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Publication numberUS20050159065 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/015,818
Publication dateJul 21, 2005
Filing dateDec 20, 2004
Priority dateDec 18, 2003
Publication number015818, 11015818, US 2005/0159065 A1, US 2005/159065 A1, US 20050159065 A1, US 20050159065A1, US 2005159065 A1, US 2005159065A1, US-A1-20050159065, US-A1-2005159065, US2005/0159065A1, US2005/159065A1, US20050159065 A1, US20050159065A1, US2005159065 A1, US2005159065A1
InventorsAnders Stralin, Hannu Ahoniemi, Lars Fingal, Mikael Strandqvist
Original AssigneeAnders Stralin, Hannu Ahoniemi, Lars Fingal, Mikael Strandqvist
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Composite nonwoven material containing continuous filaments and short fibres
US 20050159065 A1
Abstract
A nonwoven material consisting of a mixture containing continuous filaments and short fibres, the continuous filaments being substantially mechanically bonded to each other due to entangling of fibres and filaments. The continuous filaments in the material have a projected coverage of at least 1.1 and not more than 1.7. The invention also relates to a method of manufacturing such a nonwoven material.
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Claims(20)
1. A nonwoven composite material consisting of a mixture containing continuous filaments and short fibres, the continuous filaments being substantially mechanically bonded to each other due to entangling of fibres and filaments, wherein the continuous filaments in the material have a projected coverage of at least 1.1 and not more than 1.7.
2. The nonwoven composite material according to claim 1, wherein the continuous filaments in the material have a projected coverage between 1.2-1.6.
3. The nonwoven composite material according to claim 1, wherein the short fibres comprises natural fibres and/or synthetic staple fibres.
4. The nonwoven composite material according to claim 3, wherein the short fibres comprise at least 60 weight % of cellulose fibres.
5. The nonwoven composite material according to claim 4, wherein the short fibres comprise 85-95 weight % of cellulose fibres.
6. The nonwoven composite material according to claim 1, wherein the content of continuous filaments in the material is about 15-40 weight %.
7. The nonwoven composite material according to claim 1, wherein the basis weight of the material is 40-100 g/m2.
8. The nonwoven composite according to claim 1, wherein the short fibres are wetlaid fibres.
9. The nonwoven composite material according to claim 2, wherein the continuous filaments in the material have a projected coverage between 1.3-1.6, and the short fibres comprise at least 70 weight % of cellulose fibres.
10. The nonwoven composite material according to claim 2, wherein the continuous filaments in the material have a projected coverage between 1.3-1.6, and the short fibres comprise at least 85 weight % of cellulose fibres.
11. The nonwoven composite material according to claim 4, wherein the short fibres comprise about 90 weight % of cellulose fibres.
12. The nonwoven composite material according to claim 1, wherein the content of continuous filaments in the material is about 25-40 weight %.
13. The nonwoven composite material according to claim 1, wherein the basis weight of the material is 50-80 g/m2.
14. A method of manufacturing a nonwoven material comprising the steps of:
laying a layer of short fibres onto a web of unbonded continuous filaments;
hydroentangling the layers consisting of continuous filaments and short fibres to form a composite nonwoven material and thereafter drying the material;
wherein the web of continuous filaments has a projected coverage of at least 1.1 and not more than 1.7.
15. The method according to claim 14, wherein the web of continuous filaments has a projected coverage between 1.2-1.6.
16. The method according to claim 14, wherein the continuous filaments are spunlaid spunbond filaments.
17. The method according to claim 14, wherein the short fibres are wetlaid onto the web of continuous filaments.
18. The method according to claim 14, wherein the short fibres are airlaid onto the web of continuous filaments.
19. The method according to claim 14, wherein the energy supply at the hydroentangling is at the most about 500 kWh/ton.
20. The method according to claim 19, wherein the web of continuous filaments has a coverage of 1.3-1.6, and the energy supply at the hydroentangling is at most about 350 kWK/ton.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the 35 USC 119(e) benefit of prior U.S. Provisional application Ser. No. 60/530,284 filed on Dec. 18, 2003.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a composite nonwoven material containing continuous filaments and short fibres and a method of manufacturing a nonwoven material comprising the steps of laying a layer of fibres onto a web of unbonded continuous filaments, hydroentangling the layers consisting of continuous filaments and fibres to form a composite nonwoven material and thereafter drying the material.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A nonwoven material for wiping applications should be strong, absorbent abrasion resistant and exhibit low linting, i.e. fibres should not loosen from the material during normal use.

