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The new nonwovens development center (VEZ) in Münchberg

On September 24, 2020, after three years of construction, the nonwovens development center (VEZ) was inaugurated in parallel with the opening of the textile technical center – also with the blessing of the church. The newly built technical center was inaugurated with speeches by Bernd Sibler, Bavarian State Minister for Science and Art, the President of the University of Applied Sciences Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Jürgen Lehmann, Dr. Christian Heinrich Sandler, Chairman of the Board of Sandler AG and President of the Bavarian Textile and Clothing Industry Association, Dr. Oliver Bär, District Administrator of Hof and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Ficker, Head of ifm

The new plant at the Nonwoven Development Center (VEZ); Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences

Numerous prominent representatives from politics, science and industry were present, even though the circle of invited guests had to be kept small for “Corona” reasons. As a sign of the diversity of teaching at our university, Irena Egelkraut showed the impressive results of her bachelor thesis in the field of design.

Research in the growth field

In the past, the Institute of Materials Science at Hof University of Applied Sciences has given intensive thought to exciting fields of future textile development. In the process, the hydroentanglement of nonwovens was identified as an important growth field in which there is a great deal of research potential – especially in cooperation with industry, such as Lenzing AG as a strategic partner.

from left to right: Dr. Christian Heinrich Sandler (CEO Sandler AG), Prof. Dr. Frank Ficker (Head of ifm), Jürgen Eizinger(Vice President Global Business Management Nonwovens of Lenzing AG) and Bernhard Lintner
(Vice President Global SHE, Lenzing AG); Photo: Jörg Schleicher

In order to be able to produce near-series samples in the future, investments were made in state-of-the-art technology – thanks to generous support from the state of Bavaria. Under the direction of Prof. Oliver Lottes, the plant was designed in cooperation with industry and has now been put into operation. Prof. Dr. Frank Ficker was responsible for the commercially successful processing. Both deserve special thanks for this. The plant procured was ordered from the company Trützschler as general contractor and also contains important components from Temafa in the area of fiber mixing.

Consolidation by water jet

Now nonwovens up to a width of 1000mm and a process speed of up to 100m/min can be produced. Up to 5 water jet bars can be used for bonding, which bond nonwovens at a maximum pressure of 135 bar. In the downstream drum dryer, exclusively thermal bonding can also be carried out – bypassing the waterjet unit. The new plant is suitable for processing synthetic fibers made from artificial (synthetic fibers) and natural (regenerated fibers) polymers. Contact partner for future projects is Prof. Dr. Claus-Ekkehard Koukal.

Prof. Dr. Claus-Ekkehard Koukal

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