When you think of industry, what comes to mind? If you’re like most people, you think of big machinery and giant factories made of steel and concrete. But industry has so many other layers. Whether you are considering the consumer products industry, home furnishings, industrial equipment, cleaning and janitorial supplies, apparel or almost any other product, you will most likely find nonwoven textiles used in the manufacturing process or in the finished product.
The need to prevent a speck of dust or a filament of fiber from contaminating the manufacturing process in clean rooms makes them an ideal environment for nonwoven textiles. Booties, hair covers and coveralls are often made from nonwovens because they prevent shedding skin or hair or tracking in dirt from workers’ street clothes and shoes. In addition, companies often use special lint free wipes to clean delicate equipment and surfaces that woven textiles would ruin.
Nonwovens form the separators in batteries, the insulation in some wires and the heat and sound insulation between electrical motors and equipment operators. Nonwoven textiles can have properties that impede the flow of electricity or that conduct electricity. The versatility of nonwoven textiles in manufacturing cannot be overstated.
The filters for your air conditioning and heating systems are probably made from nonwoven textiles. The manufacturer may specify a level of airflow and an allowable particle size when designing these filters. The various grades allow your equipment to operate at peak condition.
Nonwoven textiles are also in your car’s air, water and fuel filter. They may be in the water line filter for your refrigerator’s icemaker, and most coffee filters for home coffee brewers are made from nonwoven textiles.
Manufacturing can be a noisy process, and many companies now try to create quieter equipment. One way to do that is to cushion the components so that they don’t make a noise when they connect, and nonwovens are ideal for this application because of their abrasion resistance. Nonwoven textiles can also eliminate the hum of equipment vibrations so that the workplace becomes a quieter, less stressful and more pleasant place to work.
House wraps are usually made from nonwoven textiles because of their ability to prevent airflow and to act as a moisture barrier. Nonwovens may also be used as part of the underlayment for floors and the insulation in walls, as well as a base layer for roofing.
So look beyond the steel, the concrete and the machinery and you will find industrial nonwovens in a variety of applications.
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