One way of manufacturing nonwoven materials is to use hydroentangling or spunlacing to mix and bond the constituents in the material. Hydroentangling is e.g. described in CA patent No. 841 938. It is known to produce composite nonwoven materials comprising continuous filaments and short fibres by hydroentangling, see for example EP-B1-0 333228, EP-B1-0 938 601 and WO 99/20821.

A problem encountered in the manufacture of such composite materials is that it is difficult to obtain a good integration of the continuous filaments and short fibres only by hydroentangling which results in that the composite materials produced often have a more or less pronounced two-sidedness, i.e. one side predominately containing short fibres and the other predominately containing continuous filaments. Such two-sidedness have several drawbacks. Firstly, the bonding of the filaments and short fibres will be weaker than in a composite material in which the short fibres and continuous filaments are well integrated, i.e. homogeneously mixed, the strength in the direction of thickness will be low and there is a risk that the composite delaminate if the two-sidedness is pronounced. Moreover, the “short fibre side” of such a material will be sensitive to linting, i.e. that fibres loosen from the surface, and the “filament side” will be sensitive to “pilling” when abraded, i.e. that parts of the filaments will be protruding from the surface of this side.

In WO 99/20821 the problem associated with poor mixing of the materials is solved by applying a bonding material to at least one side of a hydraulically entangled web comprising a fibrous component and a nonwoven layer of substantially continuous filaments. Also in U.S. Pat. No. 5,389,202 a bonded web of continuous filaments is used. In EP-B1-0 333 228 this problem is solved by co-deposition of an admixture of non-elastic meltblown filaments and fibre material on a conveyor surface. The fibrous material is intermingled with the meltblown fibres just after extruding of the material of the meltblown fibres through the meltblowing die so that the materials are thoroughly mixed before the entangling.

From EP-B1-0 938 601 it is known to manufacture a nonwoven material by foam forming a fibrous web of natural and/or synthetic staple fibres directly on a layer of unbonded continuous filaments and hydroentangling together the foamed fibre dispersion with the continuous filaments for forming a composite material. Through the foamforming there is achieved an improved mixing of the natural and/or synthetic fibres with synthetic filaments before the entangling. A drawback of this method is the necessity of equipment for foamforming and for taking care of the surfactants used for the foamforming, which circulates in the water circuit.

By the use of a layer of unbonded continuous filaments it is easier to obtain a well integrated material than with a layer of bonded continuous filaments, whereby the energy consumption in the entangling step will be less than is needed to integrate fibres with a layer of bonded continuous filaments. However, it has been showed that the properties of the material obtained by such a manufacturing method is very sensitive to the amount and size of the continuous filaments in the web of continuous filaments with which the layer of short fibres should be integrated. If the web of continuous filaments is too open, it is a risk that short fibres are flushed out of the material in the entangling step. This can lead to holes in the material and an uneven basis weight distribution in the material obtained. If the web of continuous filaments is too dense, it is difficult to get a good integration of the short fibres in the material. The material will then be more like a laminate than a composite having one side predominately containing short fibres and the other side predominately containing continuous filaments. In such a material the bonding of the continuous filaments will be poor and the side predominately containing short fibres will be sensitive to abrasion and linting.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

The objective of the present invention is to provide a composite nonwoven material containing continuous filaments and short fibres in which the continuous filaments and short fibres are well integrated in the material and which can be produced by a method of manufacturing which is cost effective and by which it is ensured that the integration of the filaments and fibres can be performed by entangling without the need of a premixing step of filaments and fibres.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This objective is according to the invention accomplished by a nonwoven composite material consisting of a mixture containing continuous filaments and short fibres, the continuous filaments being substantially mechanically bonded to each other due to entangling of fibres and filaments, characterised in that the continuous filaments in the material have a projected coverage of at least 1.1 and not more than 1.7. By ensuring that the web of continuous filaments used in the manufacture of such a material be neither too open or too dense, a nonwoven composite material composed of continuous filaments and short fibres in which the filaments and fibres are well integrated can be obtained by entangling without a pre-mixing step and with a low consumption of energy. Such a composite will have similar properties on both sides thereof.

