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Coated and Laminated Fabrics The use of coated textiles for protective clothing, shelters, covers, liquid containers,

etc., dates back to antiquity. Historically, the earliest recorded use of a coated textile was by the natives of Central and South A erica, who applied latex to a fabric to render it waterproof. !ther fabrics. #ue to their vastly superior properties, rubber and other poly eric aterials such as tar, rosin, and wax e ulsions have been used over the years to prepare water"resistant aterials have beco e the preferred coatings. Today, coated fabrics are essentially poly er"coated textiles. Advances in poly er and textile technologies have led to pheno enal growth in the application of coated fabrics for any diverse end uses. Coated fabrics find an i portant place a ong ost i portant technological processes in odern industry. technical textiles and are one of the

Textiles are

ade i per eable to fluids by two processes, coating and la inating. Coating is the or e brane with one or ore textile

process of applying a viscous liquid $fluid% or for ulated co pound on a textile substrate. &a ination consists of bonding a prepared poly er fil substrates using adhesives, heat, or pressure. 'ibrous poly eric aterials to for aterials are also used for reinforcing

co posites for use in tires, conveyor belts, hoses, etc.

The basic stages involved in these processes include feeding the textile

aterial fro

rolls under

tension to a coating or la inating (one, passing the coated fabric through an oven to volatili(e the solvents and cure)gel the coating, cooling the fabric, and subsequently winding it up into rolls. The properties of a coated fabric depend on the type of poly er used and its for ulation, the nature of the textile substrate, and the coating polyvinyl chloride, and polyurethane. These poly eric coating fluid is one of the ethod e ployed. A ong the various ainly used for coating* rubber, aterials are specifically for ulated with poly ers used for coating and la inating, three classes are

additives and co pounded into a paste suitable for coating. The production of a poly eric ost i portant functions of the coating industry.

Coating - Methods: Coating a layer of poly eric The resultant coated fabric There are various coating the basis of equip ent used, The various aterial on a textile i parts new characteristics to the base fabric. ay have functional properties, such as resistance to soiling,

penetration of fluids, etc., or have an entirely different aesthetic appeal, such as finished leather. ethods used to apply poly er to textiles. They can be classified on ethod of etering, and the for of the coating aterial.

ethods are given below. aterial is in the for of paste, solution, or lattices.

(1) Fluid coating: the coating

a. +nife coaters, wire wound bars, round bars, etc.* these are post" etering devices. b. ,oll coaters, reverse roll coaters, kiss coaters, gravure coaters, dip coaters, etc.* these are pre etered application syste s. c. - pregnators* aterial to be coated is dipped in the fluid, and the excess is re oved by aterial is sprayed directly on the web or onto a roll for transfer. squee(e roll or doctor blades. d. Spray coaters* the (2) Coating with dry compound (solid powder or film): a. .elt coating* extrusion coating, powder coating, etc. b. Calendering* for ther oplastic poly ers and rubber co pounds, /i c. &a ination er process, etc.

The choice of a coating

ethod depends on several factors. They are as follows*

nature of the substrate for of the resin and viscosity of the coating fluid

end product and accuracy of coating desired econo ics of the process

Coating by direct method Coating is essentially spreading a polymer in the form of a thickened aqueous dispersion or an aqueous or solvent solution on to a fabric to form a continuous layer. The simplest coating procedure is the direct method, sometimes called the floating knife or knife over air technique, where the fabric is stretched flat to form an even uniform surface and is transported under a stationary doctor blade. As the fabric moves forward, it is scraped by the knife and the polymer resin or compound is spread evenly over the surface. The amount of polymer applied, the add on depends on the concentration of the dispersion or solution ! this is the so called solids content. "irect coating is mainly used for fabric produced from smooth continuous filament yarns such as nylon or polyester. #f fabrics made from spun yarns are direct coated, a raspy rough surface is generally obtained because the fibre ends protrude from the surface. Knife or Blade Profile: The add"on is also influenced by the blade profile and blade angle, and by the fabric tension, which deter ines the inti acy of contact with the fabric. A thick profile blade produces a higher add"on than a thin, sharp one and a blade angled forwards will tend to increase add"on co pared to a perpendicular blade. ,esin add"on can be 0fine tuned1 by subtle angling of the blade. A blade angled forward produces a wedge with the fabric, and as the fabric oves forward, the resin is driven into it. Angling the blade backwards tends to reduce the resin add"on.

