTING; TRIMMINGS; NON-WOVEN FABRICS
    • D04HMAKING TEXTILE FABRICS, e.g. FROM FIBRES OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL; FABRICS MADE BY SUCH PROCESSES OR APPARATUS, e.g. FELTS, NON-WOVEN FABRICS; COTTON-WOOL; WADDING NON-WOVEN FABRICS FROM STAPLE FIBRES, FILAMENTS OR YARNS, BONDED WITH AT LEAST ONE WEB-LIKE MATERIAL DURING THEIR CONSOLIDATION
    • D04H1/00Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres
    • D04H1/40Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties
    • D04H1/42Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties characterised by the use of certain kinds of fibres insofar as this use has no preponderant influence on the consolidation of the fleece
    • D04H1/425Cellulose series
    • D04H1/4258Regenerated cellulose series
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47LDOMESTIC WASHING OR CLEANING; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L13/00Implements for cleaning floors, carpets, furniture, walls, or wall coverings
    • A47L13/10Scrubbing; Scouring; Cleaning; Polishing
    • A47L13/16Cloths; Pads; Sponges
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B5/00Layered products characterised by the non- homogeneity or physical structure, i.e. comprising a fibrous, filamentary, particulate or foam layer; Layered products characterised by having a layer differing constitutionally or physically in different parts
    • B32B5/02Layered products characterised by the non- homogeneity or physical structure, i.e. comprising a fibrous, filamentary, particulate or foam layer; Layered products characterised by having a layer differing constitutionally or physically in different parts characterised by structural features of a fibrous or filamentary layer
    • B32B5/022Non-woven fabric
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B5/00Layered products characterised by the non- homogeneity or physical structure, i.e. comprising a fibrous, filamentary, particulate or foam layer; Layered products characterised by having a layer differing constitutionally or physically in different parts
    • B32B5/22Layered products characterised by the non- homogeneity or physical structure, i.e. comprising a fibrous, filamentary, particulate or foam layer; Layered products characterised by having a layer differing constitutionally or physically in different parts characterised by the presence of two or more layers which are next to each other and are fibrous, filamentary, formed of particles or foamed
    • B32B5/24Layered products characterised by the non- homogeneity or physical structure, i.e. comprising a fibrous, filamentary, particulate or foam layer; Layered products characterised by having a layer differing constitutionally or physically in different parts characterised by the presence of two or more layers which are next to each other and are fibrous, filamentary, formed of particles or foamed one layer being a fibrous or filamentary layer
    • B32B5/26Layered products characterised by the non- homogeneity or physical structure, i.e. comprising a fibrous, filamentary, particulate or foam layer; Layered products characterised by having a layer differing constitutionally or physically in different parts characterised by the presence of two or more layers which are next to each other and are fibrous, filamentary, formed of particles or foamed one layer being a fibrous or filamentary layer another layer next to it also being fibrous or filamentary
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D04BRAIDING; LACE-MAKING; KNITTING; TRIMMINGS; NON-WOVEN FABRICS
    • D04HMAKING TEXTILE FABRICS, e.g. FROM FIBRES OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL; FABRICS MADE BY SUCH PROCESSES OR APPARATUS, e.g. FELTS, NON-WOVEN FABRICS; COTTON-WOOL; WADDING NON-WOVEN FABRICS FROM STAPLE FIBRES, FILAMENTS OR YARNS, BONDED WITH AT LEAST ONE WEB-LIKE MATERIAL DURING THEIR CONSOLIDATION
    • D04H1/00Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres
    • D04H1/40Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties
    • D04H1/42Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties characterised by the use of certain kinds of fibres insofar as this use has no preponderant influence on the consolidation of the fleece
    • D04H1/4374Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties characterised by the use of certain kinds of fibres insofar as this use has no preponderant influence on the consolidation of the fleece using different kinds of webs, e.g. by layering webs
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D04BRAIDING; LACE-MAKING; KNITTING; TRIMMINGS; NON-WOVEN FABRICS
    • D04HMAKING TEXTILE FABRICS, e.g. FROM FIBRES OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL; FABRICS MADE BY SUCH PROCESSES OR APPARATUS, e.g. FELTS, NON-WOVEN FABRICS; COTTON-WOOL; WADDING NON-WOVEN FABRICS FROM STAPLE FIBRES, FILAMENTS OR YARNS, BONDED WITH AT LEAST ONE WEB-LIKE MATERIAL DURING THEIR CONSOLIDATION
    • D04H1/00Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres
    • D04H1/40Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties
    • D04H1/44Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties the fleeces or layers being consolidated by mechanical means, e.g. by rolling
    • D04H1/46Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties the fleeces or layers being consolidated by mechanical means, e.g. by rolling by needling or like operations to cause entanglement of fibres
    • D04H1/48Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties the fleeces or layers being consolidated by mechanical means, e.g. by rolling by needling or like operations to cause entanglement of fibres in combination with at least one other method of consolidation
    • D04H1/485Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties the fleeces or layers being consolidated by mechanical means, e.g. by rolling by needling or like operations to cause entanglement of fibres in combination with at least one other method of consolidation in combination with weld-bonding
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D04BRAIDING; LACE-MAKING; KNITTING; TRIMMINGS; NON-WOVEN FABRICS
    • D04HMAKING TEXTILE FABRICS, e.g. FROM FIBRES OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL; FABRICS MADE BY SUCH PROCESSES OR APPARATUS, e.g. FELTS, NON-WOVEN FABRICS; COTTON-WOOL; WADDING NON-WOVEN FABRICS FROM STAPLE FIBRES, FILAMENTS OR YARNS, BONDED WITH AT LEAST ONE WEB-LIKE MATERIAL DURING THEIR CONSOLIDATION
    • D04H1/00Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres
    • D04H1/40Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties
    • D04H1/44Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties the fleeces or layers being consolidated by mechanical means, e.g. by rolling
    • D04H1/46Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties the fleeces or layers being consolidated by mechanical means, e.g. by rolling by needling or like operations to cause entanglement of fibres
    • D04H1/498Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties the fleeces or layers being consolidated by mechanical means, e.g. by rolling by needling or like operations to cause entanglement of fibres entanglement of layered webs
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D04BRAIDING; LACE-MAKING; KNITTING; TRIMMINGS; NON-WOVEN FABRICS
    • D04HMAKING TEXTILE FABRICS, e.g. FROM FIBRES OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL; FABRICS MADE BY SUCH PROCESSES OR APPARATUS, e.g. FELTS, NON-WOVEN FABRICS; COTTON-WOOL; WADDING NON-WOVEN FABRICS FROM STAPLE FIBRES, FILAMENTS OR YARNS, BONDED WITH AT LEAST ONE WEB-LIKE MATERIAL DURING THEIR CONSOLIDATION
    • D04H3/00Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of yarns or like filamentary material of substantial length
    • D04H3/013Regenerated cellulose series
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D04BRAIDING; LACE-MAKING; KNITTING; TRIMMINGS; NON-WOVEN FABRICS
    • D04HMAKING TEXTILE FABRICS, e.g. FROM FIBRES OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL; FABRICS MADE BY SUCH PROCESSES OR APPARATUS, e.g. FELTS, NON-WOVEN FABRICS; COTTON-WOOL; WADDING NON-WOVEN FABRICS FROM STAPLE FIBRES, FILAMENTS OR YARNS, BONDED WITH AT LEAST ONE WEB-LIKE MATERIAL DURING THEIR CONSOLIDATION
    • D04H3/00Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of yarns or like filamentary material of substantial length
    • D04H3/08Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of yarns or like filamentary material of substantial length characterised by the method of strengthening or consolidating
    • D04H3/10Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of yarns or like filamentary material of substantial length characterised by the method of strengthening or consolidating with bonds between yarns or filaments made mechanically
    • D04H3/11Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of yarns or like filamentary material of substantial length characterised by the method of strengthening or consolidating with bonds between yarns or filaments made mechanically by fluid jet

Abstract

The invention describes a nonwoven material suitable for use as a wet floor wipe or mop, containing at least a first cellulosic nonwoven web which (a) has high wet strength and abrasion resistance, (b) is able to dispense cleaning liquids under load over an extended surface area, (c) is able to recover spent or contaminated cleaning liquids from a surface, and (d) is biodegradable, compostable and based on renewable resources, characterized in that the cellulosic nonwoven web is made from essentially pure cellulose formed of essentially continuous filaments and multibonded by merged filaments, hydrogen bonding and physical intermingling of the filaments. Further it describes the use of the inventive nonwoven material as a base sheet for the manufacture of a compostable wet floor wipe or mop, such wipe or mop being loaded with a cleaning chemical solution. Further it describes a compostable wet floor wipe or mop, containing (a) the inventive nonwoven material and (b) a cleaning chemical solution.

Description

A nonwoven web designed for use in a wet floor cleaning wipe

This invention relates to a nonwoven web suitable to be used as the base sheet for a wet floor cleaning wipe or mop, and, more particularly, to an essentially pure cellulose nonwoven web formed from essentially continuous filaments and multibonded by merged filaments, hydrogen bonding and/or physical intermingling of filaments, providing the dimensional stability, floor cleaning ability, cleaning solution holding capacity and ability to release said solutions during use. Further, it is important for such a floor-cleaning wipe or mop to be capable of quickly removing the soiled or contaminant holding solutions from the floor after it has cleaned that surface. This fast liquid uptake speed has the potential to prevent streaking. This invention further relates to additional bonding of this web to other webs or materials through hydroentangling to enhance these key performance properties needed in a wet floor cleaning wipe.