In a preferred embodiment the continuous filaments in the material have a projected coverage between 1.2-1.6, preferably 1.3-1.6. The short fibres comprises natural fibres and/or synthetic staple fibres. Preferably, the short fibres comprise at least 60 weight % of cellulose fibres, preferably at least 70 weight %, more preferably at least 75 weight % and most preferably at least 85 weight %. Advantageously, the short fibres comprise 85-95 weight % of cellulose fibres, preferably about 90 weight %. The content of continuous filaments in the material is about 15-40 weight %, preferably 25-40 weight %. The basis weight of the material is preferably 40-100 g/m2, more preferably 50-80 g/m2 and the short fibres are preferably wetlaid fibres.

The invention also relates to a method of manufacturing a nonwoven material comprising the steps of laying a layer of short fibres onto a web of unbonded continuous filaments, hydroentangling the layers consisting of continuous filaments and short fibres to form a composite nonwoven material and thereafter drying the material, characterised by providing the web of continuous filaments with a projected coverage of at least 1.1 and not more than 1.7.

In a preferred embodiment the web of continuous filaments is provided with a projected coverage between 1.2-1.6, preferably 1.3-1.6, and the continuous filaments are spunlaid spunbond filaments. The short fibres can be wetlaid or airlaid onto the web of continuous filaments. The energy supply at the hydroentangling is at the most about 500 kWh/ton, preferably about 300-400 kWh/ton and most preferably about 350 kWh/ton.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

The invention will now be described with reference to the enclosed FIG. 1, which schematically illustrates a process line for manufacturing a nonwoven material according to a preferred embodiment of the method according to the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In the process line schematically illustrated in FIG. 1, a web of unbonded continuous filaments is laid on a transport belt 1. The transport belt 1 is air-permeable and can for example consist of a woven forming fabric or a wire. The continuous filaments laid onto the transport web are delivered by a conventional device 2 for producing spunbond filaments.

Spunbond filaments are produced by extruding a molten polymer through a spinneret which can have 3,000-5,000 holes/m width with a typical diameter of 0.5 mm. The extruded polymer is then accelerated by high speed air either by a slot drawing attenuator or by quench air. The slot drawing attenuator works as a wide ejector and is fed with compressed air that is released in a narrow gap resulting in a very high air velocity (10,000-20,000 m/min). Very high filaments velocities up to 6,000 m/min can be obtained. As the filaments are drawn by quench air in a closed system, the velocity of the air is increased by narrowing the width of the attenuation chamber. By this process filament velocities up to 4,000 m/min can be obtained. After filaments have left the slot drawing attenuator or the narrowest passage in the quench chamber, the velocity of the filaments decrease and they are sucked and laid down onto the transport web 1. The production of spunbonded nonwoven webs is described in patents, such as U.S. Pat. No. 5,389,202, U.S. Pat. No. 4,340,563 and U.S. Pat. No. 3,692,618.

When the continuous filaments are delivered to the transport web 1 they normally have a diameter of 10-50 μm. The continuous filaments are delivered to the transport web with a much higher velocity than the velocity of the transport web, for example the velocity of the filaments is 2,000-4,000 m/min and the velocity of the transport web is 100-300 m/min. This means that the filaments will form irregular loops and bends on the transport web so that a randomised web 4 of continuous filaments is obtained.

A suction box 3 is disposed under the air permeable transport web 1, whereby the filaments will be drawn against the transport web by the suction provided and the web of continuous filaments will assume a more or less two-dimensional appearance, i.e. that loops or bends of filaments upstanding from transport web at the deliverance thereto will be drawn by the suction to a horizontal or near horizontal position.

It is essential for the present invention that the filaments that are spunlaid on the transport web are unbonded and free to move relative to each other.

The filaments consist of preferably of polypropylene or polyesters but can also consist of other polymeres, such as polyethylene, or polyamides and polyactides. Copolymers of these polymers may also be used, as well as natural polymers with thermoplastic properties. All thermoplastic polymers are in principle possible to use.

The web 4 of continuous filaments is then advanced to a device 5 for wetlaying a layer 6 of short fibres onto the web 4 of filaments. This device is also of conventional construction.

