%%file(%%tmplatedir%%head-tags1%%tmplext%%)%% Fabrite PUL Update %%file(%%tmplatedir%%header%%tmplext%%)%%

PUL Users Please Read

As many of you know by now, Fabrite Laminating closed it's doors in March this year.  The diaper making market has always considered Fabrite PUL to be the 'Gold Standard' as no other manufacturer proved able to match Fabrite's performance and durability for diaper making PUL.

Over the last few months we have seen and read countless stories of confusion, excitement and disappointment and in a few cases horror.  The marketplace has begun sorting out he quality manufacturers and it's now down to a couple of quality choices, including our DiaperMaker brand, which like out other branded products has emerged as a quality  leader. 

As many of you have learned in the past, not all PUL's are created equal -- making PUL that survives 300 laundry cycles without delaminating, or leaking is no easy task.  DiaperMaker branded PUL is manufactured using 2 processes, Solvent lamination and Microsphere lamination.  Our PULs are tested to meet the same duty cycle (300 launderings) as Fabrite branded PUL - the toughest standard in the business.   Products are marked with the lamination process type on the detail pages of our web catalog.

  • Solvent Lamination: This is the process used by Fabrite and the best process for creating a strong, continuous bond durable enough for cloth diaper making.  The PU film and knit are coated with a solvent based adhesive that liquefies the surface of the PU film and knit, then pressure is used to fuse the fabric together.  Identify this type of PUL by looking at the shiny PU side of the fabric, it may be clear to milky PUL surface. We use this process for our highest volume colors.
     
  • Microsphere Lamination: This is a process that most closely matches solvent lamination.  Tightly spaced adhesive spheres coat the polyurethane film and fabric then under intense heat an pressure these spheres fuse the film and knit in a bond that rivals the strength and durability of solvent bonding.  Wazoodle uses this technology on a portion of our DiaperMaker products, mostly in colors that are produced in smaller volumes. 
     
  • Hot Melt: This type of PUL is made by scattering, printing or sandwiching a layer of hot melt glue onto the fabric.  Heat melts the glue at 185f degrees and pressure rollers press the fabric, glue and film together.  This process has the highest failure rate mostly because few laminators have perfected the process for fabrics that require repeated laundering.   Wazoodle does not use this technology for our DiaperMaker PUL.
     
  • Web: This type of PUL is made by laminating a web or fine film of adhesive between the polyurethane film and knit.  It works the same way as hot melt however it produces a stiffer hand which reduces the fabric stretch.  Like hot melt, this process is mostly applications that are not subject to repeated laundering.  Number launderings is low, puckering, bubbling, tearing of the film and early delaminating is common. Identify this type of PUL by looking at the shiny PU side of the fabric, it will have a cracked glass or spider web appearance.  This type of PUL is not acceptable for diaper making.  Wazoodle does not use this technology for our PUL.
  • Heat Lamination: This is the process uses heat to slightly liquefy the surface of the PU film and knit, then pressure to fuse the fabric together.  This process does not work well with fine or soft PU films as they melt below the working temperature of heat lamination.  Heat only lamination used thicker films which are too stiff and crunchy to be used in diapers.  Identify this by peeling back the PU film, the film will remove from the knit in large pieces, kind of the way skin peels after a bad sunburn. This type of PUL is not acceptable for diaper making. Wazoodle does not use this technology for our PUL.

    Heat and solvent type laminations are similar in that they form a complete bond, they are not visually identifiable.  You can tell head bonds by lifting a corner of the film and tearing it off the fabric.  Heat lamination will peel off the same way your skin peels after a good sunburn!

Wazoodle has worked with raw material suppliers and several reputable laminators to develop a high quality 1mil PUL that meets the needs of diaper makers.  DiaperMaker branded fabrics and notions are the benchmarks for quality and performance in the diaper making market.   DiaperMaker PUL joins a growing list of products recognized for their  industry leading quality, dependability and product safety.  Diaper sewers trust DiaperMaker!

Q & A ( a list of good and silly questions I get from time to time)

What is the new TPU type PUL?

TPU is the technical name for the polyurethane film used to make all PUL, new and old.  A few vendors heard TPU for the first time and thought it would help them make their items sound different -- just marketing tricks!

What does it mean when vendors label their PUL as 'new standard' of environmentally friendly PULs?

It's their attempt to divert attention away from hot-melt PUL limitations, nothing more. It's also not truthful as the hot melt process consumes more energy and does not capture prossess offgasses.

The main reason for people claim environmental advantage is to justify and hopefully offset the shorter life and delaminating disadvantages of hot melt technology. 

So why don't all laminators use solvent laminating?

It's a matter of cost.  Hot melt PUL laminators are inexpensive to purchase and operate when compared to solvent laminating lines so unless a laminator has more markets than diaper making, solvent laminating lines are simply not economical.  New technologies like micro-sphere fusing are evolving to the point where they perform as well as solvent laminations, larger laminators invest into solvent laminators because they are currently the best way to get durable fine film laminations like PUL.

Can I make PUL at home?

No.  Even the best laminators with millions invested into equipment have a hard time making PUL.  It's a trick industrial process, you can't do it at home.

I have heard some very large name brand diaper manufacturers have had to recall products because of failing PUL, how did this happen?

Testing and limited technical knowledge of the textiles they use.  Not all manufacturers have the expertise in-house to spec, design and test the textiles they use.  Some rely on the supplier's testing and reputation (like our customers), some simply took risks by using untested PUL from new market entrants. 

Will hot-melt PUL delaminate in drying?

With some brands that's possible.  It will take about a year to shake out the quality brands in the market.  When you choose DiaperMaker brand PUL, you can be assured it has been tested to 300 or more washings.


Mike
CEO
Wazoodle Fabrics


DiaperMaker is a trademark of Wazoodle Fabrics.  All rights reserved.

 
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