The term "essentially pure cellulose" shall address the fact that cellulosic moulded bodies, e.g. made according to the lyocell process, always contain a small amount of polymers other than cellulose, namely hemicellulose. This does not influence in any way the suitability for the use according to this invention.

Prior Art

Although the use of nonwovens in wet floor cleaning wipes is a relatively recent development, it is still well known. U.S. 3,965,519 describes a nonwoven with reinforcement and bonding for use in a disposable floor wipe, JP 2001269300 describes hydroentangled nonwoven sheet as a wet floor wipe, U.S. 6,101 ,661 , U.S. 6,996,871 , and U.S. 7,096,531 describe a multilayer nonwoven floor wiper with density gradients to facilitate solution holding, dispensing and recovering; U.S. 6,762,138 and U.S. 7,422,660 describe a wetlaid nonwoven hydroentangled with an additional nonwoven layer, U.S. 9,220,389 describes a multilayer airlaid nonwoven with a meltblown nonwoven cover, and U.S. 8,250,719 describes an airlaid nonwoven hydroentangled with another nonwoven. All of these describe nonwovens or composites used for wet floor wipes or mops. There has been significant research in nonwovens for hard surface floor cleaning wipes but the current technology is not yet optimal. Most of the current technology recognizes the need for absorbency of cellulosic material coupled with the abrasion resistance and strength of synthetic staple fibers or a meltblown nonwoven. Cleaning the surface of a floor demands much more strength and abrasion resistance than most other hard surfaces. Additionally, the size of the desired cleaning area is much larger than for most other hard surface cleaning applications. Therefore, the wet floor wipe must be able to absorb and hold more liquid, must be able to dispense this liquid under pressure evenly over a large area, and physically scour a large abrasive surface.

Previous technology has addressed one or more of these issues, but not all. U.S. 6,101 ,661 , U.S. 6,996,871 , U.S. 7,096,531 , U.S. 8,250,719,

and U.S. 9,220,389 all describe multilayer products including airlaid pulp nonwovens for absorbency, solution holding, dispensing and recovering, combined with either a polyolefin film, scrim, or meltblown polyolefin cover to impart abrasion resistance and wet strength. The problem is that the cover is not absorbent and can hinder dispensing and recovery of cleaning fluids, as well as making the entire structure less biodegradable or sustainable.

The present invention relates to the use of specially designed nonwoven substrates produced using novel variants of the spunlaid nonwoven process, comprising 100% cellulose polymers. There are known methods and products using spunlaid cellulose webs. U.S. 6,358,461 , U.S. 7,067,444, U.S. 8,012,565, U.S. 8,191 ,214, U.S. 8,263,506 and U.S. 8,318,318 all teach methods for producing and using spunlaid cellulose webs. None of these teaches either production methods for, or products addressing the specific substrate requirements for wet floor wipes or mops.

Problem

Wet floor wipes or mops are usually based on sponges, textiles or

nonwovens. Recent market demands have favoured single use disposable wet floor wipes or mops and these are based almost entirely on nonwovens and/or nonwoven composites. These products are usually pre-impregnated with a cleaning solution. Usually, the cleaning solution or fluid is dispensed from the wet floor wipe to the surface, and then the wipe is used to combine with the cleaning solution while applying cleaning force to the floor and moving the cleaning fluid over the floor surface. A wet floor cleaning wipe must be able to clean a floor area without abrading or deteriorating; lint or wipe material cannot be left on the floor. The wet floor wipe or mop must not tear when wet and cleaning a floor. Additionally, the wipe must be able to absorb and recover or remove the spent or used cleaning solution. Finally, biodegradability and sustainable production is desired. To be suitable for floor cleaning, a wipe or mop must be able to clean a much larger area than a normal hard surface cleaning wipe. This requires some wet durability, as well as the ability to hold and uniformly dispense cleaning solution over the entire area to be cleaned.

The problem with current hard surface floor cleaning wipe technology is that none addresses all of the needs. The most prevalent solution is to combine two separate nonwovens or materials; one with wet strength and durability and one with absorbency and solution handling properties. This is both expensive and inadequate, as the result is an average of the two materials, where the absorbent material is not strong or durable and the strong material is not absorbent or biodegradable. An optimal solution is not available.

