Views: 7 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2022-04-20 Origin: Site
Composite nonwovens are produced by a modern and innovative industry by employing nonwoven technology or an integration of nonwoven and allied technologies to bring together fibres and/or filaments of different types or species or characteristics. Combinations of different nonwoven, preforms or fabrics, prepared either by employing a variety of different process technologies or by combining nonwoven preforms or fabrics with traditional textile preforms or fabrics or scrims or foams or other materials into a consolidated structure, can also result in development of composite nonwovens. Also, integrating an embedded phase of particulates to a matrix phase of fibres or filaments forming a three- dimensional network around the particulates can lead to creation of composite nonwovens. Thus prepared composite nonwovens are providing engineered solutions by creating multi-functional products as well as economical solutions by eliminating many manufacturing processes and replacing two or more products by one product.
Composite nonwovens are proving that innovative substrate, fibre combinations, and integration of process technologies are an increasingly beneficial option for new product developers (Wuagneux, 2006). By combining the characteristics and performance features of different fibres and/or filaments and/or substrates, composite nonwovens are putting a new twist on the versatility, high performance, and quality that have come to be expected from nonwovens.
Composite nonwovens are finding numerous applications including, but not limiting to, hygiene, wiping, medical, filtration, insulation, geotechnical, automotive, agriculture, apparel, home furnishing and packaging. The common products made with composite nonwovens include baby diaper, sanitary pad, adult diaper, household and personal wipes, absorbent pad, sterile wrap, wound care, face mask, surgical gown, drape, wound dressing, bandage, respirator filter, vacuum cleaner filter bag, HVAC filters, HEPA filters, automotive headliners, carpet, cabin air filter, agricultural coverings and seed strips, apparel interlining, footwear, bed mattress, wall coverings, window shades, carpeting and upholstery fabrics, etc.
Composite nonwovens are already being used significantly in many markets, including hygiene, wipe, medical, filtration, automobile, geotextile, and agriculture. Wuagneux (2006) reported very interesting information on the usage of composite nonwovens in many of these markets. Hygiene has been the focus of composite nonwoven research for many companies looking to diversify in this market. Composite nonwovens are used in numerous hygiene products including baby care, feminine care, and adult incontinence products. In this direction, a significant amount of research, development, and commercialization has been taking place on combining nonwovens with films to meet the market’s increasing demand for softness, comfort and production, or developing three- dimensional perforated laminate with aloe and cotton ingredients to meet the market’s ever-increasing demand for better functionality.
Besides hygiene, the wipes market has also seen increased usage of composite nonwovens. It has witnessed composite nonwovens prepared from a combination of webs made up of synthetic and natural fibres such as pulp or cellulose through hydroentanglement, needlepunching, thermal bonding or other technologies. The use of natural fibres resulted in enhancement of eco-friendliness and sustainability of the final product while multi-layer technologies can add benefits such as controlled absorption and release of lotion. Beyond hygiene and wipe, the medical market is known to be one of the significant users of composite nonwovens. They have played an important role in the medical market’s quest to achieve a balance between comfort and protection. Besides, many industry experts believe that the EU regulations for drapes and gowns have driven the growth of multi-layered composite structures in Europe. The medical market has witnessed the success of many composite nonwoven materials which were produced by SMS technology, or combining multiple nonwovens (layers of different nonwoven technologies), or by combining nonwovens to films by using lamination technology. Another major contribution made to the usage of composite nonwovens is due to filter products. The filter market is aware of many developments of nano and micro- fibre based composite nonwovens for creation of novel air filter media, and it believes that these materials will play a major role in all segments of filtration in years to come. A composite nanofibre filter media consisting of nanofibres from electrospinning in combination with a wet-laid substrate material has already been found in a wide range of industrial, consumer, and defence filtration applications.
Researchers are currently exploring additional nanofibre composite nonwovens for several new uses including providing a highly permeable aerosol barrier in protective gear such as facemasks, respirator filters, surgical gowns, drapes, and protective clothing applications. Also, composite nonwovens prepared by a combination of multiple layers of nonwovens with structured nets by employing ultrasonic bonding to create a set of interesting pleatable alternatives for liquid filtration applications are introduced into the filtration market.
The automotive industry also represents a significant market for application of composite nonwovens. In addition to industrial and residential markets, composite nonwovens appear to be used in protective applications. As a substitute of woven combat uniform, a multi-layer composite nonwoven fabric was developed with an aim for excellent performance, high tear strength, durability, comfort, breathability, water absorbency and water repellency, all the while reducing life cycle costs. This fabric reportedly incorporated activated carbon, molecular sieves within multi-layer nonwovens to remove biological or chemical agents. Composite nonwovens are also found to be used in geotextile and agriculture markets. As known, the most common composite nonwoven used in geotextile is a nonwoven mat that has been bonded by needlepunching to one or both sides of a woven scrim. Further, it is known that the waterproof but breathable composite nonwoven fabric is available for the agriculture market.