Doing the maths on nonwovens

Posted by on set 24, 2011 in ITMA | 1 comment

In an interesting presentation at today’s Research and Education platform, Dr Simone Gramsch of the Fraunhofer Institute of Industrial Mathematics spoke of her work on the optimisation of needlepunched nonwovens.
Using advanced algorithms, she and her team have developed software to calculate the ultimate positioning of needles in a needle board, based on a whole range of influential parameters. The results of such work have been adapted by Autefa – until recently part of Oerlikon Neumag – one of the key manufacturers of nonwovens machinery situated in Hall 2.
Here’s another bit of maths – nonwovens will account for at least a quarter, and maybe as much as a third, of all global textile production by 2050.
This was a prediction made recently by Friedrich Weninger, president of the Austrian Manmade Fibres Institute at the recent 50th Dornbirn Man-Made Fibers Congress and there is certainly a buzz about Hall 2.
In a dominant position there is Dilo, a company always keen to showcase the excellence of German engineering at ITMA shows. A full Dilo nonwoven line with a width of 3.5 metres is in operation, consisting of two bale openers, a MultiCard, a DLSC crosslapper and needleloom, with new innovation including the Profiline CV1A web compensation system. The line is capable of speeds of up to 160 metres a minute.
Also attracting a lot of attention is Australian company V-Lap with its fully-operational pilot line for the production of vertically-lapped products. Leading car manufacturers including Ford, General Motors, Mitsubishi and Toyota are now taking advantage of the tremendous properties of vertically lapped nonwoven fabrics – and the benefits are not just confined to the automotive sector.
“The key advantage of the products made with our technology over traditional high loft nonwovens is the true vertical orientation of the fibres,” explains managing director Jason Cooper. “This provides a more uniform product and greater resilience and recovery from compression for specific applications. And most importantly, it allows for reduced weight at a comparable thickness and or sound acoustic rating.”
V-Lap nonwovens can be equally effective solutions in other industrial areas such as filtration, construction and the furniture markets.
In filtration, the unique structure of vertically orientated webs improves both coarse particle holding on the surface and depth holding of the finer particles, resulting in a filter with a very low pressure drop and excellent dust holding capacity.
In mattress construction, meanwhile, they can be used with strong scrims for spring pocket insulator materials, and the same machine can manufacture replacement mattress topping materials which are much more foam-like than conventional crosslapped polyesters. The improved compression and recovery does not compromise the soft feel of the material, while the ability to provide improved bulk without weight – sometimes by as much as 20% – provides for much more air circulation and a ‘cooler’ feel than standard polyester separators.
Another interesting new technology in Hall 2 is the nanofibre system being promoted by South Korea’s Toptec and developed at Shinshu University in Japan.
Toptec is manufacturing both laboratory and industrial-sized lines to produce very impressive nanowebs and a 1.8 metre wide Toptec line can run at speeds of up to 80 metres a minute, says Dr Ick-Soo Kim, of Shinshi University.
Often used in combination with conventional nonwoven webs, nanofibre layers are opening up a range of new markets with end-uses including high efficiency filters, storage membranes for lithium ion batteries, protective clothing layers, advanced medical products and more.
The future success of nonwovens, however, will not be solely due to innovative technology, but also as a result of the basic shift in fibre consumption that’s likely to occur over the next few decades – and specifically, what’s been called (for as long as I can remember now, although only very recently actually emerging) ‘the cellulosic gap’.
As cotton prices continue to rise, viscose is becoming a rapidly growing market, and this is a situation many ITMA exhibitors are now addressing with their latest technology developments. State of the art viscose fibre manufacturing plants, such as those run by ITMA exhibitor Lenzing, allow the almost-carbon neutral production of fibres. Pulp is derived from trees which embed CO2, and water consumption is only a fiftieth of that used in cotton farming.
Viscose fibres are also eminently suited to many nonwoven applications, not least as a result of their absorbency, and together fibre and process make a formidable team.

