Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Perfectly needled nonwoven

Date:
December 10, 2010
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
Hardly any other textile is as versatile as nonwoven: it keeps babies' bottoms dry and protects plants from the sun. In the Gulf of Mexico, special nonwovens soaked up the oil washed up on beaches like blotting paper. A new piece of simulation software now makes it possible to produce high-quality, stripe-free nonwoven fabrics.

The density of the needle penetrations can be simulated using special software tools.
Credit: Fraunhofer ITWM

Hardly any other textile is as versatile as nonwoven: it keeps babies’ bottoms dry and protects plants from the sun. In the Gulf of Mexico, special nonwovens soaked up the oil washed up on beaches like blotting paper. A new piece of simulation software now makes it possible to produce high-quality, stripe-free nonwoven fabrics.

What do diapers, wiping cloths, wall paneling, sticking plasters and Ultrasuede covers for upholstered furniture have in common? All these products are made of nonwovens. There is hardly any other fabric that is as versatile. Last summer the operators of the Zugspitze railroad even used sheets of nonwovens to prevent the snow melting away on Germany's highest mountain. The quality of this textile, however, varies considerably. It is generally true to say that the firmer, the smoother and the freer of marks the nonwoven is, the higher the quality. In the search for the perfect nonwoven, the Austrian needling machine manufacturer Oerlikon Neumag Austria asked the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM in Kaiserslautern for help.

Needling machines are essential in the production of nonwoven fabrics: "Nonwovens are bonded mechanically by needling. The needles punch vertically in and out of the material. The machine then transports the material and the needles come down again. This process locks the fibers together," explains Dr. Simone Gramsch, a scientist at the ITWM. "The needle penetrations have to be completely even, otherwise unwanted marks such as longitudinal, diagonal or transverse stripes occur, and the material is less tear-resistant," says Gramsch. Oerlikon Neumag Austria used to conduct the needling process without computer simulations. The needles were arranged manually based on past experience, and the needle boards constructed and tested by trial and error an approach that took several months and cost a lot of money. The research scientist and her team have managed to cut the time needed for this process significantly. There will no longer be a need for practical tests: Using software tools they themselves developed, the scientists have been able to simulate the needle penetration geometry, allowing them to optimize the needle patterns.

The strength and stretch characteristics of the nonwoven fabric are affected not only by the arrangement of the needles but also by their penetration density. The draft and the feed per stroke have to be coordinated as well. "Our software takes all these factors into account. We simulate and assess the penetration pattern according to the parameters entered. This enables the design engineer to determine where the needles are best placed on the needle board," says the scientist. Thanks to the new program, objective quality criteria now replace subjective assessment by the human eye. What's more, the experts have also programmed a design engineering tool. The user enters the feeds per stroke and the drafts for which he wants to construct a needle board. He specifies how wide he wants the board to be and what type of needles to use. The software then automatically comes up with a suitable needle board design.

But the development of the software posed some problems for the researchers. For example, a needle board has to be able to handle various feeds, because textile manufacturers do not produce the same nonwovens with the same feeds every day. Each needle rearrangement leads to several hours of lost production, and no manufacturer can afford that. For this reason the ITWM program has to be able to design a needle board that delivers equally well needled nonwovens for several feeds per stroke. "We managed that too," beams Gramsch. Oerlikon Neumag Austria has now used the results of the software to build numerous new needle boards.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Perfectly needled nonwoven." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101108140640.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2010, December 10). Perfectly needled nonwoven. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101108140640.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Perfectly needled nonwoven." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101108140640.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ballmer Leaves Microsoft's Board, Has Advice For Nadella

Ballmer Leaves Microsoft's Board, Has Advice For Nadella

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) In a letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Ballmer said he's leaving the board of directors and offered tips on how the company can be successful. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Google Can Gain From Special Accounts For Children

What Google Can Gain From Special Accounts For Children

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Google will reportedly offer official accounts for children younger than 13 years old. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakingviews: Ebola's Economic Impact Could Eclipse SARS

Breakingviews: Ebola's Economic Impact Could Eclipse SARS

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 18, 2014) The virus ravaging Africa has yet to spread elsewhere. Yet Asia’s SARS crisis in 2003 showed how changes to behaviour can hurt the economy more than the actual disease, says Breakingviews' Una Galani. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Twitter Users Up In Arms After 'Favorites' Show Up In Feeds

Twitter Users Up In Arms After 'Favorites' Show Up In Feeds

Newsy (Aug. 17, 2014) Twitter is testing a feature on some users that shows favorited tweets from people they follow in their own timeline, the same way a retweet appears. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins