History of Freudenberg Performance Materials

From nonwovens pioneer to leading supplier of technical textiles

Freudenberg Performance Materials milestones

The invention of nonwoven fabric can be traced back to Freudenberg Performance Materials. In 1938, the company began developing substrates for synthetic leather and by 1948 Vlieseline interlinings and the Vileda window cloth had joined Freudenberg’s portfolio. Today, the company is a leading global supplier of technical textiles for a wide range of markets and applications.

The milestones of success:

2015 Takeover of Polymer Health Technology

Takeover of Polymer Health Technology

Freudenberg Performance Materials acquires Polymer Health Technology (PHT) in Ebbw Vale (UK), the leading specialist for polyurethane foam systems used in wound care.

2015 New business group Freudenberg Performance Materials

New business group Freudenberg Performance Materials

The successful Freudenberg Group companies Freudenberg Nonwovens and Freudenberg Politex Nonwovens merge to form the business group Freudenberg Performance Materials.

2014 Acquisition of the Hänsel’s brand interlininig business

Acquisition of the Hänsel’s brand interlininig business

Hänsel Textil

Freudenberg Nonwovens acquires the Hänsel brand from Hänsel Textil GmbH, Iserlohn (Germany) including all patents and sales companies in Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Sri Lanka and Germany.

2012 New production line for spunbonded nonwovens in Russia

New production line for spunbonded nonwovens in Russia

Freudenberg Politex Nonwovens new production line in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Freudenberg Politex Nonwovens opens a new production line in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, for the production of spunbonded nonwovens for the construction industry.

2011 Pilot plant for separators for lithium-ion batteries

Pilot plant for separators for lithium-ion batteries

In Weinheim (Germany) a pilot plant for the production of separators for lithium-ion batteries is put into operation.

2010 New carpet backing system for car mats

New carpet backing system for car mats

Freudenberg Nonwovens launches a sustainable, lightweight carpet backing system based on Lutraflor® technology. The carpet backing system represents a new generation of nonwovens for automotive carpets that set standards in terms of weight, price and sustainability.

2007 Kick-off for a new production plant in Taiwan

Kick-off for a new production plant in Taiwan

Kick-off for a new production plant in Taiwan

Freudenberg Nonwovens commissions an innovative production plant at the site in Taiwan.

2006 New business area: battery separators

New business area: battery separators

Freudenberg Nonwovens takes over Scimat Ltd., Swindon (UK), the world’s leading supplier of battery Separators.

2005 New production site in Russia

New production site in Russia

Location Russia

Freudenberg Politex Nonwovens founds Freudenberg Politex near Nizhny Novgorod (Russia). Freudenberg Politex Nonwovens now has six production sites: Novedrate and Pisticci in Italy, Colmar in France, Lodz in Poland, Macon in the United States (Freudenberg Texbond LP) and Nizhny Novgorod in Russia.

2004 Takeover of Freudenberg Politex Nonwovens SpA

Takeover of Freudenberg Politex Nonwovens SpA

Freudenberg Nonwovens takes over all shares of Freudenberg Politex Nonwovens SpA with production locations in Italy, Poland and France. The company had been a joint venture with the Politex Group since 1997, to which Freudenberg had added its Colmar plant.

2003 Acquisition of First PET Rethmann

Acquisition of First PET Rethmann

Freudenberg Nonwovens takes over all shares in the joint venture First PET Rethmann and integrates the business into Freudenberg Politex Nonwovens, Italy.

2002 New facilities in Germany and Spain

New facilities in Germany and Spain

Freudenberg Nonwovens invests 40 million Euros in new production plants in Spain and Weinheim (Germany).

2001 Joint venture with the Rethmann Group

Joint venture with the Rethmann Group

With the Rethmann Group in Selm (Germany), Freudenberg Nonwovens forms the joint venture First PET Rethmann for producing nonwovens made from recycled PET bottles.

2001 Manufacturing of nonwovens made of PET bottles

Manufacturing of nonwovens made of PET bottles

Manufacture of nonwovens made from recycled PET bottles commences at the Freudenberg Politex Nonwovens SpA site in Novredate (Italy).

1999 Development of Evolon® technology

Development of Evolon® technology

Evolon Technologie

Using this innovative technology, Freudenberg Nonwovens creates completely new microfilament textiles with a wide range of outstanding application possibilities. The novel microfilament textiles are hydroentangled using a special technology. A single continuous process generates a textile surface from the polymer granules. These microfilament textiles are perfect for a wide range of applications e. g. apparel, home textiles (anti-allergy encasings), cleaning cloths or synthetic leather.

1998 Expansion of the product portfolio

Expansion of the product portfolio

The Italian company Marelli & Berta, manufacturer of woven interlining materials, becomes part of Freudenberg Nonwovens.