There is a distinct need for a biodegradable, sustainably produced strong, abrasion resistant and absorbent nonwoven substrate for use in wet floor wipes or mops.

Description

It is the object of the present invention to provide a nonwoven material suitable for use as a wet floor wipe or mop, containing at least a first cellulosic nonwoven web which (a) has high wet strength and abrasion resistance, (b) is able to dispense cleaning liquids under load over an extended surface area, (c) is able to recover spent or contaminated cleaning liquids from a surface, and (d) is biodegradable, compostable and based on renewable resources. The nonwoven material is characterized in that the cellulosic nonwoven web is made from essentially pure cellulose formed of essentially continuous filaments and multibonded by merged filaments, hydrogen bonding and physical intermingling of the filaments.

The nonwoven web is produced using a spunbond or meltblown die or head to form the continuous filaments, in principle known from the prior art cited above.

The nonwoven material according to the invention is used in a wet floor wipe or mop that is designed to be a biodegradable and sustainable nonwoven with high strength, high abrasion resistance, high absorbency, uniform liquid dispensing and complete liquid recovery and 100% biodegradability. The nonwoven web, which is a 100% continuous filament cellulose nonwoven will provide both high strength/abrasion resistance and high absorbency, and as a sustainable product, produced using an environmentally sound process.

Compared to nonwoven substrates based on meltblown polyolefins, the present invention is more absorbent and biodegradable and sustainably produced. These features of cellulose compared to polyolefin nonwoven materials are well known to those experienced in the art.

Compared to nonwoven substrates based on cellulosic fibers, the present invention has superior strength and abrasion resistance, with comparable absorbency, biodegradability and sustainability.

Compared to composites, including those of hydroentangled combinations of meltblown polyolefins with cellulose materials, the present invention has equivalent strength, superior cleanability, liquid take up rate, and overall absorbency.

The degree of merged filament bonding also results in a range of filament diameters and cross-sections being present. This characteristic enables additional cleanability versus nonwoven webs with a tight range of fiber and/or filament diameters.

In one embodiment, the current invention can substitute for polyolefin films or meltblown nonwovens in current product structures, providing the same abrasion resistance and improved absorbency in an absorbent and

biodegradable product.

In another embodiment, the current invention can be used in multiple layers of differing densities to provide a complete wet floor wipe or mop structure. The use of one layer of the invented product with large diameter filaments and low density or large pore size for floor contact, and additional layers of the invented product with small diameter filaments and high density or fine pore structure serves multiple purposes and provides a complete wet floor wipe or mop. The coarse, low-density layer collects contaminants and provides surface scrubbing or abrasion. The additional, small filament diameter layers hold and release liquids in a controlled manner. The different diameters of the filaments can be easily identified by commonly known microscopy and quantitatively analyzed by commonly known image analysis using

commercially available digital image processing techniques. The inventive nonwoven material contains single filaments with diameters in the range of 2 - 10 urn, while also containing merged filaments that have a combined diameter of greater than 8 urn, with an unlimited upper range.

The degree of merged filament bonding also results in a range of filament diameters and cross-sections being present. This characteristic enables additional cleanability versus nonwoven webs with a tight range of fiber and/or filament diameters and standard cross sections.

Preferably, the inventive nonwoven material is further processed by a hydroentanglement, needlepunch or chemical bonding process to modify the physical properties. It surprisingly still has acceptable consumer acceptable drape and softness while it still can be loaded with a solution, has high wet strength and abrasion resistance, is absorbent and dispenses absorbed liquids uniformly, and is compostable and based on renewable resources. The first cellulosic nonwoven web is preferably made according to a lyocell process.

Cellulosic fibres can be produced by various processes. In one embodiment a lyocell fibre is spun from cellulose dissolved in N-methyl morpholine N-oxide (NMMO) by a meltblown process, in principle known from e.g. EP 1093536 B1 , EP 2013390 B1 and EP 2212456 B1. Where the term meltblown is used it will be understood that it refers to a process that is similar or analogous to the process used for the production of synthetic thermoplastic fibres (filaments are extruded under pressure through nozzles and stretched to required degree by high velocity/high temperature extension air flowing substantially parallel to the filament direction), even though the cellulose is dissolved in solution (i.e. not a molten thermoplastic) and the spinning & air temperatures are only moderately elevated. Therefore the term "solution blown" may be even more appropriate here instead of the term "meltblown" which has already become somewhat common for these kinds of technologies. For the purposes of the present invention both terms can be used synonymously. In another embodiment the web is formed by a spun bonding process, where filaments are stretched via lower temperature air. In general, spunbonded synthetic fibres are longer than meltblown synthetic fibres which usually come in discrete shorter lengths. Fibres formed by the solution blown lyocell process can be continuous or discontinuous depending on process conditions such as extension air velocity, air pressure, air temperature, viscosity of the solution, cellulose molecular weight and distribution and combinations thereof.

