Learn about non-woven fabric’s attributes, varieties, and uses by reading this article.
Internal cohesion in nonwovens is not derived from yarn interlacing. They don’t naturally have a structured geometrical structure. They are essentially the outcome of the interaction between two separate fibers.
Nonwoven fabrics are thinner and less durable than woven or knit fabrics. Non-woven materials can’t be used to make durable clothing because of their poor memory and launderability as a material.
The majority of non-woven fabrics are used in one-time applications. However, given their adaptability and low production costs, using non-woven fabrics has its benefits as well.
For more information on non-woven fabrics, please read this article.
What Are Non-Woven Fabrics?
Non-woven fabrics have a structured internal structure despite not having interwoven strands. These fabrics are created by bundling fibers together and then fusing them together with pressure, heat, or chemicals to create a cohesive material that resembles fabric.
Non-woven fabrics do not require weaving or knitting, unlike conventional materials like cotton, linen, wool, and silk. Felt is one of the most typical types of non-woven fabric. It is created by agitating fibers in a solution until they interlock to form a dense textile.
Non-woven fabrics can be classified into three categories based on how the fibers are joined: mechanical (fiber entanglement), chemical (glue-like compounds are used to chemically bond the fibers), and thermal (heat is used to melt the fibers to each other).
The only thing the resulting fabrics have in common is that they are nonwoven. To manipulate fabric properties or reverse engineer fabrics based on functional requirements, nonwoven components such as fiber selection, web formation, bonding, and finishing techniques can be changed.
Although some non-woven materials can be found in nature, such as spider webs, silkworm cocoons, and bird nests, the first non-woven fabrics were only used in the manufacturing sector as of the 1940s.
Numerous industries use non-woven fabrics frequently. Non-woven fabrics are used in the medical industry to make isolation gowns, scrubs, and medical packaging. They are employed as carpet backing in the carpeting industry. Their qualities have also been extensively applied in the agriculture, building, and automotive industries.
Non-woven fabrics are primarily used in the fashion industry to make interlinings, insulation and protection clothing, industrial workwear, chemical defense suits, shoe components, etc.
Different Types of Non-woven Fabrics.
There are several types of nonwoven fabrics, which vary depending on the method used to create them.
Wet laying is a mechanical procedure used to create wet-laid nonwovens. It resembles a method of producing paper using various raw materials.
A slurry of formed fibers is then moved to a mesh-forming device where they are laid out wet to create cloth. Adhesive bonding typically follows it. This is how felt is made, as well as felted fabrics.
Spun Laid Nonwovens
Nonwovens that have been spun into a bond are known as spunbond nonwovens. Spinnerets create endless filaments from polymer slices or fibers. These filaments are stretched and cooled by air before being laid out in an arbitrary web on a sieve belt that is moving.
This conveyer belt moves the web to the bonding zone where it will be joined together using a thermal, mechanical, or chemical process. Nonwoven spun bonding is the interfacing material.
Stitch Bond Nonwovens
On a weaving machine, a stitch bond non-woven is produced. Chain-stitch seams serve as a bond between the web and the weaving machine, which holds it in place. On one or both sides of the fabric, there will be distinct stitching patterns. The web’s texture is made flatter and softer by the stitch bonding process. Scrim in batting is stitch bonded
Solvent Bond Nonwovens
A controlled amount of solvent is used to treat a web made of polyester and acrylic fibers. By causing bonding, it softens the fiber surfaces.
Thermal Bond Nonwovens
Polyester, polypropylene, nylon, and other thermoplastic fibers and powders are used to create thermal bonds in nonwovens.
Thermobonding comes in four different varieties. When the web is placed on a conveyor belt, heated air is applied to bond the two together. Impingement bonding is a process in which hot air from nozzles impinges on the web surface while the web is inside an oven.
The bonding processes include calendar bonding, where the web is passed between heated rollers, and ultrasonic bonding, where the bonding process uses an apparatus in which an ultrasonic frequency creates a vibrational motion.
Chemical Bond Nonwovens
By putting a binder (such as resin or latex) on the web’s surface, chemical bonds in nonwovens are created. An illustration would be resin-bonded batting.
Chemical bonding comes in four different flavors. Print bonding, spray bonding, saturation, and foam bonding Gravure roll printing and screen printing are used for print bonding. During spray bonding, latex is sprayed onto a web that is transported on a conveyor belt.
