SAF™ (Super Absorbent Fibre) is a fibre with super absorbent properties and is made utilising a unique process by Technical Absorbents Ltd. The manufacturing process involves spinning, drying and cutting, before the fibres are cross-linked to become super absorbent. Finally, the fibres are conditioned to meet customers’ required moisture levels and packaged into 250kg airtight bales for despatch. The core function of SAF™ is to absorb. The fibres can absorb up to 200 times their own weight in water and 60 times their own weight in saline, extremely quickly, and absorption rates can be tailored during the manufacturing process. SAF™ can be processed with other staple fibres and converted into a range of nonwoven fabrics. Longer staple fibres can also be spun into yarns, which can then be further processed into woven fabrics or net structures. SAF™ technology is already used in diverse range of products, from wound care and disposable hygiene to food packaging and cables.
Our Mission - 'To be the global partner of choice for supply and innovation of super absorbent fibre materials through the excellence of our products, service and people.'
A World of Excellence in Super Absorbent Solutions
Technical Absorbents (TAL) is a subsidiary company of China National BlueStar (Group) Company Limited, who are in turn wholly-owned by ChemChina, a Fortune 500 company.
Since inception in 1993, our core business has been the manufacture of Super Absorbent Fibre (SAF™) at our U.K. production site. We have also developed a wide range of SAF™ based nonwoven fabrics and yarns, which we can supply directly, leveraging the cost benefits of our vertical integration, or via one of our toll converters.
As a result, we have carved a unique position for ourselves as a superabsorbents solutions provider and our wide range of super absorbent technologies are suitable for a variety of applications in a number of new and established markets.
A bespoke service
We are proud to be able to develop bespoke products to exactly match customer needs. To aid this we can use our own needlefelt machine (where applicable) for development activities, we can offer exclusivity on bespoke materials and we can establish long term product development programs for Generation1, 2 and 3 products.
Samples can be bought online at http://shop.techabsorbents.com
The use of SAF™ (superabsorbent fibre) in the medical industry is predominantly within advanced moist wound care products and other wound applications in which there is a need for exudate or liquid capture and containment.
Moist wound care
Medical superabsorbent dressings are designed to present correct moisture conditions around wounds without resulting in actual wetting. The integration of a SAF™-based fabric, allows for the rapid uptake and retention of exudates from the infected area. As a result, this helps promote an optimum healing environment and limits further bacterial growth. Such medical superabsorbents can aid recovery, especially when used in the treatment of wounds with high exudates.
SAF™ has been extensively developed for use in such applications and we are already actively working with customers creating bespoke fabric and yarn solutions for the effective management of chronic wounds and burns.
Other medical applications:
- Drug delivery (transdermal)
- Spill capture
- Dental pads
- Bed mats – disposable and washable
- Urine capture – bottles and bed-pans
Water management within horticulture is an important issue in an increasingly water scarce world. SAF™ technology can be used in various applications to aid the management of this precious resource, even in areas of low availability.
SAF™ can be integrated into a wide range of nonwoven fabrics and woven constructs that can be used as both temporary and long-term water management solutions in many different horticultural and landscaping applications. Such fabrics are designed to achieve storage and delivery of water and nutrients to root systems, while significantly reducing evaporative loss and water seepage. They can be used in a wide range of applications from hanging basket liners (Basket Boosters™) to large commercial growing scale and landcsaping projects. SAF™ can also be added directly to the soil media to enhance water containment.
Selection of horticultural applications:
- Liner fabrics for baskets and planters
- Surface fabrics for moisture management, suppression of weed growth and for thermal regulation
- Ground fabrics (typically for use 15-20cms below the surface)
- Fabrics for flower and plant transportation
- Root ball fabrics to aid transportation of large plants and re-planting
- Vertical and roof top garden water management fabrics
SAF™ is the optimal technology choice for water-blocking and can add a new high performance dimension to your power cable product offering. Not only is it easy to spin with other staple fibres, integration within the final water-blocking yarns is more uniform compared to using a coating or a powder. The absorption rate and swell height can meet specification by selecting the most appropriate SAF™ grade and fibre blend.
Spun SAF™ yarns offer cable manufacturers a cost-effective and lightweight solution. Supplied on bobbins (size to suit manufacturing requirements) they are easy to onward process, require fewer line stops and can be wrapped around and/or placed along the length of the cable in voids vulnerable to water ingress. They are also suitable for smaller spaces where other ‘dry’ technologies are often too bulky and likely to dust.
SAF™ water-blocking spun yarn technology reduces the mess, and associated maintenance costs that are common when using a ‘wet’ compound or loose powder and can withstand extreme temperatures sometimes experienced during cable operation. They also negate the need for different tapes/widths and so less working capital is tied up in stock.
Damaged cables can start to take on water. A SAF™ water-blocking spun yarn incorporated into a cable will rapidly absorb the water at the point of damage and swell to form a water impermeable barrier, blocking any further water ingress. Any resulting cable damage is then minimal, fully contained and easy to locate and repair.
Water-Blocking - Your Choice
Introducing SAF™ spun yarns provides many benefits along the supply chain:
- Improved super absorbent distribution and performance
- Rapid absorption
- Control of absorption rate and swell via SAF™ grade and fibre blend
- Potential combination with cable strengthening materials
- One yarn type can be used throughout
- Easier handling/installation
- Resistance to thermal degradation
- Lighter weight cables
- Cost-effective solution for protection of the whole cable
An independent report has shown that using SAF™ spun yarns can:
- Reduce water-blocking raw material costs by 35% when used throughout the whole cable
- Have a large impact on cable weights, with reductions of circa 90%* compared to using a tape or compound. This dramatically impacts logistic and installation costs
- Save up to 90% on installation costs compared to preparing a 'wet' filled cable end
*this figure is based on using a SAF™ spun yarn in the first six layers of a power cable core
SAF™ (superabsorbent fibre) can be converted into a wide range of nonwoven filter media fabrics that are designed to remove dissolved, dispersed and free water from low viscosity oils such as aviation fuel and automotive diesel plus a wide range of other oils, to very low ppm levels.