In one embodiment for making a nonwoven web the fibres are contacted with a non-solvent such as water (or water/NMMO mixture) by spraying, after extrusion but before web formation. The fibres are subsequently taken up on a moving foraminous support to form a nonwoven web, washed and dried.

Freshly-extruded lyocell solution ('solvent spun', which will contain only, for example, 5-15% cellulose) behaves in a similar way to 'sticky' and deformable thermoplastic filaments. Causing the freshly-spun filaments to contact each other while still swollen with solvent and with a 'sticky' surface under even low pressure will cause merged filament bonding, where molecules from one filament mix irreversibly with molecules from a different filament. Once the solvent is removed and coagulation of filaments completed, this type of bonding is impossible.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a process for the manufacture of a nonwoven material consisting of essentially continuous cellulosic filaments by:

a. Preparation of a cellulose-containing spinning solution

b. Extrusion of the spinning solution through at least one spinneret containing closely-spaced meltblown jet nozzles

c. Attenuation of the extruded spinning solution using high velocity air streams,

d. Forming of the web onto a moving surface [e.g. a perforated belt or drum], e. Washing of the formed web

f. Drying of the washed web

wherein in step c. and/or d. coagulation liquor, i.e. a liquid which is able to cause coagulation of the dissolved cellulose; in a lyocell process this preferably is water or a diluted solution of NMMO in water, is applied to control the merged filament bonding. The amount of merged filament bonding is directly dependent on the stage of coagulation of the filaments when the filaments come into contact. The earlier in the coagulation process that the filaments come into contact, the greater the degree of filament merging that is possible. Both placement of the coagulation liquor application and the speed at which the application liquor is applied can either increase, or decrease, the rate of coagulation. Which results in control of the degree (or amount) of merged filament bonding that occurs in the material.

Preferably the merged filament bonding is further controlled by filament spinning nozzle design and arrangement and the configuration and temperature of filament extension air. The degree of molecular alignment that is present as the solution exits the spinning nozzle has an impact on the coagulation rate. The more aligned the molecules are, the faster the coagulation rate, and conversely, the less aligned the molecules are, the slower the coagulation rate. The spinning nozzle design and arrangement, along with the molecular weight of the cellulosic raw material used will determine the starting coagulation rate at the exit of the spinning nozzle. Additionally, the rate of cooling (temperature decrease) of the solution upon spinning nozzle exit will impact the coagulation rate as well. The slower the cooling rate, the slower the coagulation rate, and conversely, the faster the cooling rate, the faster the coagulation rate. Therefore, configuration of the filament extension air can directing impact the cooling rate and therefore, impact the coagulation rate, which impacts the achievable amount of merged filament bonding that is possible.

In a preferred embodiment of the process according to the invention at least two spinnerets (also known as jets), preferably between two and ten, and further preferred between 2 and 6, each one arranged to form a layer of nonwoven web, are used to obtain a multilayer nonwoven material. By applying different process conditions at the individual spinnerets it is even possible to obtain a multilayer nonwoven material wherein the individual layers have different properties. This may be useful to optimize the nonwoven material according to the invention for different applications. In one

embodiment this could provide a gradient of filament diameters from one side of the material to the other side by having each individual web having a standard filament diameter that is less than the web on top, it is possible to create a material suitable for use as an air filter media that will provide a gradient of pore size (particle size capture). This will provide an efficient filtration process and result in a lower pressure drop across the filter media compared to a single web with similar characteristics at the same basis weight and pore size distribution.

Preferably the filaments are spun using a solution of cellulose in an aqueous amine oxide and the coagulation liquor is water, preferably with a content of amine oxide not being able to dissolve cellulose, also referred to as a lyocell process; the manufacture of such a solution is in principle known, e.g. from U.S. 6,358,461 , U.S. 7,067,444, U.S. 8,012,565, U.S. 8,191 ,214, U.S.

8,263,506 and U.S. 8,318,318; preferably the amine oxide is NMMO. The present invention describes a celiulosic nonwoven web produced via a meltblown or spunbond-type process. The filaments produced are subjected to touching and/or compaction and/or intermingling at various points in the process, particularly before and during initial web formation. Contact between filaments where a high proportion of solvent is still present and the filaments are still swollen with said solvent causes merged filament bonding to occur. The amount of solvent present as well as temperature and contact pressure (for example resulting from extension air) controls the amount of this bonding.

