Covid-19: SML offers DoubleCoat process line for production of protective clothing

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In answer to the call from the Federal Government to boost the production of protective clothing in Austria, extrusion machinery manufacturer SML, which is based in Austria, is now has a pilot plant available for the production of laminates for protective clothing. Production can be carried out on an industrial scale on an ultra-modern extrusion line at the company’s site in Redlham. This plant is otherwise only made available to customers as a demonstration line and for product development.

"Normally our business is to develop and manufacture machines for the global plastics and packaging industry and not the production of materials – however these extenuating circumstances require extraordinary measures,” said Karl Stöger, the Managing Director of SML.

By producing laminates for protective clothing, the company is, first and foremost, demonstrating its social responsibility, he added.

SML opened its new company headquarters, including its development department and production facilities, in Redlham (in the district of Vöcklabruck) just one year ago. All of its know-how is pooled at this site. Given the company’s competence in the field of process engineering, SML says its employees are also able to produce a wide variety of different materials independently on the lines that are produced at the site.

The line currently in use for the production of materials for protective clothing is an extrusion line for coatings and laminates. It is equipped with the DoubleCoat process patented by SML. This process has had a trailblazing impact on the production of, in particular, thin laminates and membranes, says SML.

"The materials we are now producing are laminates combined with what are known as “monolithic membranes”. In contrast to many of the other laminates used, these form an extremely effective barrier against viruses and bacteria," Mario Höllnsteiner, the responsible product manager, elaborates.

The materials produced by means of the DoubleCoat process are also characterised by high breathability and elasticity. In addition to laminates for protective clothing, this line can also be used to make materials for functional clothing, breathable hygiene applications or covers for operations in the medical field.

With its contribution, SML says the current health crisis has also underlined the importance of plastics which have come under criticism in recent months. Since it is able to cater to the current needs of the Austrian medical sector, the company also says that the current situation highlights significantly how important it is to retain a functioning plastics industry in Europe instead of relocating it to other countries.


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