A new solvent from Dow-Safechem, Sensene™, made its debut at the Texcare show in Frankfurt, with Kingdom Machinery ready to introduce it to the UK market.

It has been greeted as a revolutionary step forward in the development of a sustainable future of textile cleaning in an industry which is being challenged about its environmental credentials. With a Kb value higher than any other on the market, it immediately caught the attention of an industry eager to make environmental improvements, without compromising cleaning performance.

Kingdom Machinery is set to introduce the new solvent to the UK market in an exclusive deal and are delighted, that after extensive testing the chemical is ready to be launched. Michael McLaughlin of Kingdom says: “Kingdom Machinery is once again at the forefront of a significant and exciting announcement.”

A spokesperson from Dow-Safechem, rather poetically outlined the challenge facing any chemical manufacturer aiming to knock perc off its pedestal: “Wouldn’t it be great to experience textile cleaning with all your senses? Seeing bright colours, feeling a great touch of the textiles and smelling a clean scent? All while supporting your sense for business and for the environment?”

He went on to outline how Dow-Safechem, the leading manufacturer of modified alcohol solvents worldwide, had teamed up with industry experts to develop Sensene modified alcohol solvent. With a Kb value of 161, the new solvent offers the cleaning capabilities of perc and hydrocarbon, but with an extremely gentle action. Sensene can be used for universal applications in the textile and leather cleaning industries.

Dow-Safechem has done intensive testing of Sensene comparing it with perc and hydrocarbon for different stains on wool, cotton and polyester fabric. The study has been done by CTTN-Irren, the French Drycleaning Institute and found that the overall cleaning performance of Sensene is better.

Garments cleaning, leather cleaning, carpet cleaning, textile finishing and more specific applications have been extensively explored, with the new solvent passing with flying colours.

The company is keen to point out that the power of a solvent is based on more than the Kb value. Nevertheless the Kb value of Sensene is 161, however modified alcohols are known to be gentler on fabrics and the customer trials have shown a good compatibility with different fabrics and accessories.

Further benefits of Sensene are that along with its high solvency power and reliability of stain removal from different fabrics, it is designed to prevent discolouring and keeps colours bright in cleaned textiles.

Sensene is based on a modified alcohol formulation which is considered to be non-persistent, non-bioaccumulating and non-toxic and therefore offers an environmentally responsible way of drycleaning.

The solvent is very gentle on fabrics and causes relatively low wrinkling which makes ironing easier. This provides a Sensene cleaned textile with a great touch.

As textiles dry faster and machine cycle times are shorter, the manufacturers say that the use of Sensene makes sense in your drycleaning business. The cleaning process needs lower energy due to a good distillation behaviour. Pre-spotting can be reduced, and as noted, before finishing time is also cut, all of which can add up to cost and time savings.

Finally the solvent has a pleasant, clean smell. It is a very stable formulation so bacteria accumulation is minimised, and there should be no buildup of unpleasant smells in your machine.

Ilsa SpA, the leading Italian drycleaning machines designer and manufacturer, has been working with Dow-Safechem for some considerable time using their expertise to assist in testing this new solvent. This testing has taken place across Europe. Kingdom machinery is the sole distributors of Ilsa SpA machines in the UK.

Marco Boccola of Ilsa is proud of the part they played in the testing of the innovative new solvent: “Sensene has been tested in the field by several drycleaners for all applications under continuous control of Dow-Safechem and Ilsa SpA experts. Now that it has been officially introduced at Texcare Frankfurt 2016, Sensene is fully available for new installation with a wide range of dedicated machine capacities.”

He went on to explain that, “Hydrocarbon solvent machine conversion is also available with a specific protocol. Sensene is already tested for Ipura technology and all the bath cleaning lines of hydrocarbon machines.”

The solvent will still be regulated by the SED directives, as it is a modified alcohol based solvent. Perc-only machines are not suitable for conversion to use Sensene. Pricing is expected to lie between that of perc and hydrocarbon. Dow, as a leading manufacturer of perc, is positioning the new solvent as an alternative, rather than an outright replacement, and the final choice of solvent will depend on the mix of textiles being cleaned.

McLaughlin continues: “Kingdom Machinery is ready to introduce Sensene cleaning with Ilsa technical backing in the field, showing the new zero compromise effective cleaning and solvent care.

“With excellent cleaning results, its compatibility with a wide range of textiles, a neutral smell, process optimisation and its ability to prevent bacterial growth, we think you will be impressed.”

Kingdom Machinery already has three strategically placed Ilsa machines operating on Sensene solvent in the UK. One machine is a converted Ipura which was operating on HCS. One machine is a new Ipura installation into a customer that replaced a bath machine with distillation. The third machine is a demonstration machine based at Service Machinery Ltd, Kingdom’s new partner in the south of England.

McLaughlin observes: “We have already seen at LCT CleanEx in Ascot this year that people (attendees) were more open to looking at alternative solvents.

“We have been installing Ipura since 2008, but in the past 12 months we have had a surge in people replacing their old machine and fitting an alternative solvent machine specifically Ipura. Most customers like the concept of an easy installation, easy operation of machine, easy maintenance of machine, energy efficient and environmentally friendly, not having to remove sludge from a still and so on.

“The most positive feedback we get is six months after the installation, customers report that the atmosphere in the shop and working conditions feel much cleaner and fresher. With these machines capable of using Sensene, we expect even stronger interest.”

McLaughlin concludes: “Kingdom machinery’s mission statement is to think different, be energy efficient, be environmentally friendly and to allow your business to become sustainable. We believe Sensene has all these credentials.”

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