In particular the amount of filament intermingling and hydrogen bonding can be limited by the degree of merged filament bonding. This is the result of a decrease in filament surface area and a decrease in the degree of flexibility of the filaments. For instance, as the degree of merged filament bonding increase, the amount of overall surface area is decreased, and the ability of cellulose to form hydrogen bonds is directly dependent on the amount of hydroxyl groups present on the celiulosic surface. Additionally, filament intermingling happens as the filaments contact the forming belt. The filaments are traveling at a faster rate of speed than the forming belt. Therefore, as the filament contacts the belt, it will buckle and sway side to side, and back and forth, just above the forming belt. During this buckling and swaying, the filaments will intermingle with neighboring filaments. If the filaments touch and merge prior to the forming belt, this limits the number of neighboring filaments by which it can intermingle with. Additionally, filaments that merge prior to contacting the forming belt with not have the same degree of flexibility as a single filament and this will limit the total area over which the filament will buckle and sway.

Surprisingly, it has been found that high levels of control of filament merging can be achieved by modifying key process variables. In addition, physical intermingling of at least partially coagulated cellulose filaments can occur after initial contact with non-solvent, particularly at initial filament laydown to form the web. It arises from the potential of the essentially continuous filaments to move laterally during initial filament formation and initial laydown. Degree of physical intermingling is influenced by process conditions such as residual extension air velocity at the foraminous support (forming belt). It is completely different from the intermingling used in production of webs derived from cellulose staple fibers. For staple fibers, an additional process step such as calendaring is applied after the web has been formed. Filaments which still contain some residual solvent are weak, tender and prone to damage.

Therefore, in combination with controlling degree and type of bonding at this stage, it is essential that process conditions are not of a type which could cause filament and web damage. Initial drying of the washed but never-dried nonwoven, together with optionally compacting, will cause additional hydrogen bonding between filaments to develop. Modifying temperature, compacting pressure or moisture levels can control the degree of this hydrogen bonding. Such treatment has no effect on intermingling or the merged filament bonding.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention the nonwoven material is dried prior to subsequent bonding/treatment.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention the percentage of each type of bonding is controlled using a process with up to two compaction steps, where one of these compaction steps is done after step d. of the inventive process where the spun filaments are still swollen with a solvent, and one of these compaction steps is done before or in step e. of the inventive process where all or most of the solvent has been removed and the web has been wet with water. As previously discussed, control of the coagulation of the spun solution is a factor in controlling the degree of merged filament bonding. This preferred embodiment concerns decreasing the coagulation rate to a state where additional compaction steps can be used after filament laydown to further increase the actual amount of merged filament boding that is achievable. It might be helpful to view the maximum achievable filament bonding as the state where we have merged all filaments into an essentially film-like structure.

The present invention describes a process and product where merged filament bonding, physical intermingling and hydrogen bonding can be controlled independently. However, the degree of merged filament bonding can limit the degree of physical intermingling and hydrogen bonding that can occur. In addition, for the production of multi-layer web products, process conditions can be adjusted to optimise these bonding mechanisms between layers. This can include modifying ease of delamination of layers, if required.

In addition to merged filament, intermingling and hydrogen bonding being independently set as described above, additional bonding/treatment steps may optionally be added. These bonding/treatment steps may occur while the web is still wet with water, or dried (either fully or partially). These

bonding/treatment steps may add additional bonding and/or other web property modification. These other bonding/treatment steps include hydroentangling or spunlacing, needling or needlepunching, adhesive or chemically bonding. As will be familiar to those skilled in the art, various post- treatments to the web may also be applied to achieve specific product performance. By contrast, when post-treatments are not required, it is possible to apply finishes and other chemical treatments directly to the web of this invention during production which will not then be removed, as occurs with, for example, a post-treatment hydroentanglement step.

Varying the degree of merged filament bonding provides unique property characteristics for nonwoven cellulose webs with regards to softness, stiffness, dimensional stability and various other properties. Properties may also be modified by altering the degree of physical intermingling before and during initial web formation. It is also possible to influence hydrogen bonding, but the desired effect of this on web properties is minor. Additionally, properties can be adjusted further by including an additional

bonding/treatment step such as hydroentangling, needlepunching, adhesive bonding and/or chemical bonding. Each type of bonding/treatment provides benefits to the nonwoven web. For example, hydroentangling can add some strength and soften the web as well as potentially modifying bulk density; needling is typically employed for higher basis weights and used to provide additional strength; adhesive and chemical bonding can add both strength and surface treatments, like abrasive material, tackifiers, or even surface lubricants. The present invention allows independent control of the key web bonding features: merged filaments, intermingling at web formation, hydrogen bonding and optional additional downstream processing. Manipulation of merged filament bonding can be varied to predominantly dictate the properties of the nonwoven web.

