Nonwoven industry

Qualitätskontrolle für eine Reihe von Faser- und Vliesstoffen

Neither woven nor knitted

For the years to come, the growth rates for nonwovens are projected to be in the healthy 5-7% range, according to Smithers Pira. Nonwovens are fabric-like material made from staple fiber (short) and long fibers (continuous long), bonded together by chemical, mechanical, heat or solvent treatment. Nonwovens are fabrics, such as felt, which are neither woven nor knitted. To further increase strength, some nonwoven materials are densified or reinforced by a backing. In recent years, nonwovens have become an alternative to polyurethane foam.

Hammer-IMS can measure at multiple positions in a single line

The M-Ray based measuring systems of Hammer-IMS can be easily placed at different sites in a nonwoven production line. The video below shows this for a dry-laid carded nonwoven line.

Web based manufacturing

Nonwovens are typically manufactured by putting small fibers together in the form of a web, and then binding them either:

  • Mechanically (e.g. interlocked using serrated needles so that inter-fiber friction results in a stronger fabric)
  • With an adhesive
  • Thermally (using binder in the form of powder, paste, or polymer melt)

The different manufacturing options introduce a range of nonwoven fabric types including: airlaid, drylaid, carded, hydro-entangled, melt-blown, needlepunched, spun-bond, spunlaced, wetlaid, etc.

Basis-weight measurement

To meet market-driven quality requirements for nonwoven materials, manufacturers perform basis-weight measurement. The M-Ray technology of Hammer-IMS is available as part of Marveloc 602 single-sensor products or integrated into Marveloc-CURTAIN or Marveloc 602-CUBE turnkey systems.

The Marveloc-CURTAIN solution measures material up to 30 centimeters thick, and uses one or more fixed or traveling sensors for maximum coverage in cross-machine direction. The Marveloc 602-CUBE is a compact solution for fixed-point inline measurement of a range of materials including nonwovens. The basis-weight measuring solution verifies material grammage (up to 1 gsm) uniformity to detect local anomalous regions with out-of-spec densities. The solutions of Hammer-IMS are fit to measure a wide range of nonwovens, including airlaid, drylaid, carded, hydro-entangled, melt-blown, needlepunched, spun-bond, spunlaced, wetlaid, etc.

Automotive, medical, industrial, construction, etc.

The application reach of nonwovens is immense: flame retardant nonwovens, personal hygiene materials and products, nonwovens for consumer and industrial wipes, nonwovens in specialist and consumer apparel, nonwoven textiles for residential and commercial interiors, the use of nonwovens as filtration materials; nonwoven textiles in automotive interiors.

Nonwovens can be broken down into two major sectors: disposable and durable. Some also consider nonwovens as a more ecological fabric since nonwovens can be recycled after use, given the proper treatment and facilities. This applies to fields and industries where disposable or single use products are important, such as hospitals, schools, nursing homes and luxury accommodations.

Exhibited on INDEX 2017 in Geneva

Hammer-IMS has exhibited on INDEX 2017 in Geneva, the worldwide venue of the nonwovens industry. Hammer-IMS CEO Noël Deferm: “We decided to exhibit on this event because market studies reveal an increasing demand for engineered nonwoven fabrics. In automotive we see strong growth of needlepunching and acoustic engineered nonwoven structures, and there is also a lot moving in nonwoven building construction materials.”

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