Angling of Blades

nife or blade on air coating: -n the floating knife or knife"on"air coating, the knife is positioned after a support table and rests directly on the fabric. -n this arrange ent, co pressive

force applied on the coating coatings $as low as 234 g)


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aterial is greater, and as such, the coating co pound enters the

interstices of the fabric. This technique is useful for applying very thin, lightweight, i per eable % suitable for hot air balloons, anoraks, etc6 7eb tension, viscosity, percent solids, and specific gravity of the coating co pound play a significant role in the a ount of coating deposited. The higher the viscosity of the co pound, the greater will be its tendency to force the web away fro operation. the knife, resulting in a higher weight add on. The ethod is suitable for both closely woven and open fabrics, because strike through does not affect the coating

nife or blade on air coating

nife o!er "lan#et

nife o!er "lan#et* -n the knife"on"blanket arrange ent, the web is supported by a short conveyor, in the for of an endless rubber blanket stretched between two rollers. 8ecause the pressure between the knife and the tension applied on the blanket results in a unifor

substrate, the fabric is not sub9ected to stretching in this arrange ent. -t is possible to coat di ensionally unstable substrates with this technique. The a ount of coating is dependent on the tension of the blanket, which is ad9usted by the rollers$ nife or blade o!er roller: The knife"on"roll syste technique for its si plicity and between the botto is the ost i portant and widely used

uch higher accuracy. -n this configuration, a suitably

designed doctor blade is properly positioned on top of a high"precision roller. The gap of the blade and the thickness of the fabric that passes over the roller ay be rubber covered or chro iu "plated ay vary fro :; to <; shore, depending controls pri arily the coating weight. The roll steel roll. The hardness of the rubber covered roll

upon the type of fabric. The advantage of a rubber"covered roll is that any fabric defects, such as knots and slubs having thickness greater than the fabric thickness, are absorbed by the roll surface, allowing free passage of the fabric through the coating knife.

,esin add"on is also influenced by fabric speed, surface geo etry and construction. A s ooth surface of a closely woven fabric will result in a relatively low add"on, a ore open or rough, uneven surface will result in a higher add"on. The first layer which 0fills in the holes in the fabric construction1 is generally the heaviest, and it is an especially i portant one because it deter ines poly er 3 fabric adhesion and has a significant effect on coated fabric handle. 7hen the second layer is applied, the surface will be s oother and therefore the resin add"on will be less. %esin &iscosity: $iscosity of the compound is another essential variable influencing add on. A low viscosity resin will flow more easily and thus cause e%cessive penetration, a high add on, fabric stiffening and reduced tear strength. Ambient room temperature can have a significant effect on resin viscosity. 'rying and cross lin#ing of resin The li iting factor governing the a ount of co pound which can be applied in one layer is usually the drying off process in the coating achine oven. The first layer is generally applied at a low processing te perature, without curing or with only partial curing, so that the next coating layer will adhere well to it. 'ull cross linking of all layers is carried out only after the top layer has been applied, so that all layers are cross linked together. (roducts from direct coating -n general, only fairly tightly woven fabrics capable of being pulled flat and unifor coated by the direct can be ethod. +nitted and stretchy fabrics are nor ally processed by transfer

coating or, in so e cases, such as lightweight nonwovens, by rotary screen techniques.

7aterproof protective clothing fabric, auto otive car seat fabrics, tarpaulins and lightweight aterial for inflatables are produced by the direct Foam Finishing: &elated to direct coating is foam finishing, which involves preparation of foam using a solution or a water dispersion of the te%tile chemical to be applied. #nstead of fully immersing the fabric in an aqueous bath of the chemical finish and then squee'ing out the e%cess water, the foamed chemical, at the appropriate concentration, is direct coated on to one side of the fabric. Thus, there is less water to dry off and less waste because there is no residual liquor left in the pad bath at the end of the production run. The foam does not sink into the fabric, but sits on the surface. The foam collapses on drying and is not actually visible as a separate layer when dry. The actual add on of the chemical finish is usually of the order of (!)* or less, on dry weight of goods. This technique can also be used as a method of applying low add ons of polymers to fabrics. +abrics produced from spun yarns can sometimes be coated in this way, because the solids content of the foam is very low and the blade need not scrape the fabric surface as much as in a normal direct coating. ,ome foam processing blades are rounded and the scraping action is gentler than with a sharp knife. -owever, it may still be necessary to calender some fabrics made from spun yarns for a good smooth surface. ethod.

