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BASF New Business GmbH

Smart Fleece

Superabsorbent polymers can pick up and store many times their weight of liquid. BASF, a leading producer of superabsorbent polymers, has developed a new technology that enables them to be incorporated in nonwovens: Luquafleece superabsorbent nonwoven combines the ability of high-performance superabsorbers to pick up enormous amounts of liquid with the numerous advantages of nonwovens.

Maren Sievert
Maren Sievert
Head of Fleece Solutions

What is Luquafleece used for?

How does Luquafleece work?

On contact with water, the tiny polymer granules of the superabsorber, which are firmly bound to the Luquafleece fibers, pick up as much as 500 times their weight of liquid and swell proportionally. This extremely high absorbency is due to the superabsorber’s molecular structure, which is based on acrylic acid. Long chains with widely spaced links form from the countless tiny molecules. The result is a loose molecular bundle that soaks up water like a molecular sponge. However, it is the strong ion charge in the material that is responsible for the high absorbency. It builds up osmotic pressure, which sucks the surrounding water into the polymer network. Water is absorbed until the polymer network offsets the osmotic forces through its elastic resilience. Luquafleece, which was so far highly permeable, very quickly becomes airtight on contact with water. Once the environment is dry again, the water absorbed by Luquafleece evaporates and the pores re-open at a speed that depends on temperature and air humidity – and the air can circulate freely again. The nonwoven can soak up water as often as required and release it again through evaporation. It is precisely this reversible moisture uptake that makes it attractive for a wide variety of applications.

26 liters

A single square meter of Luquafleece™, which is only a few millimeters thick when dry, can absorb 26 liters of water.



Superabsorbers can pick up 500 times their own weight of liquid.