In a further preferred embodiment of the invention the nonwoven material contains a second layer, consisting of a cellulosic nonwoven web, which is formed of essentially continuous filaments, pulp fiber or staple fiber, which is formed on top of the first cellulosic nonwoven web, and subsequently both layers are hydroentangled together. One useful advantage of two layers is that one layer can be higher density, and have a more abrasive surface and clean a surface better ("scrubby layer") while the other is lower density, and more absorbent ("absorbent layer"). Another useful advantage of a dual-layer structure is that one layer can be designed to provide the tensile strength, while another layer can be designed to provide the absorbency, cleanability, or other desired attribute.

In a further preferred embodiment of the invention the nonwoven material contains a third layer, consisting of a cellulosic nonwoven, which is formed of essentially continuous filaments, pulp fiber or staple fiber, which is formed on top, and subsequently all three layers are hydroentangled together Here, another useful advantage is to have one outer layer as high density for cleaning a surface ("scrubby layers"), another outer layer to have a high surface area for excellent lotion distribution with the center layer designed to have a high absorbent capacity.

In especially preferred embodiments of the invention one or more of the cellulosic nonwoven layers within the nonwoven material, if formed of essentially continuous filaments, are made according to a lyocell process. As known to an expert in the art, the lyocell process allows for use of a sustainable raw material (pulp) and provides a final filament with high purity (very low residual chemicals). In particularly preferred embodiments of a two-layer material according to the invention either both layers consist of continuous filaments, made according to a lyocell process, or one layer consist of continuous filaments, made according to a lyocell process, and the second layer consist of pulp fiber.

In particularly preferred embodiments of a three-layer material according to the invention either all three layers, consist of continuous filaments, made according to a lyocell process, or the two outer layers consist of continuous filaments, made according to a lyocell process, and the middle layer consist of pulp fiber.

Nonwoven materials according to the invention may even consist of more than three layers, composed according to the same principles as outlined above; in particular of four, five or six layers.

In preferred embodiments of the invention, the cellulosic nonwoven web essentially formed of pulp fiber is formed by an airlaid or wetlaid process, is general commonly known.

It is another object of the present invention to use the nonwoven material as described above as a base sheet for the manufacture of a compostable wet floor wipe or mop, such wipe or mop being loaded with a cleaning chemical solution. Such a wipe or mop, if consisting of more than one nonwoven layer, may also be called a nonwoven composite wet floor wipe. The resulting wipe is biodegradable and sustainable with high strength, high abrasion resistance, high absorbency, uniform liquid dispensing and complete liquid recovery and 100% biodegradability.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a compostable wet floor wipe or mop, containing (a) a nonwoven material as described above as a base sheet and (b) a cleaning chemical solution. That wipe is absorbent and dispenses uniform liquid with essentially complete liquid recovery and 100% biodegradability and is compostable, based on renewable and sustainable raw materials and produced using an environmentally sound process. Typical cleaning chemical solutions include:

Water

Surfactants Anionic surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate or dioctyl sulfosuccinate, typically used at 0.5 - 1.5% active

Cationic surfactants like c12-16 amine oxides (Clariant) Typically used at 0.1 - 0.5% active

Solvents Glycol ethers typically used at 1.0 - 2.0%

pH adjusters Citric acid (as needed)

Preservatives A 19% active aqueous solution of 1 ,2 Benzisothiazolin-3- one (BIT) in di-propylene glycol and water (Dow's Koralone B-119), typically used at .01-.02%

Perfumes typically used at .01 - .03%

Antifoams silicone antifoams (such as Dow Coming's DC-2310), typically used at .01 -.02%

Gloss enhancers styrene-acrylic copolymers (such as AkzoNobel's

Alcosperse 747), typically used at 0.1-1.0%

In a preferred embodiment of the invention the nonwoven material of the compostable wet floor wipe or mop is further processed by hydroentanglement. Undergoing this additional process enables a greater range of wipe functionality design. Such attributes as thickness, drape, softness, strength and aesthetic appearance can be tailored to meet specific wipe requirements.

The process used to manufacture the inventive nonwoven web is a solution blown spinning process, which is often referred to as a cellulosic spunlaid process. Preferably, it is a lyocell process.

The invention will now be illustrated by examples. These examples are not limiting the scope of the invention in any way. The invention includes also any other embodiments which are based on the same inventive concept. Examples

All samples for testing were conditioned at 23°C ±2°C and rel. humidity 50% ±5% for 24 hours.