The layer 6 of short fibres consists preferably of natural fibres, preferably cellulose fibres, or a mixture of natural fibres and staple fibres. The cellulose fibres are preferably wood pulp fibres but any type of cellulose fibres is possible to use, such as grass or straw. Both softwood fibres and hardwood fibres are suitable. The staple fibres can be synthetic fibres made from the same materials as the continuous filaments and copolymers of these materials can of course also be used. It is also possible to use regenerated cellulose fibres, such as rayon, lyocell.

The short fibres should comprise at least 60 weight % of cellulose fibres, preferably at least 70 weight %, more preferably at least 75 weight % and most preferably at least 85 weight %. Advantageously, the short fibres comprise 85-95 weight % of cellulose fibres, preferably about 90 weight %.

The web 4 of continuous filaments and the layer 6 of fibres laid thereon are then advanced to a hydroentangling device 7. In such a device, several manifolds of water jets under high pressure, such as 50-120 bars, are directed against the fibre layer 6 and web 4 of filaments. During this step the fibres and filaments will mix and entangle with each other, with other fibres and with filaments.

Finally, the mixed nonwoven material obtained in the entangling step is advanced to a drying device 8. This device can be of conventional construction, such as a through-air drier.

As stated before it is essential for the present invention that the continuous filaments in the web 4 are unbonded to each other. By unbonded means that the continuous filaments in the web 4 are free to move relative to each other, i.e. the possible attachments of filaments to each other due to possible remaining stickiness when the filaments are laid onto the transport web 1 are so weak that such possible attachments will be broken when the filaments are hit by the water jets. A great advantage by the use of a layer of unbonded continuous filaments is that the entangling can be performed with a low energy consumption in the hydroentangling step compared to the energy consumption of a layer of continuous filaments thermobonded to each other.

This is due to the fact that unbonded filaments are easy to move by the water jets compared to bonded filaments, the movements of which usually will involve movements of other filaments bonded thereto. The energy supply at the entangling is in the present invention at the most about 500 kWh/ton, preferably about 300-400 kWh/ton and most preferably about 350 kWh/ton. The energy supply at the hydroentangling is calculated as the product of water flow (1/min) and pressure during entangling (bar) divided by the amount of produced material per hour (kg/h).

Another reason for the use of a layer of unbonded continuous filaments in the present invention is that it has been proven very difficult to obtain a good enough integration of short fibres and continuous filaments with a layer of bonded continuous filaments even if several entangling steps are used. This is probably caused by the passages between bonded portions of adjacent filaments very quickly gets occupied by short fibres which prevent penetration of short fibres through the filament layer later during the entangling process. The known use of a layer of bonded continuous filaments therefore has a tendency to produce nonwoven composites with a more or less pronounced two-sidedness.

The bonds between the fibres and filaments in a nonwoven material manufactured by the process described above will thus mainly be mechanical bonds due to entangling of fibres and filaments. However, hydrogen bonds between cellulosic fibres will be present in the material.

When using a web of unbonded filaments as a base for a nonwoven material, the integration of the two layers, i.e. the web of continuous filaments 1 and the fibre layer 6, is however very critical. If the two layers are not integrated well, also this material will have a pronounced two-sided appearance and the bonding of the continuous filaments will be poor. Such a material will have a reduced strength, especially in the direction of thickness. The short fibre side of such a two-sided material will have a high linting, i.e. a tendency for the short fibres to loosen from material. The bonds on the short fibre side will predominately consist of bonds between short fibres and the strength of the material on the short fibre side will be poor. The filament side of such a material will be sensitive to “pilling” while abraded, i.e. portions and ends of filaments will have a tendency to be projecting out from the surface of the filament side of the material. A composite nonwoven material containing short fibres and continuous filaments only bonded by entangling, in which the integration of short fibres and continuous filaments have failed to some extent, will thus have worse properties than a similar material containing short fibres and continuous filaments prebonded to each other before the entangling step.