1997 Foundation of the Freudenberg Politex Nonwovens SpA in Italy

Foundation of the Freudenberg Politex Nonwovens SpA in Italy

Foundation of the Freudenberg Politex Nonwovens SpA in Italy

Together with the Politex Group, Freudenberg Nonwovens forms Freudenberg Politex Nonwovens SpA in Novedrate (Italy) for the production of polyester nonwovens. Freudenberg Spunweb S.A. in Colmar (France) is assigned to the new Company.

1996 Initial talks between Freudenberg Nonwovens and the Politex Group

Initial talks between Freudenberg Nonwovens and the Politex Group

Freudenberg Nonwovens starts exploratory talks with the Politex Group headquartered in Novedrate (Italy).

1995 Foundation of a joint venture in Japan

Foundation of a joint venture in Japan

Foundation of a joint venture in Japan

Freudenberg Nonwovens founds a joint venture with the Japanese partner Japan Vilene Company (JVC) for the production of interlining nonwovens for the apparel industry in Suzhou (China). The plant opens in 1996.

1990 New plant in Colmar for the production of roofing membranes

New plant in Colmar for the production of roofing membranes

New plant in Colmar 1990

Freudenberg Nonwovens acquires the Colmar plant from Rhone Poulenc. It bears the company name Freudenberg Spunweb S.A..

1988 Opening of a technical center in Weinheim

Opening of a technical center in Weinheim

Opening of a technical center in Weinheim 1988

A new technical center opens in Weinheim (Germany) for process development of staple-fiber nonwovens, including hydroentanglement.

1985 Takeover of Brazil’s leading manufacturer staple-fiber nonwovens

Takeover of Brazil’s leading manufacturer staple-fiber nonwovens

Freudenberg Nonwovens takes over Intece (later Freudenberg Não Tecidos Ltda.), Brazil’s market leader for staple-fiber nonwovens.

1984 Commissioning of the first non-European production plant in the USA

Commissioning of the first non-European production plant in the USA

First non-European production plant in the USA 1984

Production begins at the first non-European Freudenberg Nonwovens plant for spunbonded polyester nonwovens in Durham, North Carolina (USA).

1971 Production of the first wet-laid nonwovens

Production of the first wet-laid nonwovens

Production of the first wet-laid nonwovens

Production of wet-laid nonwovens begins in Neuenburg (Germany).

1970 Kickoff of for the production of spunlaid polyester nonwovens

Kickoff of for the production of spunlaid polyester nonwovens

These nonwovens are manufactured at the new plant in Kaiserslautern (Germany). The innovative technology enables Freudenberg Nonwovens to develop nonwovens for new application fields, e. g. wound dressings in medical technology or harvest nonwovens in agriculture.

1965 Launch of the first polyamide spunlaid nonwovens

Launch of the first polyamide spunlaid nonwovens

Launch of the first polyamide spunlaid nonwovens

These nonwovens are manufactured according to the method of Dr. Ludwig Hartmann. He devised a cost efficient solution for processing spunbond nonwoven fabrics. The method he developed allowed nonwovens to be made from granulate raw material in one continuous production process.

1960 Establishment of a joint venture for the production of staple-fiber nonwovens in Japan

Establishment of a joint venture for the production of staple-fiber nonwovens in Japan

Joint venture for the production of staple-fiber nonwovens 1960

Freudenberg Nonwovens starts a joint venture with the Japan Vilene Company in Tokyo. The partnership also includes intensive technology transfer.

1950 Joint venture for the manufacture of staple-fiber nonwovens in the USA

Joint venture for the manufacture of staple-fiber nonwovens in the USA

Joint venture for the manufacture of staple-fiber nonwovens in the USA

Freudenberg Nonwovens builds its first foreign production company in Pellon (USA).

1948 Introduction of Vlieseline and Vileda window cloth

Introduction of Vlieseline and Vileda window cloth

Vlieseline and Vileda

Vlieseline interlinings and the Vileda window cloth are launched. The name “Vileda” is actually a modification of the German “wie Leder” (“like leather”). The production of dry-laid staple-fiber nonwovens starts in Weinheim.

1938 Start of large-scale production of synthetic leather made from synthetic latex on a nonwoven substrate

Start of large-scale production of synthetic leather made from synthetic latex on a nonwoven substrate

As a response to the leather shortage Freudenberg develops the synthetic latex artificial leather Viledon as a substitute material for bags and suitcases under the leadership of chemist Dr. Carl Ludwig Nottebohm.

1936 Development of the first nonwoven fabrics

Development of the first nonwoven fabrics

Dr. Carl Ludwig Nottebohm

At Freudenberg in Weinheim (Germany), chemist Dr. Carl-Ludwig Nottebohm begins the development of nonwoven fabrics.
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