+oam processing is e%tremely useful for very heavy weight materials such as carpets, which are usually treated with anti soil finishes such as fluorocarbons. The fluorocarbon is applied from a very dry foam, i.e. very low density containing very little water, to the face side of the carpet. #f the carpet were completely immersed in water it would be quite impossible to dry off all the water at a commercial speed. +luorocarbons can be applied to carpets made from all fibres, including polypropylene, in this manner. ,tain blocker chemicals .e.g. made by Clariant/ can be applied at the same time as the fluorocarbon to carpets containing either nylon or wool, to produce e%cellent anti soiling properties which are due to the combined action of the two types of finish.

Foamed and crushed foam Coating: This method can be used to apply polymer to woven fabrics and knitted fabrics, and also to fabric produced from spun yarns or fabrics of a general open construction which cannot generally be direct coated. This is possible because the foam, which is rather like shaving cream, sits on top of the surface of the fabric without sinking into the fabric structure. +oam coating is related to foam processing already described, but involves much higher solids content of polymer in the foam and more stable foams, i.e. foams that do not collapse readily. Crushed foam coating increases the number of fabrics which can be coated0 it also greatly reduces penetration of resin into the fabric, which allows the production of much softer handles and better drape than can generally be produced by direct coating. #n addition, the crushed foam coatings have a degree of permeability and breathability and, weight for weight, they are more opaque than direct coated material. A typical formulation may contain1 2 Acrylic resin0 2 3ater0 2 foaming agent .ammonium stearate or di sodium 4 octadecyl sulpho succinamate/0 2 thickening agent0 2 +iller, e.g. calcium carbonate0 2 +& chemical .if necessary/0 2 Cross linking agents .if necessary/. The basic principle is to prepare foa and rotor or flow fro the poly er using a echanical foa "generating

achine. The three basic controls that deter ine foa eter. The rotor or

density are* air input rate, pu p speed

ixer speed. The airflow should not fluctuate and is preferably controlled using a ixer speed can be varied 3 the faster the speed, the finer the foa density will not be constant. The foa density is ad9usted should not be used until a significant backpressure has been built up

produced. The foa

because, until this happens, the foa

by increasing or decreasing the a ount of air being introduced and, when the density is correct, the delivery pipe is attached to the traverse in front of the doctor blade set over either a roller or table. The density of the foa is decided by the properties required and the substrate being

coated 3 generally the

ore open the structure the lower the density. -t can be anything between
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approxi ately ;.=; and ;.4g) that the foa

. #elivery of the foa

to the bank in front of the doctor blade

should be at a rate such as to keep the bank as s all as possible and ideally it should rotate so does not 0age1 or dry out. coating is then dried by passing the foa coated aterial into the

The layer of poly er foa

stenter oven. The correct amount of drying, believed to be 5!67* water retention, has been obtained if the foam stays crushed and does not spring back. The foam is then crushed between rollers which should preferably be stainless steel8rubber coated. After this process, the material is cured by passing it down the stenter again at, say, 697 :C with a dwell time in the stenter of 97 seconds, or 6;7 :C at a higher speed to give a dwell time of, say, <7 seconds. The more thorough the curing and the crushing, the better the durability to washing, dry cleaning and to mechanical abrasion of a particular resin formulation.

(roducts from crushed foam coatings The polymer generally applied by this process, or variations on it, is acrylic, but water based rubbers and polyurethane could also be used. =oods produced in this way include apparel, floor coverings, wall coverings, black out curtains and curtain linings and filter materials. The handle and drape of crushed foam fabric are generally better than those of direct coatings but probably not as good as transfer coated fabrics. The degree and nature of crushing determines the properties of the coated material, such as abrasion resistance, breathability and durability to washing and dry cleaning. Crushing the foam under very high pressures and temperatures results in a relatively clear film with low breathability, but very good waterproofness and high durability. +ilter fabrics of varying porosity can be produced by the crushed foam method using mild crushing conditions.

Transfer Coating Transfer coating was first developed commercially in the 6>97s when polyurethane polymers were being e%ploited as coating resins for te%tiles. This transfer technique is used for knitted fabrics which, compared to woven fabrics, are open and stretchy, and cannot be coated by the direct method because they would distort under the tension applied to obtain a flat surface. #n addition, the resin would sink into a knitted fabric, and probably penetrate through to the face, and fabric stiffening would occur accompanied by a significant loss in tear strength. (rinciple of )peration: The principle of transfer coating is first to spread the poly er on to release paper to for and then to la inate this fil with the fabric until it is actually in the for of a fil . a fil to the fabric. -n this way, the poly er does not co e into contact