A significant reason for the majority of oil and fuel system failures is the presence of water at high levels. SAF™ fabrics offer high water absorbing capabilities for oil/fuel purfication with minimal media migration or linting. In addition, the SAF™ component provides an antimicrobial function, it does not affect oil additives and offers full compliance to meet stringent international filtration standards.
Types of filtration application
- Monitor cartridges for aviation fuel
- Filter cartridges and spin on oil filter media for automotive diesel
- High bulk SAF™-based nonwoven filter media for hydraulic oil
- Fuel polishing systems for fuel storage tanks
There are many benefits in selecting SAF™ technology and it can add a high performing, yet discreet, dimension to your absorbent hygiene product offering. As a fibre, SAF™ has a very high core to surface area ratio delivering rapid absorption. SAF™ fibres can absorb water and saline rapidly and effectively absorb blood plasma without blood solids blocking the surface and limiting further absorption.
Available in 6mm and 52mm staple lengths as standard, not only are the fibres consistent in size, they can be incorporated into fabrics with other fibres such as polyester. SAF™ fibres can be evenly distributed in the fabric, which can further improve performance due to slower gel blocking of the material. In addition, no adhesive or multiple layering is required to fix the fibres in place.
SAF™ fabrics provide excellent fluid absorption and low re-wet levels, even with minimal dosing. SAF™ fabrics with lower gsm’s can also be designed to effectively lock away liquids in their core and can be incorporated into product designs as different layers to achieve desired results. These are especially beneficial in high-performing thin and ultra-thin products where enhanced levels of absorption are required, without the bulk.
Absorption component – your choice
SAF™ Fibres in Hygiene – The Absorbent Component
- SAF™ Fibres can add a high performing, yet discreet, dimension to your absorbent product offering
- SAF™ Fibres are suitable for conversion by different routes, e.g. airlaid, hot air-through and carded thermo-bond and yarn spinning
- Reduced dusting and superabsorbent respirable particles during processing and conversion compared to powders and granules
- Absorption rates and absorbency under load can be controlled via selecting the most suitable SAF™ grade, fibre blend and conversion route
- As a fibre, SAF™ has a very high core to surface area ratio (aspect) delivering rapid absorption
- SAF™ Fibres can absorb water and saline rapidly and effectively absorb blood plasma without blood solids blocking the surface and limiting further absorption
- SAF™ Fibres can be homogenously distributed in fabrics, which can further improve performance due to slower gel blocking of the material
- No adhesive or multiple layering is required to fix the SAF™ Fibres in place
SAF™ Hygiene – Fabrics
- SAF™ Fabrics provide excellent fluid absorption and low re-wet levels, even with minimal dosing
- SAF™ Fabrics with lower gsm’s can also be designed to effectively lock away liquids in their core and can be incorporated into product designs as different layers to achieve desired results
- SAF™ Fabrics eliminate the grittiness or escape of superabsorbent gel associated with superabsorbent granules or powder
- SAF™ Fabrics are especially beneficial in high-performing thin and ultra-thin products where enhanced levels of absorption are required, without the bulk
- SAF™ Fabrics can be cut, shaped and formed as required
Using SAF™ Fabrics in thin and ultra-thin disposable hygiene articles can:
- Reduce end product thickness and weights
- Help achieve comfortable, breathable and discreet product designs
Free exudates, such as meat juices, are one of the main problems within the primary packaging of fresh produce. SAF™ is regulatory listed for use in food contact products and is already the basis for a portfolio of food exudates management absorbent fabrics that effectively lock away such liquids within their core.
Absorbent fabrics often sit beneath the product on a food tray, and provide a highly efficient way of keeping meat, fish, poultry and a whole range of other perishable foodstuffs packaged in optimised conditions and ultimately fresher for longer.
Types of packaging applications
- Fresh food
- Food pallet leakage sheets
SAF™ can also be used in medical packaging
Sweat management technology
Our superabsorbent technology can be used within disposable and washable/durable fabrics, for sweat absorption and moisture management applications.
Is it really possible to create a washable super absorbent nonwoven fabric? The answer is yes. We have taken our technology, infamous for its use within disposable applications, and as a result of clever SAF™ (Super Absorbent Fibre) containment given it a durable edge. The result being a range of fabrics that, when encapsulated within outer layers, deliver high levels of absorbency with the additional benefit of washability.
The SAF™ superabsorbent fabric must be sandwiched between two other fabric layers, providing a three-layer absorption fabric capable of being laundered multiple times. While the outer layers are required to allow the fabric to be laundered, these can be tailored as required to suit garment design and functional requirement. Technical Absorbents provide the core superabsorbent fabric only but can assist with outer fabric selection if required.
The use of SAF™ within this range of fabrics allows for very high absorption and retention capabilities, while still maintaining a low weight and thickness. The final three-layer fabrics can be used in many moisture management and evaporative cooling applications were high levels of absorption and durability are required.
Disposable fabrics are also available.
Applications for our washable technology:
- Industrial PPE
- Military PPE
- Sports/lesiure wear
- Hygiene – femme hygiene, incontinence
As every application is unique, email us for more information at info@exploreSAF.com