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Origin and development history of non-woven fabrics


2023-02-24 13:41

Non-woven fabric, commonly known as non-woven fabric, is a kind of material without spinning, but it has some advantages that textile materials do not have. It is the main raw material for manufacturing masks and protective clothing, the main source of raw materials for medical epidemic prevention materials, and plays a vital role in the developing global epidemic. Let's take a look at its origin, development and current situation.
01 Origin of nonwoven technology
Nonwovens technology flourished in modern times, but the bionic principle of this technology can be traced back to ancient China thousands of years ago.
Archaeologists have confirmed that as far as 7000 years ago, China has been able to domesticate wild silkworms into domestic silkworms and draw silk to make silk for decoration and clothing. The cocoon used by our ancestors for spinning shows the principle of today's spunbonded nonwovens.
According to the "General Examination of Documents", in the Song Dynasty of China, there were practical activities of "hair cocoons, cocoons and their own quilts". The flat cocoon with a length of 8m and a width of 1.3m is made by using "ten thousand silkworms in one knot".
The ancient nomadic people made felt by adding water, urine or milk essence to animal hair through mechanical actions such as stepping and beating with sticks.
Modern archaeology also confirmed that, as early as the second century BC, our ancestors invented hemp fiber paper inspired by floss, leaving a thin layer of floss on the padded bamboo mat. In principle, this floss is completely the same as today's wet nonwovens.
02 Development history of nonwovens
The industrial production of nonwovens has been going on for nearly a hundred years. The industrial production of non-woven fabrics in the modern sense began in 1878, when William Bywater of the United Kingdom successfully developed the world's first needle machine.
The real modern production of nonwovens industry began after the Second World War. With the end of the war, the world is waiting for all kinds of waste, and the demand for various textiles is increasing.
In this case, nonwovens have achieved rapid development, and have gone through four stages so far:
1、 In the embryonic period, from the early 1940s to the middle of the 1950s, most of the textile enterprises used the ready-made prevention equipment to properly transform and use natural fibers to produce nonwoven materials.
During this period, only a few countries such as the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom were researching and producing nonwovens, and their products were mainly thick wadding nonwovens.
2、 The commercial production period is from the late 1950s to the late 1960s. At this time, dry process technology and wet process technology are mainly used, and a large number of chemical fibers are used to produce nonwoven materials.
3、 The important development period was from the early 1970s to the late 1980s, when the complete production line of polymerization and extrusion was born.
The rapid development of various special nonwoven fiber chemical fibers, such as low melting point fiber, heat bonded fiber, bicomponent fiber, and ultrafine fiber, has rapidly promoted the progress of nonwoven material industry.
During this period, the global production of nonwovens reached 20000 tons and the output value exceeded US $200 million.
This is an emerging industry based on the cooperation of petrochemical, plastic, fine chemical, paper and textile industries. It is known as the "sunrise industry" in the textile industry. Its products have been widely used in various sectors of the national economy.
On the basis of the continuous rapid growth of nonwoven production, nonwoven technology has made many substantial progress at the same time, which has attracted the attention of the world. The nonwoven production area has also expanded rapidly.
4、 During the global development period, nonwoven enterprises have made considerable progress since the early 1990s.
Through technical innovation of equipment, product structure optimization, equipment intelligence, market branding, etc., nonwoven technology is more advanced and mature, equipment is more sophisticated, nonwoven materials and product performance are significantly improved, production capacity and product series are continuously expanded, and new products, new technologies and new applications are emerging in an endless stream.
During this period, spinning and melt-blown nonwovens technology has been rapidly promoted and applied in production, and machinery manufacturers have also launched complete sets of spinning and melt-blown nonwovens production lines to the market.
Dry nonwoven technology also made important progress in this period. Spunlaced nonwovens were put into commercial production, and foam dipping bonding, hot rolling bonding and other technologies were promoted and applied.
03 Research and development history of non-woven fabric technology
In 1878, the British company William Bywater successfully developed the world's first acupuncture machine.
In 1900, James Hunter Company of the United States began to develop and research the industrial production of non-woven fabrics.
In 1942, a company in the United States produced thousands of yards of non-woven fabrics made by adhesive method, started the industrial production of non-woven fabrics, and officially named the product "Nonwoven fabric".
In 1951, the United States developed melt-blown non-woven fabrics.
In 1959, the United States and Europe studied and successfully spun non-woven fabrics.
At the end of the 1950s, the low-speed paper machine was transformed into a wet non-woven machine, and the production of wet non-woven fabrics began.
From 1958 to 1962, Chico obtained a patent for spunlace production of non-woven fabrics. It was not until the 1980s that it officially began large-scale production.
China began to study nonwovens in 1958. In 1965, the first nonwovens factory in China - Shanghai Nonwovens Factory was established in Shanghai. In recent years, it has developed rapidly, but there is still a certain gap between it and developed countries in terms of quantity, variety and quality.
The producers of non-woven fabrics are mainly concentrated in the United States (41% of the world's total), Western Europe accounts for 30%, Japan accounts for 8%, and China's production only accounts for 3.5% of the world's total, but its consumption is 17.5% of the world's total.
The application of non-woven fabrics in sanitary absorbent materials, medical materials, vehicles and textile materials for shoes has increased significantly.
From the current situation of technology development, the international non-woven technology and equipment are developing in the direction of wide range, high efficiency and electromechanical integration, making full use of modern high-tech achievements, and constantly updating the production equipment and process, so that the performance, speed, efficiency, automatic control and other aspects have been significantly improved.
04 Proportion of non-woven raw materials
Artificial fiber still dominates the production of non-woven fabrics, and this situation will not change significantly before 2007.
In the world, 63% of the fibers used in the production of non-woven fabrics are polypropylene, 23% are polyester, 8% are viscose, 2% are acrylic, 1.5% are polyamide, and the remaining 3% are other fibers.
From 1970 to 1985, viscose fiber was most widely used in the production of non-woven fabrics. Between 2000 and 2005, the application of polypropylene fiber and polyester fiber began to dominate in the field of sanitary absorbent materials and medical textiles.
In the early non-woven production market, the consumption of nylon was large. Since 1998, the consumption of acrylic fiber began to rise, especially in the field of artificial leather manufacturing.
In the development of raw materials, we have continuously developed polymer chips, differential fibers, functional fibers, high-performance fibers and biodegradable "green products" for non-woven fabrics.
In recent years, driven by benefits and growing demand, the nonwoven industry has become one of the fastest growing, most concerned and most active areas of innovation in the global textile industry.