Transfer coating is carried out in a nu ber of steps, as follows. The top layer is applied first to the release paper by a doctor blade and is dried 3 but not cross linked 3 in an oven. The base layer is then applied over this top layer, using a second doctor blade, and straight afterwards, the fabric is laid over this base layer and 9oined to it by nip rollers. The paper with the coating and fabric on it then passes into a second oven, which dries and cross links the two layers together. The base layer sticks to the fabric, while the top layer, which was applied first to the release paper, does not stick to it, because of its release properties. After the asse bly e erges fro a batching roller. the second oven, the freshly produced coated fabric is peeled off the release paper and taken up on to

Transfer coating is more e%pensive than direct coating, partly because of the added cost of relatively e%pensive release paper and the more e%pensive double headed plant. (roducts from transfer coating !ne of the ain outlets for transfer coated polyurethane fabrics is in up arket, waterproof protective clothing. 8ecause the coating beco es the outer face of the gar ent, it is possible to produce coated fabric with excellent, high visibility appearances. >olyurethane transfer coatings are used in upholstery and produce an attractive product. >?C is also used widely in transfer coating to produce 0leather cloth1 aterial for gar ents, luggage, upholstery, footwear and for a9or outlets for >?C coated auto otive interior tri . Auto otive seating was once one of the fabric, but the use of polyester has now beco e al ost universal.

2 Coagulated polyurethane coating This is a speciali'ed process requiring special apparatus and considerable capital investment which includes solvent recovery. The essential process involves polyurethane which is dissolved in a solvent and is then thrown out of solution under controlled conditions to form a precipitate or coagulation. This material is soft, has a pore like structure and is the basis of the imitation leather. Commercial processes use polyurethane in "?+ solvent which is applied to the fabric carrier. This coated material is then brought into contact with a bath containing a "?+8water mi%ture in which the polyurethane is not soluble and is therefore coagulated. The coagulated material is washed and dried and the potentially to%ic "?+ solvent has to be recovered. There are numerous variations in process design and conditions which have to be optimi'ed, such as polymer type, base fabric design, additives, viscosity, coagulation bath conditions, washing and drying conditions, but most of the commercially available artificial leathers and suede are made using this type of process. A related process for producing breathable waterproof coatings on ordinary direct coating machines is the evaporation, dry coagulation and phase separation technique. The polyurethane resin is in a mi%ture of ?@A8toluene dispersion in water which is coated on to the fabric and dried gradually under carefully controlled conditions. The ?@A8toluene evaporates first and the polyurethane, not being soluble in the remaining water, coagulates. +inally the water evaporates off leaving behind a porous coagulated layer of polyurethane. To produce a commercial product, two layers are applied. The first layer contains adhesion promoters to secure it to the base fabric, and the second layer contains a fluorochemical to assist in water repellence and cross linking chemicals to improve abrasion resistance. #t is possible to control the degree of breathability obtained by varying the amount of water in the formulation. @ar ents produced fro icroporous aterial can in certain circu stances allow the passage of liquid water, such as in areas of high flexing and pressure, i.e. elbows, ar pits and seat of the trousers.

"ac# lic#ing roller techni*ue

The back licking roller method can be used to apply finishes or coatings of very low viscosity to one side of a fabric. +or some finishes, the technique is an alternative to impregnation, which could crush pile fabrics, or foam processing. The amount added on is controlled by the solids content of the bath, the angle, area and degree of fabric contact with the application roller, the speed and direction of rotation of the application roller and the speed of the fabric.

,ometimes a doctor blade may be applied to the roller to help control and maintain uniformity of liquor or resin pickup. 3oven velvet automotive seat fabric is sometimes processed in this way to lock in the pile. Carpets and other articles are also processed using back licking techniques.

+ot melt e,trusion coating: -n this process, an extruder converts solid ther oplastic poly ers into a te perature required for coating. This into a nip of the coating rolls. elt at the appropriate elt is extruded through a flat die vertically downward

The two rolls at the nip are a chro iu "plated chill roll and a soft, high te perature" resistant elasto er"coated backup roll. The chill roll is water cooled. The heat transfer should be adequate to cool the coated fabric so that it can be taken out of the roll s oothly. .eans are provided to ad9ust the position of the die and the nip in three directions. The chill roll chill roll. The ay be polished, att finished, or e bossed. &a ination can be acco plished by introducing a second web over the olten resin acts as an adhesive. Axtrusion coating is especially suitable for coating polyolefins on different substrates. 8ecause polyolefins can be brought down to low viscosity without risk of deco position, very high coating rates are achieved, and as such, the process is highly econo ical. 'or other poly eric coatings like >?C, >B, and rubber, this process does not yield unifor coating across the width, particularly at thickness below ;.C . The hot melt e%trusion of 677* molten polymer on to a fabric is also used to produce light weight coverings or tarpaulins and sack material, by coating tape woven polyethylene or polypropylene with either polyethylene or polypropylene.

