Meltblown Non-Woven Fabric and its Applications

Introduction:

The world of non-woven fabrics keeps observing new developments and changes that result in the making of better and stronger non-woven fabric which is capable of displaying new and enhanced properties in comparison to its predecessors. This is why non-woven fabric manufacturers and non-woven fabric suppliers keep themselves up to date with the latest developments in the world of non-woven fabric. It is only through continuous experimentation that we can keep discovering new and improved versions of now woven fabric and find out the applications they are most suitable for.

The process of Meltblown non-woven fabric is an amazing development in the non-woven industry that has created a better and stronger version of non-woven fabric with numerous applications in the industry. The fabric has gotten its name from the process that is used for its manufacturing.

One of the best things about non-woven fabric is that unlike traditional fabrics based on natural materials like silk and cotton, non-woven fabric is made from polymers like polypropylene or polyethylene. As traditional fabric first requires to be turned into yarn and then weaved in order to form sheet and/or fabric, but the non-woven fabric doesn’t require any weaving or development of yarn. Instead, it is formed into sheets/fabric by combining the polymer fabrics either:

  • Thermally;
  • Mechanically;
  • Or chemically.

The molten polymer is used to form the basic structure for the entire fabric to be based on which is called the web. With its unique structure and use of polymers instead of natural materials like cotton or silk, the resultant fabric possesses numerous properties that make it suitable for a number of industrial applications.

The Process for Making of Meltblown Non-Woven Fabric:

Meltblown nonwoven fabric is manufactured in a single-step process. Though the process is said to be similar to the process for making Spunbond non-woven fabric, these are slight differences in the process and the properties of the fabrics as well.

The molten raw material (polymer, usually polypropylene) is fed into a die that is first cooled using hot air that impinges it into microfibers which are then gunned with cool air that deposits the fine fibers, resultantly forming a web structure due to fiber entanglement that gets collected on a collection screen. The fibers produced this way are much finer (with the diameter in sub microns) and possess superior filtration properties.

Though the fabric is relatively young, it has still significantly made its place in the medical and filtration industry. The microfibers have a structure that ideally filters airs and provides superior insulation in a number of applications. Though the fabric has numerous properties, some of the most popular ones include:

  • Meltblown nonwoven fabric can be both, highly absorbent or highly repellent depending upon the type of treatment it gets during or after development.
  • It can be treated to become flame retardant.
  • It can be treated to develop the antibacterial property but is also suitable for air filtration. This makes it highly suitable for air filters (whether to be used for machines or for making facial masks).
  • Multiple layers are combined to form cushioning for the packaging of sensitive material.
  • Meltblown nonwoven fabric shows extreme flexibility with strength, stretch-ability, softness, and resilience in comparison to other forms of non-woven fabric.
  • Meltblown nonwoven fabric is washable and can easily be sterilized without causing any damage to the cloth itself.

As we mentioned, the fibers used for making Meltblown nonwoven fabric have a mere diameter of sub-micron which makes the fabric ultrafine, giving it a fluffy structure with many voids in its structure. This makes it highly resistant to wrinkles and the process of manufacturing of Meltblown non-woven fabric ensures that it has a high number of fibers per unit area. The high density means it has good filtration properties; this also makes it suitable to be used for shielding, oil absorption, and for heat insulation.

Among the numerous applications of Meltblown non-woven fabric, some are:

  • Currently, Meltblown non-woven fabric is in high demand in the medical industry. It is used for making disposable surgical gowns, patient gowns, shoe covers, bouffant surgical caps, disposable body bags, disposable drapes, etc.
  • Meltblown non-woven fabric is also in high demand for making surgical masks and respirators (for medical, industrial, and general purposes).
  • The fabric is also used for filtration products to filter air, liquids, and a variety of gases.
  • Meltblown non-woven fabric is also highly popular for the manufacturing of disposable feminine hygiene products and diapers for kids and adults.
  • Disposable disinfectant wipes and makeup removing wipes are also made of Meltblown non-woven fabric.
  • It is used in electrical products for the purpose of insulation.
  • It is also used for making tea bags and coffee filters.
  • Due to its superior power of oil absorbency, Meltblown non-woven fabric is used for clearing oil spills and absorbing oils and other chemicals from the ocean.

Although Meltblown non-woven fabric has various applications of its own, it can also be combined with other forms of non-woven fabric to further strengthen them and enhance their indigenous properties. Meltblown nonwoven fabric can be fortified by combining multiple layers to form a single-layered fortifies fabric graded as MM or MMM depending upon the number of layers of non-woven fabric used.

When combined with other forms of non-woven fabric (mostly with Spunbond non-woven fabric) it is graded as SMS, SSMS, SMMS, etc. The future has a high demand for Meltblown non-woven fabric. Without a doubt, we will only see more of non-woven fabrics making their way into our daily lives. This is why the non-woven fabric industry is progressing so rapidly. But this increase in demand has created gaps which has created an opportunity for new entrants that are disrupting the entire market by providing poor quality non-woven fabric at a relatively cheaper price. This is why it is essential that clients or consumers of Meltblown non-woven fabric only buy their raw material from professional non-woven fabric manufacturers. The selection of non-woven fabric suppliers should be based on experience and quality of material instead o

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