Journey Of Fibers To Non-Woven Fabric
Besides woven and knitted fabrics, non- woven fabrics have dominated today’s life. There are immense applications of non-woven fabrics right from making teabags, nappies, geotextiles, and filters to various medical and surgical applications. The properties of non-woven fabrics used for different applications vary from hard to tear to weak and soft to crisp hard textures. What types of materials are used for non-woven and how they are manufactured? If you want to get answers to these questions, this article brings detailed information about materials used and non-woven fabric manufacturing processes.
Non Woven Fabrics – Fastest Production Of Fabric
Unlike knitted or woven fabric, non-woven fabric production is the fastest process with its distinct manufacturing processes. As its name suggests, non-woven fabrics are web structures bonded by entangling the fibers using mechanical, chemical or thermal bonding techniques. Thus, non- woven fabrics are in the form of sheets or web. The main process in manufacturing non-woven include web bonding and that can be done in various ways/ methods like –
- With physical tangles in fibers
- Thermal fusion of fibers
- Stitching the fibers
- Addition of adhesive
- Fusing and again solidifying fibers
The materials used for non-woven fabrics can be all types of fibers including natural to man-made fibers. Hence, fibers like cotton, wool, rayon, polyester, acetate, acrylic etc. are used to produce a variety of non-woven fabrics.
Non-Woven Manufacturing Processes
There are different non-woven manufacturing processes established to produce a variety of non-woven fabrics with different appearance and properties. The two main types of manufacturing processes include dry-laid and wet-laid manufacturing processes.However, the basic manufacturing process for non-woven can be described in three main processes. They are –
- Web Formation – The first process for non-woven is web formation of fibers. It is very important process as properties and quality of final products mainly depends on the characteristics of web of fibers. Textile carding method is used for staple length fibers while spun-laid or wet laid processes are used for short length fibers or filaments for the web formation.
- Web bonding – It is the main process in non woven fabric manufacturing machine. There are various methods used for web bonding like –
· Thermal bonding utilizes heat to stabilize web structure of thermoplastic fibers.
· Hydro entanglement process implements liquid forces to entangle the fibers.
· Needle punching is mechanical interlocking of the fibers.
· Chemical bonding use chemical binders to form fabric.
· Stitch bonding interlocks the fibers with or without yarn.
- Finishing – It is the last process in which fabric is finished to offer desired appearance, look and feel and other properties essential for the end products. There are two main finishing processes namely –
· Dry finishing – These processes include shrinkage, crabbing, creeping, calendaring, wrenching, pressing, grinding, perforating, splitting, slitting etc.
· Wet finishing – Wet finishing includes washing, dyeing, printing, coating, laminating, chemical finishing, flocking etc.
All these processes have been automated with non woven fabric manufacturing machine to produce a range of non-woven fabrics used in various applications. Non-woven fabrics have seized the market offering quality non-woven products meeting all the demands in different sectors.