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Non-woven technology

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The nonvowens are layers made of uniformly or randomly oriented fibres bonded with friction and/or cohesion and/or adhesion forces. Paper does not fall into the group of nonvowen fabrics. For production of vowen fabrics, yarn, a semi-product made from fibres, is used, while nonvowens are made directly from primary or recycled fibre raw materials.

The production of nonvowens (NV) has been well known for a long time. Since the dawn of history the mankind have used the technique of felting animal hair. Certain partial procedures (needling) have been used since the 19th century, originally to process unspinnable textile waste. Nevertheless the quick development of research, of modern production methods and of universal use of nonvowens in various fields of human activities dates from the 1960s. Nowadays the NV production reaches almost 20 % total textiles production worldwide and the share is permanently growing. While the world production of most textile sorts stagnates or grows only very slowly, the yearly increase of the NV production is 6 % worldwide and even 9 % in the West Europe. This uncredible growth is comparable maybe only with the development of microelectronics. Another similarity with microelectronics lies in the development of new technologies that would not have emerged if it were not for NVs; in the speed of their development; and in often unforeseen possibilities of their use.

The most significant fields of using NVs are (ordered by the production volumes) the following branches:
  • Packaging materials
  • Geotextiles
  • Soft furnishings
  • Cleaning fabrics
  • Air and liquid filters
  • Insertion materials
  • Medical textiles, personal sanitary care products
  • Shoemaking textiles
  • Electric and grinding materials
  • Automotive industry
  • Textiles for agri- and horticulture
  • Clothing textiles
As for the sources of primary fibre raws, approx. 75 % are made synthetically from oil-made polymer compounds (above all polypropylene and polyesthers) and their share is incessantly growing, less than 10 % fibres are of natural origin (on top of that most often chemically modified like viscose rayon, pure natural fibres share is already only approx. 1 %). The rest are various mineral, inorganic and other fibres (glass, carbon, basalt, silicates and other minerals, metals, oxides, carbides, composites and others). A significant part of the fibre raws for manufacturing NVs comes from recycling waste textile.

Sorting non-wovens as per their manufacturing process

Fibrous layer production techniques:
  • Wet process (approx. 5 - 10 % manucatured NV, in many regards close to classical papermaking).
  • Dry process:
a) Mechanical (fibres oriented along/across/squarely)
b) Aerodynamic (fibres oriented randomly)
c) Directly from polymers (spunbond, meltblown, electrostatic spinning)

Fabric mat hardening techniques:
  • Mechanical (needling, interlacing, spunlacing)
  • Chemical (impregnation, foam, spray)
  • Thermal (hot air, calendering)
Manufacturing NVs from nanofibres is in many regards a separate issue.

From the list above it follows in which partial fields the PAPCEL Group production program finds it use at the NV manufacturers. Above all we provide:
  • Formers and other devices utilising wet manufacture method
  • Calenders
  • Devices for chemical hardening fibrous mat (impregnating and/or spraying - analogues of papermaking size and film presses)
  • Reels and winders
  • Particular rolls incl. those with controlled cambering and zone-controlled load
  • Chemical preparation plants
High-quality nonvowens currently utilised above all in the food industry, medicine and agriculture require a high-tech production of forming techniques.

The PAPCEL Group provides up-to-date process solutions for manufacturing special fibres with excellent cross profiles for particular NV sorts and has developed inclined wire tables for manufacturing special products like nonvowen grinding pads, filters etc.


Ilustrative photos