Calender coating:

Calendering is a versatile and precise

ethod of coating and la inating poly eric

aterial onto

a fabric. The equip ent consists of a set of heated rolls also known as bowls. 'luxed, preco pounded stock is fed between the roll nips, which co es out as a sheet as it passes through consecutive roll nips. The sheet so produced is press la inated to the fabric with another pair of ating rolls, which ay be in the sa e calender achine. A variety of ther oplastics can be processed on the calender, however, it is extensively used for coating rubbers and vinyls. The thickness of the fil is deter ined by the gap separation between the rollers, but there is usually ay be produced by this ethod. The ore rollers, the is the fil produced. a li it to the thinness of fil s which ore accurate and unifor

There is no solvent or water to dry off and so high add ons are possible. #n some operations, for e%ample when polyurethane is being applied, it is usual to apply the first base layer by the direct coating method, knife on air to obtain the best fabric!polymer adhesion and add subsequent layers by calendering.

Calender film lamination of pre-prepared films

'abrics can be used to reinforce fil

produced by calenders and certain products are produced by aterial by pre" anufactured ther oplastic aterials which are pressed together by ultiple passes which

the double sided la ination of a very open woven a hot angle, the two fil s

fil s of polyurethane, polypropylene or >?C.The three

elt and 9oin together through the open weave of the fabric. 'il ethod was used. !pen knitted scri s or open non"woven fabrics aterial in double sided la inates of thin >?C fil s for enduses

la ination allows thick layers of poly er to be added without the need for would be required if the direct are also used as reinforcing

such as bunting and lightweight coverings.

%otary screen coating The rotary screen technique, which applies co pound to a fabric by forcing it through a cylindrical screen, is used ainly for textile printing. The technique can also be used for coating between C and C;;g)
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poly er on to fabric with add"ons, it is clai ed, fro controlled by the resin viscosity, the the squeegee bar inside the screen.

.The add"on is

esh of the cylindrical screen, the speed and the pressure of

An array of dots are pushed through the perforated screen by the squeegee bar inside the screen and by centrifugal force on to the surface of the fabric. The fabric deposited on to the fabric, the resin in the dots flows and coating. oves at the sa e speed as the a continuous rotation of the rotary screen and there is, thus, no frictional contact between the two. 7hen erges together to for

The rotary screen method, therefore, requires less fabric tension for uniform application, and resin penetration is minimi'ed, allowing the production of coatings with soft handles and good drape. -ot melt powder adhesives in the form of aqueous pastes are applied using rotary screens in the form of dot coatings. Because the coating substrate is not subCect to high tensions, this method is well suited to lightweight nonwoven fabrics and delicate films such as water resistant and breathable films for apparel. The adhesive add on control and uniformity at the low weights required are e%cellent. A further advantage of this technique is that the materials can be dried, rolled up, stored and reactivated when required. Because the adhesive is in dot form, the resultant laminate has a soft handle and drapes well. Fabric impregnation This technique is related to coating and, as has already been mentioned, is actually a method of producing a coated fabric, if carried out repeatedly. DT+@ coatings are applied to woven glass fabrics and Aevlar woven fabrics by this technique to manufacture calender belts for lamination machines. +abric padding or dipping ! other terms for impregnation ! is universally used in fabric finishing plants and most fabrics will have some kind of finish on them. Apparel fabrics, especially outerwear materials, will generally have some shower repellent finish on them, shirt fabrics will have easy care finishes and other indoor apparel fabrics are likely to have some type of soft finish. The process consists of passing fabric, open width through a trough containing an aqueous solution or dispersion of the chemical, squee'ing out the e%cess liquor using a pad mangle and drying the fabric in a stenter. A wetting agent is generally added to the liquor to ensure rapid and even wetting out of the fabric0 occasionally, if running at speed, anti foam may be required. Although impregnation is technically a relatively simple process, bulk production requires chemical dispensing apparatus to ensure that the pad bath is always at the same concentration and is kept topped up during long production runs. Automatic dispensing apparatus is available for this purpose. Calculations must be carried out to determine the final pad mangle e%pression, i.e. the amount of water retained in the fabric after the last squee'ing process as a percentage of the dry based fabric weight. +or thin, flat woven polyester fabrics this may be as low as (7*, and for a heavier weight fabric woven from te%tured yarns it may be more than 677*. The pressure on the nip roll determines the e%pression for any given fabric.