In an interesting presentation at today’s Research and Education platform, Dr Simone Gramsch of the Fraunhofer Institute of Industrial Mathematics spoke of her work on the optimisation of needlepunched nonwovens.
Using advanced algorithms, she and her team have developed software to calculate the ultimate positioning of needles in a needle board, based on a whole range of influential parameters. The results of such work have been adapted by Autefa – until recently part of Oerlikon Neumag – one of the key manufacturers of nonwovens machinery situated in Hall 2.
Here’s another bit of maths – nonwovens will account for at least a quarter, and maybe as much as a third, of all global textile production by 2050.
This was a prediction made recently by Friedrich Weninger, president of the Austrian Manmade Fibres Institute at the recent 50th Dornbirn Man-Made Fibers Congress and there is certainly a buzz about Hall 2.
In a dominant position there is Dilo, a company always keen to showcase the excellence of German engineering at ITMA shows. A full Dilo nonwoven line with a width of 3.5 metres is in operation, consisting of two bale openers, a MultiCard, a DLSC crosslapper and needleloom, with new innovation including the Profiline CV1A web compensation system. The line is capable of speeds of up to 160 metres a minute.Also attracting a lot of attention is Australian company V-Lap with its fully-operational pilot line for the production of vertically-lapped products. Leading car manufacturers including Ford, General Motors, Mitsubishi and Toyota are now taking advantage of the tremendous properties of vertically lapped nonwoven fabrics – and the benefits are not just confined to the automotive sector.
“The key advantage of the products made with our technology over traditional high loft nonwovens is the true vertical orientation of the fibres,” explains managing director Jason Cooper. “This provides a more uniform product and greater resilience and recovery from compression for specific applications. And most importantly, it allows for reduced weight at a comparable thickness and or sound acoustic rating.”
V-Lap nonwovens can be equally effective solutions in other industrial areas such as filtration, construction and the furniture markets.
In filtration, the unique structure of vertically orientated webs improves both coarse particle holding on the surface and depth holding of the finer particles, resulting in a filter with a very low pressure drop and excellent dust holding capacity.
In mattress construction, meanwhile, they can be used with strong scrims for spring pocket insulator materials, and the same machine can manufacture replacement mattress topping materials which are much more foam-like than conventional crosslapped polyesters. The improved compression and recovery does not compromise the soft feel of the material, while the ability to provide improved bulk without weight – sometimes by as much as 20% – provides for much more air circulation and a ‘cooler’ feel than standard polyester separators.
Another interesting new technology in Hall 2 is the nanofibre system being promoted by South Korea’s Toptec and developed at Shinshu University in Japan.
Toptec is manufacturing both laboratory and industrial-sized lines to produce very impressive nanowebs and a 1.8 metre wide Toptec line can run at speeds of up to 80 metres a minute, says Dr Ick-Soo Kim, of Shinshi University.
Often used in combination with conventional nonwoven webs, nanofibre layers are opening up a range of new markets with end-uses including high efficiency filters, storage membranes for lithium ion batteries, protective clothing layers, advanced medical products and more.
The future success of nonwovens, however, will not be solely due to innovative technology, but also as a result of the basic shift in fibre consumption that’s likely to occur over the next few decades – and specifically, what’s been called (for as long as I can remember now, although only very recently actually emerging) ‘the cellulosic gap’.
As cotton prices continue to rise, viscose is becoming a rapidly growing market, and this is a situation many ITMA exhibitors are now addressing with their latest technology developments. State of the art viscose fibre manufacturing plants, such as those run by ITMA exhibitor Lenzing, allow the almost-carbon neutral production of fibres. Pulp is derived from trees which embed CO2, and water consumption is only a fiftieth of that used in cotton farming.
Viscose fibres are also eminently suited to many nonwoven applications, not least as a result of their absorbency, and together fibre and process make a formidable team.

source: ITMA

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One Response to “Doing the maths on nonwovens”

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