The Construction Industry Round Table reported that construction growth in the first quarter of 2014 is up from 2013. The sluggish economy of the past several years has started to give way to modest growth. One way to see the signs of an improving economy is by looking to construction growth. The good news for the nonwovens industry is this: as construction projects expand, so does the need for nonwovens.
What do nonwovens have to do with construction? After all, buildings are created from steel, concrete and wood, right? Not so fast. Nonwovens are an integral part of buildings, tucked in nooks and crannies and even out in plain sight. The World Nonwovens report, published by Freedonia Group, stated that the fastest gains in the nonwoven market would be in construction through 2017.
So, where do nonwovens fit in construction? They fit in a variety of places from basement to rooftops. Perhaps the more important question is WHY?
Thermal properties of nonwoven fabrics
One of the many reasons nonwovens are used in a variety of applications is because of their thermal properties. If you break a textile down, it is a mixture of fibers, moisture and air, each having individual properties on their own. Because of the blend of these three in nonwoven fabrics, it happens that nonwovens have excellent thermal insulating properties. Nonwoven manufacturers utilize different fabric blends, weights and even processes in order to produce the desired thermal properties for each application.
Thermal insulation is used in roofing materials, in house wraps, in flooring and around windows and doors.
Acoustical insulation properties of nonwoven textiles
Fiber type, size, material density, airflow resistance and porosity are all important considerations when manufacturing nonwoven textiles for acoustical insulation.
In modern construction, there continues to be vast improvement on the acoustics front to help consumers combat the squeaks and creaks erupting from their living and workspaces. Acoustical insulation is applied in walls, in flooring and even in and around appliances.
Moisture resistance properties of nonwovens
The beauty of nonwoven fabrics is that, depending on your manufacturing specifications, you can create anything from a fabric that absorbs moisture to one that repels. Construction projects almost always need the latter.
Housewraps are a great use for nonwoven materials. They prevent moisture from settling into the wooden walls due to their resistance to wind and weather.
Nonwovens fit the bill for a variety of construction needs because of their flexible characteristics. Tell your nonwoven manufacturer what your project requires and, many times, they can engineer a material that will suit your needs and possibly even meet some needs you weren’t aware you had.
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