-pplication of water-repellent finishes for outerwear The most effective and durable water repellent finishes are fluorocarbons such as Teflon ."uDont/ and 4uva + .Clariant/. The spray rating apparatus .B, );7( or AATCC (( 6>E>/ is used to assess the quality of a water repellent finish. A rating of 677 is the perfect result and is awarded to a test specimen which e%hibits no water drop sticking or wetting out of the fabric surface. A rating of >7 indicates slight sticking or wetting, E7 indicates wetting at spray points and ratings continue through ;7, 57 and down to 7 which indicates complete wetting of the face and underside of the fabric. =enerally, a rating of >7 is the absolute minimum requirement, but if the finish is correctly applied, a rating of 677 is easily achieved. ) .est for -dhesion: (eel bond The forces of adhesion between the coating co pound and the textile substrate are a co bination of echanical and che ical bonding, particularly when bonding agents are added.

This is carried out by away fro the coating or attached

easuring the force necessary to pull the coating, fil wide $or 5.C c aterial is peeled away

or attached

aterial

ain base fabric. Speci ens Cc

wide% are prepared, and the

anually to a distance sufficiently far to allow the

two co ponents to be cla ped into the 9aws of a universal tester. The 9aws are co puter controlled and separate at a specified speed, and the force needed to separate the co ponents is recorded. 'ro this result the 0peel bond1 per C c width $or 5.C c width% is deter ined, the warp usually by calculating the average of the test results of five speci ens taken fro direction and five fro

the weft direction. 'or coating adhesion the level required is generally at

least C;D per Cc 7hen a foa

width. >eel bonds are also usually carried out with wet sa ples and so ewhat and the fabric ay be tear1

lower figures are generally acceptable, say ECD per Cc . backed la inate is tested, the bond between the foa stronger than the tear strength of the foa . The result is nor ally recorded as a 0foa which generally i plies fabric to foa and foa

ore than satisfactory. >eel bond tests on car seat cover la inates, face to scri , are i portant to ensure that dela ination does not occur in the processing.

car during use or during downstrea

Fle,ing tests These tests are a further eans of assessing coating adhesion by flexing to si ulate the aterials during wear, especially at elbows and ade into a cylinder through 42F and echanical action encountered by gar ent stretches and cru ples the

knees. The Cru ple"flex tester twists fabric sa ples or other da age, and in the case of water"resistant a specified nu ber of cycles.

at the sa e ti e. The flexed sa ples are exa ined for dela ination aterial the water resistance is assessed after

The ,childnecht +le% tester is a similar machine, but does not twist the fabric. ?ore samples can be tested at the same time using a ,childnecht machine, but the sample specimens are smaller.

+le% requirements specified by the customer may vary considerably with the article being tested, e.g. .,childnecht/ (77 777 fle%es for garment material, 577 777 fle%es for a tarpaulin.

.esting of -brasion resistance: -n the case of a coated fabric, abrasion has two eanings, the abrasion resistance of the coated surface, i.e. the resistance of the resin to da age, and also the abrasion resistance of the face fabric. The face fabric abrasion resistance of woven fabrics can be i proved significantly by coating the back, but of course the and therefore requires assess ent. aterial beco es stiffer and less flexible. The abrasion resistance of the coating on a coated fabric could influence the perfor ance of waterproofing,

This is acco plished by use of the .artindale apparatus, placing the coated fabric to be tested on the base of the uses the achine and abrading it with a piece of wool held in the abrading head. This test aterial should still be achine the other way round co pared to nor al procedure, but it does allow a test

sa ple large enough for waterproof testing after abrading. The waterproof after say C;;; rubs.

/ Lamination &a ination, by definition, co bines two aterials and this very act results in odification of physical properties based on the individual characteristics of the separate co ponents. &a ination of any fabric invariably produces a la inate, which is stiffer than either of the two starting aterials, although this can be ini i(ed by choice of the ost suitable la ination anufacture of car ethod and adhesive. &a ination is one of the funda ental processes in the interior tri , and fla e la ination is extensively used. Lamination techni*ues Flame lamination The flame lamination process is in widespread use throughout the world. This lamination method was once used e%tensively to produce laminated fabric for garments, curtains and drapes, and it makes use of the polyurethane foam itself as the adhesive.

