YKK launches new water-repellant zipper designed to work in circular systems

The new DynaPel zipper uses GTT EMPEL technology to eliminate the need for a PU film

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YKK
Photo - YKK

YKK announces the release of its new DynaPel water-repellant zipper featuring GTT EMPEL technology. Designed to be compatible with garment recycling systems, DynaPel uses EMPEL technology instead of the standard PU film to achieve its water repellency. The lack of a PU film helps remove one of the barriers of textile-to-textile recycling of performance apparel by eliminating the urethane material, which presents challenges to garment recycling processes.

“DynaPel is a valuable addition to our growing collection of fasteners designed for circular systems,” said Terry Tsukumo, Vice President, Product Strategy Division, Global Sales Headquarters, YKK Corporation. “By employing EMPEL technology, we can achieve the robust water protection expected from YKK products while eliminating the challenges that PU poses to recycling systems.”

Conventional chemical and mechanical garment recycling systems cannot process the polyurethane film commonly used on water-repellent zippers, necessitating the removal of zippers from garments before recycling.  This additional processing step often deters recyclers from accepting garments with PU zippers, resulting in unnecessary waste.

EMPEL technology uses advanced green chemistry devoid of PFAS and a specialized manufacturing process that allows the chemistry to penetrate the yarn and encapsulate it with a water-repellent layer through molecular cross-linking. The molecular cross-linking creates an extremely durable layer that is highly resistant to abrasion and invisible to the eye.

“DynaPel represents a new generation of sustainable, high-performance water-repellant zippers,” stated Tsukumo. “It is the future of water protection for zippers.”

DynaPel zippers will be showcased at the upcoming Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City and the ISPO trade fair in Munich, Germany. Notably, DynaPel has been nominated for the Best New Product Award in the ISPO Textrends competition held at ISPO.

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