News Releases 2006

Toward Mass Production of FELIBENDY Prototyping Commenced
New-Type Nonwoven Fabric Based on World's First Steam Jet Technologies

October 25, 2006
(Kuraray Group)

KURARAYKURAFLEX CO.,LTD. (Headquarters: Osaka, President: Nobuaki Sumita), which engages in the manufacture, finishing and sale of nonwoven fabric and nonwoven fabric products, held a dedication ceremony at Kuraray Kuraflex's Okayama Plant (Kaigan-dori, Okayama City) on September 12, 2006, to mark completion of the manufacturing facilities for the FELIBENDY new type of nonwoven fabric. With prototyping already commenced along the route to mass production of FELIBENDY, Kuraray Kuraflex will conduct product sample distribution and marketing activities for users in various application fields.

Based on Kuraray's proprietary materials and the world's first steam jet technology, FELIBENDY is produced using high-speed steam heating. This new value-added nonwoven fabric offers special features and functions never before achieved.

Kuraray's proprietary materials used in the development of FELIBENDY include EVAL fiber SOPHISTA, water-soluble KURALON K-Ⅱ and microcrimp fiber. By altering manufacturing conditions, a diverse range of products can be achieved, from thin to thick, from soft to hard. Specific application details are: (1) bandages and hygienic goods that take advantage of the new fabric's advanced stretching and self-adhesive properties; (2) underwear, support cushion filler material and other goods requiring outstanding air permeability while retaining softness and shock-absorbing characteristics; (3) high-performance ink-absorbing material that does not shed fluff and combines lipophilic and hydrophilic properties; (4) acoustic absorption and heat insulation, including use in automobiles and other applications seeking superb form stability and high porosity; and (5) boardlike lightweight construction materials due to the new fabric's superior flame resistance. Furthermore, this next-generation nonwoven fabric displays excellent environmental responsiveness as it can be manufactured without adhesives, thus saving energy and even be recycled.

FELIBENDY Manufacturing Facilities Overview

Location KURARAYKURAFLEX CO.,LTD. Okayama Plant
2-4-9 Kaigan-dori, Minami-ku, Okayama-city, Okayama Prefecture
Production capacity 1,000 tons per year
Start of operations September 12, 2006
Capital investment ¥500 million


Established April 2005 (first established as Kuraray Chicopee Co., Ltd. in 1971)
Capital ¥100 million
President Nobuaki Sumita
No. of employees 130 (as of March 31, 2006)
Headquarters Shin Hankyu Building
1-12-39, Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-8611 Japan
Principal busines Manufacture, processing and sale of nonwoven fabrics and nonwoven fabric products