The gas fla e burner = scri

elts the surface of the foa , which then acts as the adhesive for the elts the other surface of the foa , which then acts as aterials are fed in and a single triple

fabric. !n the other side, burner 5

the adhesive for the face fabric. Thus, three separate

la inate e erges. -eadliner and door casing face fabric is generally produced in the same way, but without a scrim ! a bi laminate. #t is possible to flame laminate polyester face fabric to polyester non woven material .polyurethane foam substitute/ using mini foam, i.e. polyurethane foam about 6!( mm thick. .achine settings controlling fla e te perature $gas)air ratio%, burner distance, gap separation of the rollers and speed ust be opti i(ed for each quality of foa and fabric being la inated. The fla e la ination process has co e under environ ental scrutiny in recent years, because it produces potentially toxic fu es by the burning of polyurethane. 'la e la ination produces a flexible la inate with high bond strength without affecting the aesthetics of the fabric in any way. A particular require ent of la inated fabric for car seats is the ability to for both concave and convex curves without 0cracking1.

+ot melt lamination a)Flat bed laminators 0 calenders 7hen the issue of fla e la ination being an environ entally unfriendly process arose, thoughts turned first to calenders and the hot for sandwich with a hot elt adhesives, which had been used in the gar ent industry aterials being 9oined are ade into a any years. The calender principle is that the two aterials and

elt adhesive fil , web or powder in the centre. This is then fed into the elts the adhesive to produce a la inate.

calender, which heats the

Calenders are usually heated electrically, and transfer of heat by conduction is not as rapid as, say, in a textile stenter. Consequently, te perature response to controls is not as rapid as on other achines. The goods being processed take heat out of the the ti e to the surroundings. -n addition, any achine, and heat is also being lost all oisture present in the goods, especially in natural

fibres such as cotton and also in polyurethane foa , needs to be first heated and then evaporated. 8ecause of this, bond strength should be checked frequently in a production run. The i portant te perature is the 0glue line te perature1, i.e. the te perature in between the two substrates where the adhesive actually is, and not the te perature on the on the thickness of the substrates being la inated and the adhesive The ay still not be elted. ethod is that the heat is supplied to the hot elt adhesive achine, achine control panel. #epending achine speed, the set panel elt

te perature could be 5;3E; FC higher than the actual glue line te perature, and the hot

ain drawback of the calender

via the substrates the selves, which could be prone to da age by heat, especially fabrics with textured yarns or with a pile. 'abric processed on calenders, or on any other la ination ust first be heat stabili(ed to a te perature above that to which it ay be sub9ected during the

la ination process. 'abric pile or raised surfaces can be da aged at te peratures well below the elting point of the fibre. Calenders, also referred to as flat bed la inators, are used extensively for headliners and other textile auto otive co ponents, because several layers of with an adhesive layer in between, can be 9oined with one pass. b) 1% heaters -nfra"red heaters are used widely in hot elt la ination and achines to heat or pre"heat ediu aterials or long and adhesives before nipping together. Heaters can e it radiation in the short, wave sector of the -, electro agnetic spectru substrate. &ighter aterials ay reflect back energy instead of absorbing it. The aterials, each

ay be influenced by the colour of the ain li itation

to -, heaters is response to controls, especially if fabric speed varies or production is stopped for so e reason. This will cause the fabric and the hot elt adhesive to be over" or under"heated, depending on the circu stances. -nfra"red heaters are also used in stenter operations to partially preheat fabrics and water"based coatings to allow production speeds to be increased.

c) (owder scattering Dowder adhesive lamination is the most versatile, and probably the most economical, method of hot melt lamination, because powder can be applied at any optimi'ed weight and width, and also because powder is not as costly as the corresponding web or film. The machine consists of a hopper containing the powder with a gravure roller at the bottom, the effective length of which can be controlled by the use of blanking off plates. The roller rotates and picks up powder, which is scraped off by a wire brush outside the hopper. The powder then falls onto the moving substrate below.

The amount of powder applied is controlled by the speed of rotation of the gravure roller and the speed of the moving substrate. The substrate, with powder on it, then passes under #& heaters which melt the adhesive. The speed must not be e%cessive or the powder adhesive will not be melted sufficiently. The second substrate is then placed over the molten adhesive and the two materials are Coined by bringing them together at a pair of nip rollers, or alternatively the substrates pass into a calender d) 'ry powder printing (powder point) >owder can be applied directly to the fabric by a dry printing technique using a gravure roller. This ethod is so eti es ter ed 0powder point1 and is also known as the -ntaglio >rocess. Hot icro etres in a hopper fills the recesses of a gravure roller. This elting aterial so that elt powder of si(e ;35;;

gravure roller is so eti es heated or war ed at te peratures 9ust below the powder point to hold the powder together. A squeegee doctor blade re oves the excess powder is present only in recesses of the roller.