Example 1

A 54-gsm product of invention was compared with a 116 gsm commercial product comprising needlepunched polyester and lyocell, for wet cleaning performance.

Samples were wetted with water 3 fold (equilibrium time 2 hours). After this, they were used in MD for a wiping test picking up Nutella (spread 8cmx8cm, layer thickness 0.5mm) from a plastic foil. The wiping equipment is:

Cleanability tester for wipes,„Wischtester Fasertucher 2013", Type S03003-

001 , Mach.-Nr.: 001 , Art. Nr.: 84311 , Year built: 12/2013

from SOMA Sondermaschinen u. Werkzeugbau GmbH

Software: SMATECH Sondermaschinen & Automatisierungstechnik

Using 550g of wiping pressure, the product of invention, despite being lower in basis weight, had the same cleanability performance as the commercial product.

Example 2

The product of invention of example 1 was tested for lint release during wet wiping using the same wiping equipment as in example 1.

Samples were wetted with water 3 fold (equilibrium time 2 hours). After this, wiping was performed over a glass plate, which was checked to be free of particles before use.

The product of invention showed no wet lint within this test. Example 3

The 54-gsm product of the invention of example 1 was further analyzed, for water uptake versus a commercial product of 140 gsm comprising

needlepunched polyester and lyocell.

Samples were conditioned at 23°C ±2°C and relative humidity 50% ±5% for 24 hours. Water uptake was measured using ATS (Absorbency Testing System ATS-600). The test sample (round, diameter 5 cm) is supplied with water from the bottom and water is taken up by the sample without any hydrostatic pressure. The measurement for each sample is stopped when the amount of water taken up is below 0.005g/20sec.

Figure 1 shows the water uptake speed, average of 5 measurements.

Sample 1 : cellulosic, fabric of invention, 54 gsm.

Sample 2: commercial sample, needlepunched polyester & lyocell, 140 gsm.

In Figure 1 it can be seen that the fabric of the invention (sample 1) has a similar very fast average liquid uptake and average end value compared to commercial sample (sample 2) of higher basis weight.

The ATS test demonstrates that the product of invention has liquid uptake comparable to a commercial product, even though it is less than half of the basis weight.

Claims

Claims
1. A nonwoven material suitable for use as a wet floor wipe or mop,
containing at least a first cellulosic nonwoven web, characterized in that the cellulosic nonwoven web is made from essentially pure cellulose formed of essentially continuous filaments and multibonded by merged filaments, hydrogen bonding and physical intermingling of the filaments.
2. The nonwoven material of Claim 1 , that is further bonded or treated by a hydroentanglement, needlepunch or chemical bonding process to modify the physical properties.
3. The nonwoven material of Claim 1 , where the first cellulosic nonwoven web is made according to a lyocell process.
4. The nonwoven material of Claim 1 where a second cellulosic nonwoven web, which is essentially formed of continuous filaments, pulp fiber or staple fiber, is formed on top of the first cellulosic nonwoven web, and subsequently both layers are hydroentangled together.
5. A nonwoven material according to claim 1 , wherein the number of layers is at least two, preferably between two and ten, with a further preferred range from 2 to 6.
6. The nonwoven material of Claim 4 or 5, where the layers are formed of essentially continuous filaments, pulp fiber or staple fiber, and subsequently all layers are bonded together bonded together using merged filament bonding, hydrogen bonding and filament intermingling.
7. The nonwoven material of Claim 4 or 5, where the layers are formed of essentially continuous filaments, pulp fiber or staple fiber, and subsequently all layers are hydroentangled together.
8. The nonwoven material of Claim 4 or 5, where one or more of the cellulosic nonwoven layers within the nonwoven material, if formed of essentially continuous filaments, are made according to a lyocell process.
9. The nonwoven material of Claim 4 or 5, where the average filament diameters of the different cellulosic nonwoven layers within the nonwoven material, if formed of continuous filaments, are different.
10. The nonwoven material of any of Claims 1 to 9, where the cellulosic nonwoven web is essentially formed of pulp fiber according to an airlaid or wetlaid process.
11. Use of the nonwoven material of claim 1 as a base sheet for the
manufacture of a compostable wet floor wipe or mop, such wipe or mop being loaded with a cleaning chemical solution.
12. A compostable wet floor wipe or mop, containing (a) a nonwoven
material according to claim 1 and (b) a cleaning chemical solution.
13. The compostable wet floor wipe or mop of Claim 12 wherein the nonwoven material is further bonded or treated by a hydroentangiement process.
PCT/AT2017/000025 2017-04-03 2017-04-03 A nonwoven web designed for use in a wet floor cleaning wipe WO2018184044A1 (en)

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