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Development of laminated products for inflatables
By Pooja M. Shah, Iceland
Guide Name : Dr. H. D. Joshi
Institute :MANTRA
Area of Research : Industrial Textiles (Inflatables)
Development of laminated products for inflatables

Air inflated fabric structures are categorized as pre-tensioned structures. They include lighter weight designs, rapid and self-erecting deployments, enhanced mobility, fail-safe collapse and optional rigidification. Inflatable textiles are used by the military and the commercial industry in a wide range of products ranging from inflatable soft wall shelters to inflatable rafts and boats. A highly puncture-resistant textile would improve the durability of inflatable structures. Punctures, tears and cuts to inflatable structures could result in failure of the structure. Having a highly puncture-resistant textile that can withstand a wide range of punctures, cuts and tears is required to meet operational performance requirements. For air­tight products, once they are inflated they will keep the shape for a certain period of time. Most inflatable toys, beach balls, etc. are air-tight products. High frequency welding is the most common way to put fabric together and create a smooth whole piece. High-end air-tight inflatables such as water rafts use glue instead of welding, providing stronger bond and durability. For non-airtight products, all pieces can be stitched together manually. They are suitable for large size products such as inflatable bouncers and advertising inflatables.

Coated and laminated textiles usually consist of a textile substrate, which will typically be a woven, knitted or nonwoven textile fabric, which has been combined with a thin, flexible film of a natural or synthetic polymeric substance. They have much higher tensile and tear strengths, better puncture resistance and better handle. Inflatable technology is simple and complicated. It is a combination of art, design and engineering production. It is an object that can be inflated with a gas, usually with air, but hydrogen, helium and nitrogen are also used. When it comes to inflatable products, many people think of bouncy castles, parade floats or dancing tubes used for advertising. But the world of air-supported structures, or inflatables, extends far beyond the use of entertainment and advertising to industrial, military, architectural and aerospace applications. Typically, inflatables are a more elegant engineering solution because they are simple by design. Many of the applications described in this project require thicker coating and this would be applied by calendaring. We have used knife-over-roll coating technique where excess of paste is applied and thickness of coat is maintained by knife over the fabric. Two fabrics were selected i.e. nylon and polyester with different deniers and GSM. Two coating materials were used i.e. neoprene and PVC. But after trial and error, fabrics with previously mentioned specifications were best suited. All the fabrics developed at MANTRA performed either better or had properties nearby to the specified fabrics for specific end use application as mentioned in the above tables. Amongst the fabrics developed at MANTRA few had low GSM with appropriate thickness; this indicates fabrics were light in weight with similar properties. This is one of the prerequisite requirements for inflatable structure that they should be light in weight. Tensile, puncture and tearing properties were comparable to the specification. Inflatables provide some eco-friendly benefits as well. In today’s world when energy and its conservation are in the forefront of development, inflatables offer a low-energy production alternative to comparative products; this advantage is growing by the use of recyclable fabrics, water-based coatings and low-energy fans and blowers.

Company Name

Techtextil North America 2017
Nonwoven Compendium 2nd Edition

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