NON WOVEN FABRICS do not depend on the interlacing of yarn for internal cohesion. Intrinsically they have neither an organized geometrical structure. They are essentially the result of the relationship between one single fiber and another. This provides nonwoven fabrics with characteristics of their own, with new or better properties (absorption, filtration) and therefore opens them up to other applications.
Nonwovens are defined by ISO standard 9092 and CEN EN 29092. “A nonwoven is a sheet of fibres, continuous filaments, or chopped yarns of any nature or origin, that have been formed into a web by any means, and bonded together by any means, with the exception of weaving or knitting.Felts obtained by wet milling is not nonwoven. Wet laid webs are nonwovens provided they contain a minimum of 50% of man-made fibres or other fibres of non-vegetable origin with a length to diameter ratio equals or superior to 300, or a minimum of 30% of man-made fibres with a length to diameter ratio equals or superior to 600, and a maximum apparent density of 0.40 g/cm³.
Why is packaging ‘a natural market’ for nonwovens?
For many nonwoven materials, packaging would seem to be a logical market. Most synthetic nonwovens, eg, spun bonds, are strong, durable materials and can be engineered to make effective and efficient use of their materials, such as synthetic polymers. Many nonwovens structures are also more isotropic (equal strength) in machine and cross direction, compared to many traditional competing materials, such as papers or synthetic films. Nonwovens also offer great opportunities for engineering, customisation and modification to meet market demands. In addition, nonwovens can provide speciality features such as controlled breathability and liquid absorption/transfer, which allow the pack to provide additional functions, such as extending the shelf-life of produce. Finally, at a time of environmental pressures, many nonwovens can be tailored and optimised for weight (and cost) and CO2 impact.