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Nonwoven Manufacturing

By : technicaltextile.net
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Nonwoven businesses, in general, rely on high volume production which is highly engineered and, because of competitive pressures, there is a constant need to innovate to ensure high quality, in-specification products are produced at the minimum cost. The industry is driven by technology developments in machinery, process control and materials and, to have a sustainable future, nonwovens enterprises need to be at the forefront of these developments.

What is a nonwoven fabric?

Nonwoven fabrics are broadly defined as web structures bonded together by entangling fibres mechanically, thermally fusing the fibres or chemically bonding the fibres. Nonwovens are defined more exactly by various bodies one of the most often quoted is the International Nonwovens & Disposables Association (INDA) definition: Nonwovens are a sheet, web, or bat of natural and/or man-made fibres or filaments, excluding paper, that have not been converted into yarns, and that are bonded to each other by any of several means.

The various methods for bonding are:

1.      Adding an adhesive.

2.      Thermally fusing the fibres to each other or to the other melt able fibres or powders.

3.      Fusing fibres by first dissolving, and then re-solidifying their surfaces.

4.      Creating physical tangles or tuft among the fibres.

5.      Stitching the fibres or filaments in place.

Nonwovens are not made by weaving or knitting and do not require converting the fibres to yarn. Nonwoven fabrics are engineered fabrics that may be single-use disposable or a very durable fabric. They are used in numerous applications, including; baby diapers, adult incontinence products, wet wipes, surgical drapes and covers, liquid cartridge and bag filters, face masks, air-conditioning filters, soil stabilizers and roadway underlayment, erosion control, drainage systems, insulation (fiberglass batting), pillows, cushions, and upholstery padding, carpet backing, automotive headliners and upholstery, house wraps, and disposable clothing (foot coverings, coveralls).

Nonwoven manufacturing process

Nonwoven manufacturing can be described in simple terms as a series of manufacturing steps consisting of forming a fibrous web, entangling or bonding the fibres in the web to impart mechanical integrity to the structure and finishing/converting the fabric to impart some special properties to the fabric that the customer specifies. The manufacturing steps are described below:

Web Formation

The characteristics of the fibrous web are a key determinant of the physical properties of the final product. The choice of methods for forming webs is determined by fibre length. Initially, the methods for the formation of webs from staple-length fibres were based on the textile carding process, whereas web formation from short fibres was based on a wet laid process similar papermaking. These technologies are still in use, but methods based forming a web directly from filaments immediately they exit an extruder (Spun laid) have also been developed.


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