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.
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.
Nonwovens are typically manufactured by putting small fibers together in the form of a web, and then binding them either:
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Meltblown is an efficient and widely used process for manufacturing of many air filtration media. Especially HEPA base materials are typically produced in this way. More recently, it is shown that meltblown production lines can quickly be set-up to provide answers to the increasing world-wide demand for mouth masks. Hammer--IMS provides small C-shape basis-weight scanners to boost-up product quality within a single meltblown production batch, but also to guarantee repetitive quality over multiple batches. Read more.
Our CURTAIN integrates our M-Ray technology enabling full-industrial solutions. CURTAINs are tailored to perform a 24/7 industrial measurement task. Each CURTAIN machine consists our innovative Marveloc 602 measuring device. The CURTAIN itself is basically a rigid metal frame that support high measurement reliability and robustness. The rigidity of the frame guarantees robust measurements even in harsh environments. The Marveloc 602 sensors in the CURTAIN system measure through the material, with the transmitter of the sensor positioned above the measured material and the receiver underneath. The M-Ray technology and CURTAIN’s respectable gap height support high measurement standoff, avoiding scratches and defects on the material.
In addition to a range of in-line solutions, Hammer-IMS offers thickness and basis-weight measuring systems for laboratory use. Typically, lab systems consist of a single fixed measurement head, optionally equipped with a feeder and/or scanner. The incorporated M-Ray measurement technology is non-radioactive and non-nuclear, so no increased safety precautions or legal restrictions apply for your lab environment. In-depth measurements from within a lab-environment are typically performed for purposes of: production process optimization; when developing new materials such as nonwovens, plastics or coatings, ...; to investigate used specimens to draw conclusions about endurance, wear and material stability.
The CURTAIN C-frame system, displayed on the right, uses a 100% classic scanning C-frame concept. Its design is sleek and slim. The system can be equipped with one or more measuring heads. The system brings the power of multi-head to classic C-frame measuring technology. The pure electronic nature of the M-Ray technology within this fixed or scanning frame is non-nuclear and non-radioactive. The M-Rays’ high dynamics allow for high-standoff measurements that are fast and accurate. C-frame CURTAIN systems are available with arm lengths up to 1.5 meter. Such systems are extremely flexible because they can simply be inserted on either side of a production line without interrupting production. C-frame type systems can be used on lines of any material width.