Nonwoven fabrics are widely used in our daily life. But few people know what nonwoven fabric is. Most of them confuse it with woven fabric. Nonwoven fabric is a fabric-like web made by non woven machine. It bonds together with filaments mechanically, thermally or chemically. Process of weaving or knitting is not required in nonwoven fabric. In past few years, nonwovens have become an alternative to plastic
Nonwoven Fabric History
In 1942, the first piece of nonwoven fabric is used as the interlining on shirts and garments. Staple fibers are bonded together to form a web by dry-laid process. It gives garments a strong support. The structure looks better than before.
In 1950’s, nonwoven fabric manufacturer Chicopee Mills successfully developed wet wipes. Nonwoven fabric is applied in household field at the first time.
At the same time, more and more garment factories used nonwoven fabric in lining and interfacing in the United States. Pellon Corporation was one of the biggest manufacturers of nonwoven industry.
In 1960’s, composite nonwoven fabric appeared. People mixed two or more different raw materials to process into nonwoven. At that time, fiberglass was a hot selling compost which mixed fibers and foam.
Nonwoven Fabric Characteristics
Nonwoven fabric is of absorbency, liquid repellency, resilience, stretch, softness and strength. It’s also characterized as flame retardancy, washability, cushioning, filtering, bacterial barriers and sterility. It achieves a good balance between use-life and cost. On the other hand, it’s very close to woven fabric in appearance, texture and strength. Thick nonwoven fabric is also a good stuffing for paddings.
Differences Between Woven and Nonwoven Fabric
Nonwoven fabric is different from woven in many aspects.
Production process is the main difference between nonwoven and woven. Raw material of nonwoven is directly bonding by physical ways. Then nonwoven fabric forms. It doesn’t need to weave or knit. So there is no weft and warp in nonwoven. While woven fabric is weaved by looms or hands. Warp and weft threads are clearly seen.
Nonwoven fabric is commonly made of chemical fiber such as PP, PET, PA, viscose and acrylic fiber. While woven fabric is made with plant fiber. It refers to cotton, wool, silk, linen, ramie, hemp and leather. In recent years, people start to use PLA nonwoven fabric as it is environment friendly. Its raw material is corn, cassava, sugarcane or sugar beet pulp.
Woven fabric performs much better than nonwoven in durability. The products made by woven fabric usually have a long use-life. By contrast, nonwoven fabric is easily splitted.
Nonwoven fabric can not be degraded to water or gas.But it will be effectively decomposed. As reported, nonwoven fabric can decompose in 90 days outdoors and 8 years indoors. The chemical structure of polypropylene is not strong. The molecular chain breaks easily. While the woven fabric’s internal structure is more strong and stable. It can not be degraded naturally as fast as nonwovens.
Woven fabric has a strong and stable structure. It’s good for various kinds of clothes, bedding set, sofa and towels. While nonwoven is a kind of lightweight and economical fabric. It’s widely used in recyclable or disposable products. They refers to nonwoven bags, surgical gown, face masks, diapers and industrial filters.
Nonwoven Fabric Application
Non woven fabric has a variety of applications. It is used widely in different fields. Here is a list of nonwoven application.
|Line No.||Application Category||Products Application|
|1||Hygiene Products||Sanitary Napkin, Baby Diapers|
|2||Agriculture and Horticulture||Plant Bags, Crop Covers, Plant Protection and Seed Blankets|
|3||Automotive||Headliner, Dashboard Insulation, Carpets And Flooring|
|4||Building||House Wrap, Roofing, Covers For Acoustic Ceilings, Air Infiltration Barrier|
|5||Geotextiles||Soil stabilizer, erosion control, foundation stabilizer|
|6||Filtration||Gasoline, and water, coffee, tea bags, mineral processing, liquid cartridge, and bag filters|
|7||Household||Beds Cover, Seatings Cover, Clothes Cover, Table Cloth|
|8||Medical||Surgical scrubs, gloves, caps, shoe covers, wipes, plasters|
|9||Personal Care Wipes||Baby Wipes, Facial Wipes, Cleansing Wipes, Hand & Body Wipes, Moist Towelettes|
Nonwoven Manufacturing Process
There are 7 types in nonwoven manufacturing process. Each type has different production process. But the raw material is almost same. It includes natural fiber, regenerated fiber and synthetic polymer. Natural fiber refers to cotton, jute and linen. Bamboo fiber, viscous fiber, tencel and modal fiber belong to regenerated fiber. While the main materials PP, PE, PET, NYLON, PA, polyester, PCL, PLA are synthetic polymer.
