The latest news from academia, regulators
research labs and other things of interest
Posted: July 15, 2008
Americhem's Unique Dispersion Technology Fuels Cocona's New 'Smart Fabric'
(Nanowerk News) Americhem Inc., a global
supplier of custom color and additive solutions for synthetic fibers and
polymer products, has partnered with Cocona, Inc. to create a unique
masterbatch of activated carbon. Fabrics made with nylon and polyester
fibers containing this additive offer excellent moisture management and are
cool and comfortable for athletes and active professionals.
By using an innovative and proprietary dispersion and formulation
procedure, Americhem was able to develop a masterbatch suitable for fine
denier spinning. All this was accomplished without affecting the properties
of the activated carbon, despite encapsulation in the host polymer,
explains Dr. Vaman Kulkarni, Technical Marketing Director for Americhem.
"No other company was able to create a dispersion that would work in
this particular application," says Jonathan Erb, Chief Marketing Officer
for Cocona, Inc. "This natural technology™ is unique to Cocona®
fabrics and provides an exceptional competitive advantage to our brand
partners in their product categories."
Cocona, Inc. specifies the material, which is a by-product of recycled
coconut shells from food industry waste. Americhem uses its decades of
fibers pigment dispersion expertise to create a dispersion based on the
coconut shells, which might otherwise go into a landfill. Encapsulated into
a masterbatch, the product disperses evenly throughout the thin polyester
fibers as they are spun, ensuring an even distribution throughout the
Apparel made from the fiber helps spread and evaporate surface moisture
rapidly, making it perfect for sportswear, undergarments, golf apparel and
other active applications. Over 50 brands are utilizing Cocona® fibers in
sports and activewear including Eddie Bauer, Cutter & Buck, Izod, New
Balance, Marmot, GoLite, Oakley, Patagonia and Cannondale.
Cocona fibers are used in garments ranging from shirts, pants, shorts,
outerwear, underwear, footwear, travel wear and tank tops. Cocona recently
began featuring full-page advertisements in Sports Illustrated and Golf
magazines, highlighting the brands that utilize its technology for golf
apparel. Additional ads supporting Cocona brand partners are being run in
Men's Health, Backpacker and Outside magazines.
"Essentially, what we are doing is applying principles learned from our
nano-technology research. In order to have the activated carbon present in
a fine enough form, we use a multiple-step process to reduce the size of
the carbon particles. We then encapsulate the particles in a carrier resin
that will promote dispersion into the very fine denier filaments used in
high-performance apparel. It was not an easy result to achieve," says Roger
Threadgill, Americhem's Technology Manager for its Fibers and Engineering
Another unique feature is the fact that smart fiber "recharges" itself
after a washing and drying cycle. This enables the fabric and its unique
properties to never wear out and never wash away. In fact, the performance
of the fabric could even improve over time, according to Dr. Greg
Haggquist, the inventor of Cocona® technology.
Americhem is a global organization that delivers custom color and
additive solutions for clients seeking superior performance and
batch-to-batch consistency for their polymer and synthetic fibers products.
The company specializes in color and additive masterbatches all backed by
complete technical support that ensures quality, reliability and value.
Americhem operates seven manufacturing plants and also maintains
representative sales offices in Shanghai, Mexico City and Luxembourg.
Corporate research & development facilities and headquarters are located in
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. For more information visit Americhem.com or call
About Cocona, Inc.
Cocona, Inc. is a privately held Colorado company focused on developing
and marketing innovative technologies from natural sources. Cocona®
fabrics and yarns use natural technology™ that is contained inside the
yarn. Made from the activated carbon of recycled coconut shells, Cocona®
natural technology™ will not wash off or wear out, and it isn't harmful
to your body or the environment. Cocona® fabrics are certified to dry
faster and provide more UV protection and odor management than any one
brand of performance fabric. For information, visit Coconafabrics.com.