Non-woven fabrics are evolving with time and becoming better and better. Due to their increasing demand and their use for a large variety of applications, it should not come as a surprise that new and more complex varieties of non-woven fabric are coming to market on a regular basis. Non-woven fabric manufacturers are experimenting and trying their best to keep up with the demand.
As we have seen that there are a number of basic varieties of non-woven fabric and better base varieties are being manufactured through research and experimentation. Non-woven fabric suppliers are expanding their operations to develop better capabilities for making those new types of base non-woven fabrics as they are now becoming fundamentally incorporated with other varieties of non-woven fabric. The resultant fabrics act as a new single layered fabric that has properties and characteristics of all the base types of non-woven fabrics.
In this piece, we will be looking at the particulars of SMMS non-woven fabric.
What is SMMS Non-Woven Fabric?
Just like its predecessor, SMMS is also a hybrid non-woven fabric that has been designed for advanced applications. There are certain qualities that are indigenous to the individual type of non-woven fabric which are involved in the making of SMMS non-woven fabric and this resultant fabric has all of those qualities.
We will start with what constitutes the basic structure of the SMMS non-woven fabric and then move towards other aspects. We will also include how the individual type of fabrics that are the basic constituent of the SMMS nonwoven fabric are made.
Starting off with the basic structure of the SMMS non-woven fabric, it is primarily made of four layers which are as following:
- The first layer is made of Spunbond non-woven fabric (discussed later in detail).
- The second layer is made of Meltblown non-woven fabric.
- The third layer is also made of Spunbond non-woven fabric.
- And finally, the fourth layer is also made of Spunbond nonwoven fabric.
So basically SMMS non-woven fabric is Spunbond – Meltblown- Meltblown – Spunbond all combined to form a new type of fabric. Although it is made of four different layers, the final product acts as a single-layered non-woven fabric. The three layers are treated either chemically, mechanically, or thermally to bind together to form a single-layered cloth superior to each constitutional fabric. In comparison to SMS non-woven fabric, SMMS non-woven fabric has:
- More symmetry.
- Better water repellency.
- Better bacterial resistance.
- Better durability.
- Good air permeability.
- Better tear and puncture resistance.
Commonly, SMMS fabric is made with polypropylene-based Spunbond and Meltblown non-woven fabrics.
We will now explore more on the basic constituents of the SMMS non-woven fabric which are:
- Spunbond non-woven fabric.
- Meltblown non-woven fabric.
Let’s first have a look at how Spunbond non-woven fabric is manufactured:
Spunbond or spun-bonded is the name of the production process itself for the making of non-woven fabric. In a basic sense, it is made by continuously spinning filament fibres on a moving belt. Although there are a number of raw products that are used for making Spunbond nonwoven fabric, the most common raw products include:
The raw materials are first dried, then melted and then sent to an extruded. The extruder has numerous small holes from which the polyester emerges in the form of thin and long filaments. These filaments are cooled with hot air and stretched to a certain length; afterwards, it is solidified to attain specific dimension and finally laid down on a moving belt where it forms a mat.
Now, let’s have a look at how Meltblown non-woven fabric is manufactured:
Meltblown fabric is also called Meltblown cloth but has a variety of names in the industry. It is also said to be a type of Spunbond non-woven fabric and is a key element for the manufacturing of all kinds of facial masks. It mainly comprises of polypropylene and has good filtration and shielding. The main difference between the process of Meltblown and Spunbond is the die assembly. The process is somewhat similar to that of Spunbond with the main difference being that in Meltblown process, hot air converges with the fibre when it comes out of the casting die or the extruder.
Due to increased demand for non-woven fabric, many new entrants are manufacturing sub-par quality non-woven fabrics which fail to meet the essential requirements for the purpose of those non-woven fabrics. The case is highly sensitive when the fabric is to be used in the medical industry. This is why it is advised to the consumers/clients to only opt for experience non-woven fabric manufacturers who have the experience that attests to their claims of producing high quality non-woven fabric.
Now, turning back to SMMS non-woven fabric, the characteristics of the fabric include:
- High alcohol resistance.
- No toxicity.
- No fibre shedding.
- High effective inhabitation rate.
- Good uniformity over the entire length (also depends upon the manufacturing quality).
- UV resistance.
- Dust resistance.
- Flame retardancy.
By treating SMMS non-woven fabric with different processes, it can be made to fit a number of applications and attain additional properties in addition to the properties it possesses already.
Different grades of SMMS are used for different purposes. But mainly, it has a number of applications in the field of medical science. SMMS non-woven fabric is commonly used for making:
- Surgical gowns.
- Filling surgical holes.
- Surgical/body bags cloth.
- Surgical gown & cap.
- Face mask.
- Shoe cover.
- Scrub suits.
- Disposable medical sheets.
- Hand washing suits.
- Isolation suits.
- Isolation gown.
- Surgical drape.
- Medical drapes.
- Hospital bed-clothes.
- Lab coats.
- Medical equipment covers.
- And advanced protective clothing.
The SMMS non-woven fabric is comfortable and soft on the skin. It has high durability and the fabric strength is quite high. It also has numerous industrial application, mainly filtration, protective clothing, and its use for the absorption of oil.
Among the most popular applications of the SMMS non-woven fabric, its use in the manufacturing of facial masks and disposable surgical/medical gowns tops all the other applications. In the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic, protective equipment made of SMMS non-woven fabric is in high demand so non-woven fabric manufacturers are trying their best to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for the SMMS non-woven fabric