Leipzig-based manufacturer emtec Electronic GmbH presents an innovative and time-saving device for the objective evaluation of hand-feel and comfort of textile and nonwoven materials from April 18-21 at the INDEX in Geneva, Switzerland.
Whether the product is needle-punched garments, protective clothing, sanitary pads, or baby diapers – many nonwoven materials must achieve certain haptic standards to meet customer demands. Especially when the product is meant for personal use, research shows that consumers prefer materials that are pleasing to the touch.
Depending on the product, this could mean softer, smoother, more cushioned, or having good draping qualities, for example. Yet parameters influencing comfort are notoriously difficult to measure objectively. The human tactile sensation is a complex and highly individual phenomenon, influenced by many factors, including personal sensitivity and preference, culture, and even one’s current mood. Traditionally, the haptic of nonwovens is measured via hand-panel testing, in which one or more “touch experts” rank the overall haptic impression by physical touching, crumpling, and stretching the samples. Typical drawbacks to this method include the time needed for the organization and repeat testing, as well as the often subjective results, which are not always reproducible across various locations.
At what is booked as one of the world’s largest events for the nonwoven industry, the INDEX 2023, German testing device manufacturer emtec Electronic will present a practical solution to this challenge: the TSA Tactile Sensation Analyzer. The TSA allows nonwoven manufacturers and chemical suppliers to objectively and reliably test the haptic quality of their products along the individual parameters of softness, smoothness, flexibility, as well as deformation and springback behavior.
“Specific knowledge about the individual parameters influencing the comfort factor helps nonwovens professionals to experiment with certain haptic traits, identify why one product is preferred over another, and ultimately develop consumer-pleasing new products,” says Alexander Grüner, emtec Global Marketing and Business Development Manager.
In the tissue paper industry (including handkerchiefs, kitchen roll, and toilet paper), the same test device – known in the field as the TSA Tissue Softness Analyzer – has already become an established standard for haptic measurement worldwide and has been featured in a TAPPI Technical Information Paper (TIP 0808-07 (2021)). For more information on TAPPI, the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry in the USA, TAPPI Standards, Technical Information Papers, or useful methods, visit here.
At 4 p.m. on April 19th of the event, Grüner will give a lecture to further explain the measuring principles and practical application examples of the TSA device for nonwovens and textiles. Visitors to the INDEX are encouraged to stop by the emtec booth No. 2301 and speak with experts Alexander Grüner, Stefan Rübesam, and Eric Haagen to find out more about the device.