When the entangling step starts the structure of layer 4 of continuous filaments is relatively open and it is easy for the water jets to move the short fibres in the layer 6 overlaying the filaments into the filament layer through the width thereof. The more short fibres that are moved into the filament layer, the less space is available for easy transport of short fibres remaining on top of the filament layer. However, due to the low resistance to movement of the filaments caused by the absence of bond between them when entering the entangling station, the period during entangling in which short fibres can be moved into the filament layer is prolonged compared to the period for a prebonded filament layer. The mixing of short fibres and continuous filament thus mainly occurs in the beginning of the entangling step. During the rest of the entangling step, portions of the filaments and portions of short fibres will entangle, entwine and entwist with each other and with filaments and/or other fibres. The entangling can thus be said to contain a mixing step followed by a bonding step. Of course some bonding will occur during the mixing step but most of the bonds will be obtained after the short fibres have been mixed with the continuous filaments.

Even if the use of a layer 4 of unbonded continuous filaments facilitates the integration between short fibres and continuous filaments, a two-sided material can be obtained if the layer of continuous filaments is overly dense.

On the other hand, if the structure of the layer 4 of continuous filaments is overly open, there is a risk that the fibres will be flushed out of the material by the water jets during entangling. This could create holes in the material and an uneven basis weight distribution.

The inventors have found that to obtain a composite nonwoven material in which the two layers 4 and 6 are well integrated and which have high strength and an even basis weight distribution, the web of continuous filaments should have a projected coverage of at least 1.1 and not more than 1.7, preferably between 1.2-1.6, more preferably 1.3-1.6.

The projected coverage is the sum of projected surface area of all filaments in one unit area and is obtained by multiplying the sum of lengths of filaments in one unit area with the average diameter of the filaments. The filaments in a web of continuous filaments having a projected coverage of 1.0 would thus cover the whole unit area if they were placed in one layer in straight lines adjacent to each other and in one layer.

In Table 1 is shown the Taber abrasion resistance as a function of projected coverage for nonwoven material produced as described above with reference to FIG. 1. The nonwoven materials are 80 gsm spunlaid composites comprising 25% (20 gsm) continuous spunlaid filaments of polypropylene and pulp fibres with or without 10% of 19 mm long, 1.7 dtex staple fibres of polyester mixed therein. The nonwoven materials were manufactured in the following way. A 0.4 m wide web of spunlaid filaments was laid down onto a forming fabric at 20 m/min such that the filaments were not bonded to each other. By a 0.4 m wide head box a fibre dispersion containing pulp fibres and staple fibres or alternatively without staple fibres was laid onto the unbonded web of spunlaid filaments and the excess water was drained and sucked off. The unbonded spunlaid filaments and wetlaid short fibres were then mixed and bonded together by hydroentanglement with three manifolds at a hydroentangling energy of about 300-350 kWh/ton. The hydroentanglement was done from the wetlaid side and the pulp and staple fibres were thus moved into and mixed intensively with the spunlaid filament web. Finally, the hydroentangled nonwoven composite material was dewatered and then dried using a through-air drum drier.

The Taber resistance values refer to the pulp side of the composite nonwoven material.

TABLE 1
Taber value Taber value
Projected Filament titre (with staple (without
coverage dtex fibres) staple fibres)
0.9 6.9 3 2
1.1 4.7 4 4
1.33 3.2 5 4
1.5 2.5 5 4
1.7 1.9 1 1
2.1 1.3 1 1

As is evident from Table 1, the strength of the pulp side is optimised at a projected coverage between 1.3 and 1.5 corresponding to filament titre of 3.2 and 2.5 dtex (g/10,000 m), respectively. At higher projected coverage of 1.7 or more represented by projected coverages 1.7 and 2.1 corresponding to filament titres of 1.9 and 1.3 dtex, respectively, the integration or mixing of fibres and filaments in the material was not good, resulting in very poor surface strength on the pulp side of the material. At the lower projected coverage of 0.9 corresponding to a filament tire of 6.9 dtex, the structure of the filament web became too open to hold the pulp and the surface strength of the pulp side became poor.

The Taber abrasion resistance is measured by Taber test equipment 5151 with two rubber wheel CS-10. Such equipment is well known to the skilled man and need not be described in detail. The testing is performed by mounting a circular test sample of the nonwoven material on a rotatable disk on the Taber test equipment. In the test, the test sample is subjected to the pressure of the two rubber wheel running on the top surface of the test sample. Depending on the basis weight of the test sample the disk is rotated with a different number of revolutions, the number of revolutions increasing with increased basis weight of the test sample. The Taber value of a tested sample is determined by visual comparison with a scale, i.e. five reference samples having Taber values 1-5, where 1 defines a very poor abrasion resistance and 3 defines an acceptable abrasion resistance.

