[Virtual Tour] Spunbond and Hydroentangling Lab
The Nonwovens Institute (NWI) at North Carolina State University offers state-of-the-art technology and deep expertise in spunmelt nonwovens. The following virtual tour walks you through the capability housed within NWI’s Spunbond and Hydroentangling Lab.
About Spunbond Nonwovens
Spunbond nonwoven materials are advantageous for a wide range of applications due to their varied performance attributes. The spunbond process begins with polymer, which is extruded, spun and attenuated prior to web laydown, bonding and any necessary finishing steps. Spunbond materials offer good tenacity, are compatible with multiple bonding methods, and can support homogeneous or multi-component filaments.
Typical raw materials utilized for spunbond include polypropylene and polyester. PP is used widely for disposable product types, while PET is a good fit for industrial product types where material stiffness is valued. Other material types employed for select spunbond applications include polyethylene, nylon 6, nylon 6 6, and poly-lactic acid (PLA).
Spunbond serves many end-use products, including hygiene, medical, wipes, filters and automotive materials, just to name a few. Hygiene is the largest market segment for spunbond nonwoven materials.
Spunbond is often combined with meltblown materials to produce hygiene and medical fabrics where barrier properties are needed. Wipes are another category where spunbond materials are highly utilized, either independently or as part of a composite structure. Spunbond is used as a support layer in combination with fine-fiber meltblown in filtration. And spunbond is increasingly finding its way into automobiles, from headliners and trunkliners to carpet, floor mats and seating materials.
Spunbond and Hydroentangling Pilot Lab
Anchored by a Reicofil spunbond line, the NWI Spunbond and Hydroentangling Lab provides you the opportunity to customize the web path to your specific application requirements utilizing equipment from supporting partners – including Hills bico- or mono-filament die packs, two unwinds, an Andritz thermobonding calender, two Andritz Perfojet hydroentanglement units, a kiss roll, a through-air dryer, and a high-speed A.Celli Group slitter/winder.
Following spunbond web laydown, the line offers several bonding methods via a hydroentanglement unit (one pre-entanglement injector, plus six additional injectors), a thermal calender (includes roll options for three bond patterns), a kiss roll unit, and a through-air dryer. The hydroentangling unit and thermal calender can also be used in combination.
Layers can be added either via a front-end unwind or after the web laydown via an unwind prior to bonding, supporting application variables such as, for example, combining cellulosics with spunbond in a hydroentangled structure. Finally, the web path concludes with slitting and winding.
NWI can run trials in many configurations, such as single-beam spunbond, and with a variety of fiber architectures. Fiber options include sheath-core bico, side-by-side bico, or homofilament, as well as more complex cross-sections, such as segmented pie and islands-in-the-sea. Resin options include PP, PE and PET, along with many others, including nylon, elastomers and biopolymers, such as PLA.
To engage with NWI’s spunmelt nonwovens experts and/or to book time in NWI’s Spunbond and Hydroentangling Lab, visit https://bit.ly/3YWxKBl.
For more information on NWI’s pilot- and lab-scale nonwoven production and testing capabilities, visit https://bit.ly/48IWpx6.
To build your understanding of the spunbond nonwoven production process, consider attending the upcoming Spunbond Technology Short Course, which is presented by NWI in partnership with INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry.