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of Textile Technology, Kumaraguru College of Technology,Coimbatore-06. Introduction: The basic concept employed in making a nonwoven fabric is to transform fiber based materials into two-dimensional sheet structures with fabric-like properties such as flexibility, porosity, and mechanical integrity. The nonwoven manufacturing process can be basically consist of web laying and web bonding. Among the web bonding methods needle punching is a very exciting and diverse trade involving technology for natural, synthetic fibres and their blends. This paper give a broad outlook about the needle punching process, parameters influencing the process, different needle structure, advances in technology and application of the needle punched product in various field. Bonding Technology in the Nonwoven process:
Fig.1 – Classification of bonding in Nonwoven process A fabric consisting of an assembly of textile fibres (oriented in one direction or in a random manner) held together (1) by mechanical interlocking; (2) by fusing of thermoplastic fibres, or (3) by bonding with a rubber, starch, glue, casein, latex, or a cellulose derivative or synthetic resin. Mechanical bonding can be classified into hydro entanglement and needle punching process.
it strips the fibers from the needle so the material can advance through the needle loom. Thousands of needles interlock fibers in a web Principle of Needle Punching Process A needlepunched nonwoven is a fabric made from webs or batts of fibers in which some of the fibers have been driven upward or downward by barbed needles. This needling action binding point is a set of fibers with various orientation. number of barbs) 2 . The feed roll and exit roll are typically driven rolls and they facilitate the web motion as it passes through the needle loom. The bed plate is the surface the fabric passes over which the web passes through the loom. The web passes through two plates. a bed plate on the bottom and a stripper plate on the top.2 – Principle of Needle Punching Process The needle board is the base unit into which the needles are inserted and held. Fig. which are bonded by friction forces. Corresponding holes are located in each plate and it is through these holes the needles pass in and out.Needle Punching – Definition: A physical method of mechanically interlocking fibres webs by using barbed needles to reposition some of the fibres from a horizontal to a vertical orientation. form of barb. The needle board then fits into the needle beam that holds the needle board into place. The stripper plate does what the name implies. The needles carry bundles of fiber through the bed plate holes. Appearance and degree of compression of a needle felt are mainly influenced by: needle arrangement in the needle board needle parameters (gauge.
The proper selection of gauge. barb.The needle selection should be depends upon the fineness of the fibre. from bottom or from both sides) The number of needles in the needle board varies from 1500 to 5000 needles per meter and per board of 200 mm width. star blade. 3.Length: 20 – 30 mm. diameter 0.Barb needle 1. point type and blade shape (pinch blade. Point . Parts of needle: Fig. conical) can often give the needle punch the added edge needed in this competitive industry.Sharp or ball point depends on the felted textile (ball point is more fine for fibers).33 – 2. needling parameters (penetration depth and density.3 .5 mm. draft) direction of needling (from top. Working blade . 2. Barbs: 3 .
The barbs are the most important part of the needle. Intermediate blade: The intermediate blade is put on fine gauge needles to make them more flexible and somewhat easier to put inside the needle board.It is used to obtain smaller holes in felted textile.Barb Shapes Distance between nearest barbs: 0. df is the fibre diameter. Distance between successive barbs: 1. This is typically put on 32 gauge needles and finer. to obtain 4 . The theoretical number of fibres that may be collected in the barbs of a needle can be calculated as follows: Where bd is the barb depth.1 .4 – 7 mm. Fig. 4.2 mm. It is the barb that carries and interlocks the fibers.4 . The shape and sized of the barbs can dramatically affect the needled product.nb is the number of acting barbs on the needle and nf is the number of fibres collected by the barbs.
Shank: The shank is the thickest part of the needle. 5. Crank: The crank is the 90 degree bend on the top of the needle. 5 . coarser fibres mean coarser needles(smaller gauge number) and vice versa Penetration depth: penetration depth of the needle point out of the felt underside and the number of barbs penetrating the felt cross section Stitching density: important value for the number of penetrations (hollow spaces) in the needle felt and their size. The shank is that part of the needle that fits directly in the needle board itself.For needle with the tear drop shape of working blade is important the orientation of crank on the needle board.e. fibre length and fineness Needle diameter: determines the space required by the barbs for the fibre transport. Important values for the formation of pores and channels are: Fibre diameter: derived value of fibre density and fineness Amount of fibres per area: derivable value of web mass. It depends on the fibre fineness. 6.i. Influence of needling conditions on the needle felt’s characteristics: The characteristics of the needle felts depend on the fibres used. the technological conditions of web formation and above all on the consolidation. It seats the needle when inserted into the needle board .lower weigth of the needle board and to obtain better mechanical properties of the needle.
home furnishings. The most popular products made with structuring looms include home and commercial carpets and floor mats.Types of needles: Felting needles The felting needles are mechanically compact fibrous material. geotextiles. They exist in variety of industrial products. 6 . automotives. 6 : Structuring (fork) needles Depending on the orientation of the fork needle. interlinings. The primary function of this type of loom is to do interlocking of fibers resulting in a flat. Fig. Structuring looms are called fork needles. Fig. etc… Structuring needles To prepare surface structure with a velour or rib effect. a rib or velour surface is introduced. These fork needles carry large tufts of fibers into parallel lamella bars.5 : Felting needles The types of products made with this process and needle loom are diverse and multifaceted. These bars carry the tuft of fiber from the entry to the exit side of the loom. bottom or top and bottom. automotive rib and velour products. wall covering and marine products. Instead of carrying fibers into bedplate hole. These needle looms may have one to four needle boards and needles from the top. the fork needles carry fiber tufts into lamella bars that extend from the entry to the exit of the needle loom. one dimension fabric.
The needles push fibers into a moving brush bed plate. 8 . This allows for the completely non-linear look. It is suitable for natural fibers and waste Conical needle: The working part of the conical needle smoothly passes into the reduced part. Thus the fibrous material is penetrated with less resistance.7 – Fibre locking by Structural needle The random velour looms are used to produce velour surfaces.Conical needle Working blade cross sections: Fig. Different Design needles: Vario barb needle: Barbs are smaller towards the point. 9: Working blade cross-sections 7 . The fibers are carried in this brush from the entry to the exit of the loom with zero draft. The needle is deflected to a lesser extent and it reduced risk of breaking. perfect for molded products. It is suitable for waste materials and for heavy products with area density higher than 1000 g/m2 Fig.Fig.
The Cross STAR is suitable for high density materials (geotextiles).11: Arrangement of needles in the fabric Tear drop shape – It is mainly used to obtain special properties like adhesion for subsequent fixing. the necessary total penetration density is shared between several needle looms. The different needling directions are as follows: double boards (down stroking) double boards (up stroking) 8 . Tri STAR or Cross STAR – The more efficient fiber holding and efficient needling proces with the same needle density (suitable for manmade fibers). roughened appearance. Direction of Needling When the needle boards are arranged “opposite to each other”. Therefore only half the needles can be inserted in alternating rows in each board to prevent confrontation of the needles. two needling modes “simultaneous” and “alternating” are possible. To reach certain and higher compression. The needle looms are arranged one behind the other in so-called needling lines. Triangular – This shape is standard for the most of applications. 10: Different shapes Fig. Fig. The needling “simultaneous” mode means that both boards penetrate the felt at the same time.
9 .Fig. Longer the fibre lengths result in higher strength. sided needle punching with two sets of up. higher felt density and less air permeability. relaxation. 12: Direction of needle penetration Twin board (two boards up stroking and down stroking in the same vertical Tandem or twin boards (up and down stroking in alternation in two sequential Four boards or quad punch (up and down stroking for simultaneous double plane). Parameters of web 3. crimpiness Surface properties: roughness. No of fibers picked up by the needle will be less. needle punching zones). Very coarse fibers produce poorly consolidated structure. Parameters of needlepunch process: 1. cross-section . Fiber length is very important.With finer fibers the strength increase. finishing Mechanical properties: strength. more no of fibers re-oriented into vertical structure. each set arranged in the same vertical plane). resistivity against periodic stress. Parameters of needlepunch machine Parameters of fibers Geometrical properties: fineness. elongation (elasticity). Parameters of fibers 2. The optimum fibre length for needle felts is in the range of 50–80 mm. length. strength will be less .and down-stroking boards.
which provide information about compactness of fabric are influenced by a number of factors. basis weight. 10 . Web thickness: For good quality of needlepunch textile is necessary to have probably the some web thickness as is the distance between the upper and lower holeplates. the dimensional stability is improved during needling. bulking density and air permeability . Therefore the web thickness must be reduced. 13:Web Orientation of Needle Punched Fabric Web density: It is necessary to use sufficient number of fibers to make bonding points. and the web density and maximum tensile strength in relation to basis weight can be raised. Fiber orientation: Change of dimension depends on web anisotropy Anisotropic web Shrinking Fig. Web homogenity Parameters of needlepunch machine: Penetration depth: If the depth of the barb is decreased or the distance between the barbs is increased.Parameters of web: The thickness.