In Table 2 there is shown Taber values for three nonwoven materials, manufactured as described above, having different basis weight and content of continuous filaments. The continuous filaments are spunbond filaments of polypropylene and the short fibres are pulp fibres. The Taber value in the table represents the average of two identical test samples.

TABLE 2
Sample
Grammage/spunlaid Projected Taber
content (g/m2)/ % coverage revolutions Taber value
50/40% 0.85 30  1
“—” 1.13 “—” 2
“—” 1.34 “—” 3
“—” 1.47 “—” 3.5
“—” 1.5 “—” 3.5
“—” 1.54 “—” 3.5
“—” 1.8 “—” 2
65/25% 0.76 100 1.5
“—” 1 “—” 2.5
“—” 1.18 “—” 3
“—” 1.3 “—” 4
“—” 1.4 “—” 4.5
“—” 1.8 “—” 4
“—” 2.16 “—” 2
80/25% 0.9 200 1.5
“—” 1.13 “—” 3
“—” 1.25 “—” 4
“—” 1.47 “—” 5
“—” 1.55 “—” 5
“—” 1.63 “—” 4
“—” 1.9 “—” 2

From Table 2 one can conclude that if the projected coverage lies between 1.1 and 1.6 well integrated composite nonwovens can be provided for nonwovens with a basis weight of 80 g/m2 or more. For nonwovens having a lower basis weight the projected coverage shall be at least 1.2 in order for an acceptable material to be provided. In the interval of 1.3-1.6 acceptable nonwovens are provided even for nonwovens with a low basis weight and high content of continuous filaments. Thus, when constructing nonwoven materials according to the invention the ideal projected coverage should preferably lie between 1.3-1.6.

The examples below shows how important it is to select the correct filament titre to obtain the ideal projected coverage as basis weight and/or spunlaid content is varied in a wetlaid-spunlaid composite.

For three different basis weights, 50, 80 and 100 gsm, filament titre is shown as function of spunlaid content and coverage in Tables 3-5.

Calculation is made as follows:

The projected coverage (COV) is obtained by dividing the projected surface area (Aprojected) of all spunlaid filaments within one unit area with the corresponding unit area (A) according to the equation below. COV = A projected A ( 1 )

The projected surface area is obtained by multiplying the total length (L) of all spunlaid filaments with the average diameter (d) in m of all spunlaid filaments within the unit area.
A projected =L*d  (2)

The total length of the filaments within the unit area is obtained by dividing the total weight of spunlaid filaments with the average filament titre (Titre) in dtex as shown in equation (3) below. The weight of the spunlaid filament web is obtained by myltiplying the basis weight of the spunlaid filament (BWs) web in g/m2 with the unit area (A). The filament titre in dtex is the weight of the filaments corresponding 10,000 m, i.e. g/10,000 m. L = BW S * A Titre * 10000 ( 3 )

For a wetlaid composite material, the basis weight of the spunlaid filaments is calculated by
BW S =BW*X/100  (4)
where [BW] is the basis weight of the wetlaid-spunlaid composite in g/m2 and (X) is the content of spunlaid filaments in %.

L is thus: L = BW * X * A 100 * Titre * 10000 ( 5 )

The relation between Titre in dtex and diameter in m of the filaments is given below where (ρ) is the specific gravity of the filaments in kg/m3. Titre = π * d 2 4 * 10000 * ρ * 1000 ( 6 )

As (d) is solved from equation (6) above the relation to the titre is: d = 4 * Titre π * 10000 * ρ * 1000 ( 7 )

If equations (2), (5) and (7) are used in (1) projected coverage is given by: COV = BW * X * A 100 * Titre * 10000 * 4 * Titre π * 10000 * ρ * 1000 * 1 A ( 8 )

When equation (8) is simplified projected coverage is given by: COV = 2 * BW * X Titre * π * ρ * 1000 ( 9 )

If titre is solved out of equation (9) above the relation between titre, projected coverage, basis weight and spunlaid content is obtained. Titre = 4 * ( BW * X COV ) 2 * 1 π * ρ * 1000 ( 10 )

The specific gravity for polypropylene is around 900 kg/m3 for polyester around 1,350 kg/m3.