The principle of spunlace is simple. High pressure water goes through the fiber web. The water rebounds from the curtain, then go through the fiber web again. The web fiber is reinforced by displacing, interspersing and entangling. They are widely used in facial mask fabric, medical non-woven fabric, wet wipe fabric, non-woven filter fabric and so on.
Heat-bond nonwoven is produced in two steps. First, put fibrous or sticky reinforcement material into the fiber web. Second, reinforce the web into cloth by heating and cooling.
Air-laid processing is to produce dustless paper or dry paper nonwoven. Process the wood pulp fiberboard into a single fiber by air-laid technology. Use airflow method to agglomerate the fiber on the net curtain. Then form the fiber web and cloth after consolidation.
The wet-laid nonwoven fabric is to make raw materials into single fibers in the water. At the same time, mix different fibers to form a slurry. Transport it to the web forming machine. The fibers are formed into a web in a wet condition and reinforced into cloth
Manufacturing process of spunbond is simple. Put raw material PP into dosing system. PP comes into extruder machine and becomes paste fluid. Then stretch the polymer to filaments. Form the web by calander machine. In short, this is a process of thermal, chemical and mechanical bonding.
Extrude melted polymer fiber through a melting die. It consists of hundreds small holes. Long thin fibers come out these holes. Then stretch the fibers by passing heat air. They fall from the melting die when cooled. The web comes onto a collector screen forming filtered and self-bond nonwoven. Meltblown process usually works with spunbond to form SMS,SMMS or SSMS.
This is a type of dry nonwoven fabric. The fiber forms into web by needle puncture.
Nonwoven fabric Becomes Popular
Why did nonwoven become popular? The reason is that it performs well in below four aspects.
- Nonwoven fabric making machine has a high speed. Fox example, our factory’s SMS nonwoven machine reaches 400m/min. It’s much faster than any type of woven fabric.
- It has a cheap price due to automatic and simple manufacturing process .
- Nonwoven fabrics are optional for all types of needs. Gram weight ranges from 15grams/meter to 1000 grams/meter.
- Nonwoven fabric is a good material for disposable products. For example, diapers, surgical gowns and hats are made of nonwoven. It’s convenient for consumers. Just throw them away after use.
Nonwoven Fabric Trends
Nonwoven market grows fast in the year 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19. But it calms down in 2021.Should we invest in this area? Let us see the trends of nonwoven from Google. It reaches the highest point in April,2020 and then comes down slowly. Impact of COVID-19 still exists. It’s negative on world business, but positive for nonwoven fabric market. Over the short term, the health care and personal care field will grow fast, especially in the Asia-Pacific market. So nonwoven industry is still worth investing.
Essential Tips to Find a Good Supplier
It’s a big investment to buy a nonwoven machine. You should think twice. See the follow tips before purchasing in this special period.
- Look at the factory’s scale by google map. Don’t work with small factory.
- You should keep in mind of factory’s reputation. You can check it online. To make sure your supplier is reliable.
- Ask the factory to send you pictures of their facilities and machines at workshop. You can have a video call and see the overall factory online.
- Verify the factory if it’s old or new in nonwoven machine industry. Old one is a better choice.
- Choose the manufacturer which has a strong after-sale team. Strong technical support ensures your machine perfect performance.
We are a professional manufacturer of nonwoven production line. Our factory has focused on making nonwoven machine since 2008. Our products contain spunbond and spunmelt production lines such as single beam,double beams,three beams and SMS. Contact us freely if you have any inquiries.
Related reading: Differences Between Spunbond,Meltblown,SMS Nonwoven Fabric