046 0.043 Initial Tenacity Breaking Modulus (g/tex) Extension (g/tex) (%) 0.40 0.68 0.044 0.71 0.Fig.) (g/m2) 1/8 230 1/4 3/8 1/2 5/8 3/4 240 195 195 160 160 Fabric Density (g/cm3) 0.3 0.043 0.45 45 43 44 35 30 30 Table.74 0.59 0.042 0.047 0.25 0.42 0. 1: Effect of Needle Penetration on Fabric Properties Optimization of depth of needle penetration is highly required for any application of needle punching process. Mechanical properties of needle punched structures improve with depth of penetration due to the greater extent of entanglement modified by the effects of fiber breakage at very high penetrations.50 0.14: Penetration depth Needle Fabric Penetration Weight (in.55 0.66 0. Needle punching Calculations: Needle penetration “B” = (t+d)-Y Where B is barb penetration t is web thickness d is needle penetration through the bed plate 11 .
4 Stitch Density: The stitch density. Characteristics of Needle Punched Nonwovens Fabric: Generally important characteristics of needle felts are the degree of felt compression. vv =web outlet speed [m·min–1] 10.Y is distance of the first barb from the needle end Production of Needle punching Process “P” = DN/M Where P is the production (inches/min) D is the needle density i. the strength-elongation ratio and the permeability characteristics. the number of penetrations per area square (cm2 – inch2) of the felt is calculated as Where A = O/S Ed =stitches per area [cm-2]. 12 .e. Longer fibre lengths result in higher strength. i. higher felt density and less air permeability. the number of needles per inch width of the board N is the number of machine cycles or strokes per minute M is the number of needle penetrations per square inch of the fabric (Punch Density) 8.e. Where P is the number of needle penetrations per unit area (punches/cm2) n is the number of needles per cm width of the needle board A is the advance per stroke (cm) O is the output or production speed (cm/min) S is the stroke frequency (punches/min) 8. nh =number of lifts [min-1] ND=number of needles by m working width [m–1].3 Punch Density “P” = n/A.
Finer fibres lead to smaller felt thickness and to lower air permeability. The applications of needle punched fabrics are extensive and listed as follows: Geotextiles Automotive Filter media Floor coverings Blankets Insulation padding Tennis Court Surfaces Wall coverings Auto Trunk Liners Interlinings Papermaker Felts 13 . The area ratio of the fibre plugs in the needle felt is in the range of 2–12%. The fibre length of the plug is 6–20 % and the fibres are more densely packed in the fibre plug than in the needle felt. The characteristics and the structure of needle felts also depend on the web structure and the area mass. Machine oriented web results in a high strength in the longitudinal direction and predominantly cross oriented webs result in a high strength in cross direction. The web area mass has a great influence on air permeability. The needling of finer fibres requires inevitably also the use of finer needles to achieve sufficient strength characteristics Higher crimp results in a higher tear resistance and elongation and a better dimensional stability of the needle felts. Applications of Needle punching process: Needle punched structures have a wide range of applications in both domestic and industrial markets.
thermal bonding and latex bonding methods. References: 1. Senior Lecturer.J. sen29iit@yahoo. Needled felts used for filtration forms only about 10% of the total consumption. 3.Senthil kumar. Due to the extensive use of needlepunched nonwovens in automobiles and due to the expansion of the automobile industry there is tremendous potential for growth. Department of Textile Technology. Kumaraguru College of Technology. Hilmar Fuchs. ACIMIT. Textile Institute.Russell. 2. Coimbatore-06. Atul Dahiya. Felts Padding Kevlar Bullet Proof Vests Conclusion: Needle punching technology is a eco-friendly and low energy consumption process compared to chemical bonding.in 14 . 4. Raghavendra R. The Nonwovens – by Giovanni Tanchis. which accounts to approximately $400 million. Woodhead Publishing. Hegde (Website).M. Walter Kittelmann. Kamath. Nonwoven Fabrics Edited by Wilhelm Albrecht. Address for Communication: R.co. Needle punched nonwovens . G. Hand book of Nonwovens edited by S.
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