Views:12 Author:Site Editor Publish Time: 2019-08-22 Origin:Site
Ultrasonics for Nonwovens technology
Ultrasonic technology is increasingly being used across various sectors of the nonwovens industry, including absorbent hygiene products, filtration, automotive applications, the cable industries and more. In general terms, ultrasonic bonding uses high frequency sound to generate localized heat through vibration and causes thermoplastic fibers to bond together. This technology is sometimes able to replace other bonding methods such as adhesive and thermal technologies in certain applications. Following is a look at what some of the key manufacturers of ultrasonic technology are innovating in the nonwovens industry.
Chase Machine and Engineering manufactures custom web handling equipment for a wide range of customers in the medical, nonwoven, converting, geotextile, extrusion, filtration and packaging industries. The company built its first ultrasonic slitter for the hook and loop industry in the late 1970s.
“It was at that point in time we realized that ultrasonic technology offered end users tremendous benefits,” says Guy Gil, president, Chase Machine and Engineering.
Since then, Chase Machine and Engineering has built ultrasonic laminators, embossers, slitters, cut to lengths and splicing equipment ranging from nine to 144 inches wide. This equipment can be used in nearly every industry in which nonwovens are used.
Over the years, Gil has seen the use of ultrasonics for nonwoven lamination, slitting and splicing grow within the filtration and medical industries. “As manufacturers of nonwovens continue to improve their product, end users find more applications and quite often select ultrasonics to assemble those materials,” he says.
Ultrasonics offers advantages over other bonding technologies because it’s a clean and efficient method of joining or slitting synthetic materials. “While the initial investment is much more, the long term benefits more than pay for itself,” Gil explains. “Thermal methods such as hot oil or electrically heated systems require an initial preheat cycle in order to bring the tooling to operating temperature. Then, while running, there is a significant amount of heat loss.”
On the other hand, ultrasonic technology is instantaneous, he says. “The operator can start and stop the equipment without worrying about melting the materials being processed. It is also a very clean method of laminating as there are no hoses or rotary unions that may leak over time.”
Most recently, Gil has seen ultrasonics gain ground with manufacturers of filtration products, since they are commonly assembled using adhesives or needle and thread. “The primary driver to find alternative methods has to do with cost and quality,” he continues. “Adhesives are expensive and sewing leaves holes in the product. Ultrasonics fuse the nonwoven materials to create a hermetic seal which is much better than applying an adhesive or seam tape over a sewn seam.”
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