During saturation, the web is immediately submerged in a latex tank and then dried in a dryer. The fabric has a softer feel and more resilience thanks to foam bonding.
Hydro Entangled Nonwovens
On a fast-moving conveyor belt, high-pressure water jets are used to create hydraulic nonwovens by striking the web surface with a forceful impact. The web’s bonding quality is determined by the amount of pressure applied to it.
Based on how the fibers are laid when the material is made, nonwoven material can be classified in this way. The fibers are combed into a web and aligned in the machine direction using a carding machine.
A very durable non-woven material is produced as a result. The alternative method is air-laid. These two methods are used to create non-woven Web materials.
Nonwoven Composite Fabrics
Multilayer nonwovens (also known as multiple-fiber composite nonwovens) are nonwoven fabrics with multiple layers of various fiber types and functionalities. ie. Specific characteristics, such as water resistance, fire resistance, etc., will be added to the fabric by each layer.
How Are Non-Woven Fabrics Made?
To create the non-woven fabric, fibers are joined using a variety of processes.
In the chemical process, an adhesive is used to bond the fibers together. In the mechanical process, bonding or interlocking is done by needling or fluid jet entanglement or stitching. In the thermal process, a binder in the form of powder, paste, or polymer melt is added and the binder is melted onto the web by increasing temperature.
In order to create nonwoven plastics, leather, and vinyl materials, fluid fiber solutions made of chemical polymers are shaped into flat sheets or films. They can either be used as is or attached to knitted or woven backings.
Characteristics of Non-Woven Fabric
The combination of factors that go into the production of a non-woven fabric determines the specific set of properties that it may have. The variety of traits is substantial.
- Non-woven fabrics can have an appearance that resembles paper, felt, or woven fabrics.
- They might have a flexible, soft hand, or they might have one that is hard, stiff, or large with little pliability.
- Tissue paper-thin or significantly thicker, they could be.
- Moreover, they could be opaque or translucent.
- Their porosity can range from having very low tear and burst strength to having very high tensile strength.
- They might be made by sewing, heat bonding, or gluing.
- This kind of fabric’s drape ability ranges from excellent to nonexistent.
- While some fabrics wash beautifully, others don’t. Some might be dry-cleaned.
Applications of Non-Woven Fabrics
- Personal care and hygiene: Baby diapers, feminine hygiene products, adult incontinence items, dry and wet pads, but also nursing pads or nasal strips, bandages, and wound dressings
- Healthcare: Like operation drapes, gowns, and packs, face masks, dressings, and swabs, osteotomy bag liners, isolation gowns, surgical gowns, surgical drapes and covers, surgical scrub suits, caps
- Clothing: Interlinings, protective gear, workwear for the workplace, chemical-resistant suits, and shoe parts, among other things.
- Home: Tea and coffee bags, fabric softener, food wraps, filters, wipes and dusters, bed and table linen, etc.
- Automotive: Boot liners, shelf trim, oil and cabin air filters, molded bonnet liners, heat shields, airbags, tapes, decorative fabrics, etc.
- Construction: Roof and tile underlayment, thermal and acoustic insulation, house wrap, comprehension, drainage, etc.
- Geotextiles: soil stabilization, drainage, sedimentation, erosion control, etc.
- Filtration: Hevac, Hepa, ULPA filters, gasoline, oil, and air – including HEPA filtration, water, coffee, tea bags, liquid cartridge, and bag filters, vacuum bags, allergen membranes or laminates with non-woven layers
- Industrial: Cable insulation, abrasives, reinforced plastics, battery separators, satellite dishes, faux leather, air conditioning, and coating.
- Agriculture, home furnishing, leisure and travel, school and office: soil stabilizers and roadway underlayment, foundation stabilizers, erosion control, canal construction, drainage systems, geomembranes protection, frost protection, agricultural mulch, pond and canal water barriers, and sand infiltration barrier for drainage tile.
Conclusion: Non-woven Fabrics
Nonwoven materials are flat textiles created from long and short filament fibers that have been felted or chemically, thermally, or mechanically bonded together. The fibers can form webs, mats, or sheets that are randomly distributed or oriented in one direction. One layer or many layers may be present.
If you have any questions now that you are well-versed in non-woven fabrics, kindly post them in the comments section.