The fabric or substrate to be 9oined is heated to a te perature over and above the recesses is elted and 0lifted out1 on to the oving fabric in the for

elting point

of the powder by contact with a heated roller. As it touches the gravure roller, the powder in the of an array of loosely elts the sintered dots. The fabric then passes into a heated cha ber or under -, heaters, which dots of powder which then beco e fir ly attached to the fabric.

e) %otary screen dot printing >owder can also be co pounded into a paste for dot printing through a rotary screen. The benefits of this ethod have already been entioned 3 lightweight delicate aterial can be heating of processed, because the resin is placed on to the substrate as it oves forward at the sa e speed ini u

as the rotation of the rotary screen. A significant advantage is that there is

the substrate and less risk of stiffening or discoloration. This technique is widely used in the nonwovens industry. >reparation of the paste is a skilled co pounding process, because it is necessary to produce a paste which has the correct viscosity, stability and flow properties as well as giving the adhesion required. The finest particle si(e powder is nor ally used, ;34; icro etres, and and bond strength. esh si(e ust be pre"decided to obtain a la inate with the required handle

f) 'octor #nife application of adhesi!e paste +ine adhesive powder compounded into a viscous paste can also be applied by the direct coating method using a doctor knife. #f the paste adhesive is selected carefully, it may be possible to replace the acrylic coating on automotive fabric with this hot melt adhesive and then use the same adhesive coating to laminate the fabric to foam or other substrate. g) Melt print gra!ure 0 roller

#n this process hot melt powder or granules are melted into a trough or transported to the trough via heated pipes. The trough in many machines is the space formed by a doctor blade held against the roller. The doctor blade also scrapes off e%cess adhesive as the roller rotates. The gravure roller, which has point dots or a gravure pattern appropriate to the add on required, picks up the adhesive and transfers it by a print process to one of the substrates. This material is then Coined to the other substrate by nipping together. -ot melt, moisture cure polyurethane adhesives, in the form of a gel, can be applied by this method. To prevent premature adhesive cross linking, an inert gas blanket of nitrogen may be necessary. -owever, the latest hot melt, moisture curing polyurethanes are claimed to have an open time of two hours or more and may be processed without the need for an inert gas blanket. The moisture cross linking polyurethane adhesive is piped to the blade8trough from a drum unloader. Adhesive add on is controlled by adCustment of the roll blade angle, pressure and viscosity .accurately from about )g8m(/, and the adhesive can be applied in a variety of different dot si'es or patterns.

h) +ot melt 0 screen application Hot elt olten adhesives have also been applied using rotary esh screens. .esh si(e and pattern are critical in producing a la inate with the required bond strength and handle. .olten adhesive viscosity and te perature control are other factors to consider. !ne drawback to this process is the a ount of down ti e necessary to clean the screen is being changed. achinery when the adhesive or

i) 2lot die e,truder This type of machinery includes pumps capable of delivering liquid molten adhesives, Cacketed or heated hoses and a coating head capable of delivering adhesive uniformly across the width of the goods. A drum unloader with a heated platen is required for adhesive in Celly form and a screw e%truder for adhesive in powder or granule form. The machine is capable of e%truding a continuous film of material but, to produce a fle%ible laminate, the adhesive is e%truded in a discontinuous array of small dots or small streaks with add ons as low as (g8m(.

This is achieved by reducing the delivery of polymer to the e%truder head to a low rate ! starving the slot die ! so that the polymer emerges in a discontinuous manner. AdCustment of add on from very low levels is controlled simply by reducing the rate of delivery to the slot die. Again, the right balance of time, temperature and pressure are necessary in order to obtain Cust the correct bond strength without laminate stiffening or adhesive strike through, and again the adhesive must have the correct viscosity. The molten adhesive is applied to one of the substrates Cust in front of a pair of nip rollers and Cust before the second material is introduced. An important advantage of this method is that the substrates being Coined are not themselves e%posed to heat during the lamination process, and so there is minimal risk of damage to fabric aesthetics of te%ture and pile. 3) 2pray application The proble s usually associated with spray applications are unifor ity and precision of application, penetration of the fabric substrate, occasional blocking of a spray no((le, control of the liquid being sprayed 3 usually a solvent 3 and continuous drying of the liquid. -n theory, all types of liquid adhesives can be sprayed 3 hot versions. elt, solvent"based, water"based and high solids