In Tables 2-4 below the filament titre for the ideal projected coverage range i.e. between 1.3 and 1.5 for wetlaid-spunlaid composite materials is shown. The filament titre of the outer range when the spunlaid web will become to open or to dense for making an acceptable spunlaid-wetlaid composite material is also shown for spunlaid projected coverages corresponding to 1.1 and 1.7.

TABLE 3
Filament titre in dtex as function of spunlaid content and
coverage for a 50 g/m2 wetlaid-spunlaid composite material.
SL Content Spunlaid Coverage
[%] 1.1 1.3 1.6 1.7
40 4.68 dtex 3.35 dtex 2.21 dtex 1.96 dtex
30 2.63 dtex 1.88 dtex 1.24 dtex 1.10 dtex
20 1.17 dtex 0.84 dtex 0.55 dtex 0.49 dtex

TABLE 4
Filament titre in dtex as function of spunlaid content and
coverage for a 80 g/m2 wetlaid-spunlaid composite material.
SL Content Spunlaid Coverage
[%] 1.1 1.3 1.6 1.7
30 6.73 dtex 4.82 dtex 3.18 dtex 2.82 dtex
25 4.68 dtex 3.35 dtex 2.21 dtex 1.96 dtex
20 2.99 dtex 2.14 dtex 1.41 dtex 1.25 dtex
15 1.68 dtex 1.21 dtex 0.80 dtex 0.70 dtex

TABLE 4
Filament titre in dtex as function of spunlaid content and
coverage for a 100 g/m2 wetlaid-spunlaid composite material
SL Content Spunlaid Coverage
[%] 1.1 1.3 1.6 1.7
30 10.52 dtex  7.53 dtex 4.97 dtex 4.41 dtex
25 7.31 dtex 5.23 dtex 3.45 dtex 3.06 dtex
20 4.68 dtex 3.35 dtex 2.21 dtex 1.96 dtex
15 2.63 dtex 1.88 dtex 1.24 dtex 1.10 dtex

As the filament titre in the Tables are compared it is clear that for spunlaid-wetlaid composites with high basis weights and/or high spunlaid contents a coarser titre of the spunlaid filaments has to be used to obtain the ideal spunlaid projected coverage. When spunlaid-wetlaid composites with low basis weight and/or low spunlaid contents are made a lower titre of the spunlaid filaments has to be used to obtain the ideal spunlaid projected coverage.

The results in the Tables also show that as spunlaid content in the materials is changed with a relatively small percentage, a major adjustment of the filament titre has to be made to keep the spunlaid projected coverage at the same level. In a similar manner a relatively small change of the total basis weight of the material require a relatively large adjustment of the filament titre to be able to hit the ideal spunlaid projected coverage.

Since the projected coverage is the product of filament length and average diameter of the filaments, the ideal projected coverage can be obtained by varying the filament length/m2, i.e. the velocity by which the filaments are laid on the transport web 1, or the diameter of the filaments. It is thus relatively easy for a skilled man to adapt the process parameters within the given limits.

The described embodiment can of course be modified in several ways. For example, the continuous filaments could be meltblown instead of spunbond. Furthermore, the fibres can be air-laid instead of wet-laid and more than one hydroentangling steps can be performed. Instead of air- or wet-laying, the fibres can be delivered in form of a carded web. In the shown embodiment there are several transport conveyors having different fabrics or wires adapted to take care of air and water penetrating the fabric or wires in the different process steps but it possible to combine one of more of these conveyors into one conveyor and one wire. The scope of invention should therefore only be restricted by the contents of the enclosed patent claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7972986Jul 10, 2008Jul 5, 2011The Procter & Gamble CompanyFibrous structures and methods for making same
US8021996Dec 23, 2008Sep 20, 2011Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Nonwoven web and filter media containing partially split multicomponent fibers
EP2491174A2 *Oct 19, 2010Aug 29, 20123M Innovative Properties CompanyPorous supported articles and methods of making
Classifications
U.S. Classification442/327, 264/171.1, 264/103, 442/408, 264/171.13
International ClassificationD04H5/00, D04H5/02
Cooperative ClassificationD04H5/02
European ClassificationD04H5/02