Protecting, cushioning, separating, connecting, storing, supporting, reinforcing; applied as processing aids, as coating substrates, in packaging, as covers, as sheathing, as print substrates or sealing strips, as absorbents, as heat protection or electrical protection—there is virtually no limit to what you can do with Sandler industrial liners. These nonwovens are used in a large variety of applications and the word „impossible“ should not be part of their vocabulary.
Nonwovens for technical applications and composites are high-tech products, specifically designed and geared to their specific application. Their development starts with selecting the best raw material or, if necessary, the development of the ideal raw material. It further involves the precise setup, optimisation and further development of the nonwoven process and eventually results in the material performing impeccably in the final application.
In cooperation with our customers we develop nonwovens that are air-permeable, absorbent, hydrophobic and/or oleophobic, have been processed into multi-layer composites or feature a specific surface finish. Despite this multitude of options, all Sandler nonwovens have in common that they are manufactured without chemical binders using environmentally sound processes. Like any other Sandler nonwoven, these materials are kind to the skin and pose no health risks.
The possibilities are sheer endless, with new applications continuously emerging. Surprise us with your new challenge. To meet your requirements, we can draw from more than 135 years of experience in diverse market segments to find the right material for your application. Contact us. We will be happy to pick up on your idea and jointly turn it into the ideal product solution.
Extensible nonwovens facilitate contouring of the material to the respective application:
- Hygiene products: In diaper ears and other stretch applications, elastic nonwovens enhance this characterisation. They flexibly adapt to the wearer’s body, adjusting to any movement and optimising comfort in use. Extensible under a low load, with excellent recovery properties.
- Automotive, technical applications & home textiles: Malleability is a key requisite when nonwovens have to follow a contour. These nonwovens facilitate processing and dependably insulate or protect complex components.
- Construction: Used in repairs to a façade for example, elastic nonwovens are applied in crack bridging. They adapt to expansion or shrinkage of building materials and are capable of recovering their original dimensions, offering a long-term solution to construction defects.
Extensibility is measured by determining the maximum tensile force and the maximum elongation according to WSP 110.4 in machine direction and cross machine direction. Sandler performs these tests in our in-house laboratory.
Elastic properties are determined by employing the so-called hysteresis test following DIN 53835. During these tests, the material is repeatedly stretched up to a defined maximum tensile force. The maximum elongation achieved at the predefined force as well as the material’s permanent set are measured. The ideal permanent set value is required to be as low as possible, signifying that the material does not wear out during use. These tests are also performed in Sandler’s in-house laboratory.
Nonwovens facilitate optimum air circulation owing to their porous structure which also makes them permeable to other substances. According to DIN EN ISO 9237, air-permeability is determined by clamping a flat sample of material into a testing device and passing an air stream through it at a defined differential pressure. The flow resistance is measured.
- Automotive: Sandler nonwovens are acclaimed as open-pore upholstery materials for seating, particularly for actively ventilated climate seats.
- Technical applications: Applied as processing aids, frequently in combination with other materials, nonwovens protect delicate surfaces. Their air-permeability can be tailored to the specific application and they remain air-permeable, even when retaining other substances.
In filtration, the relevant factor is the interaction of air-permeability and the pressure drop, induced by the filter’s flow resistance. The pressure building up in front of the filter is higher than that behind the filter. A low pressure drop in combination with a high air-permeability of the filter medium reduces the amount of energy necessary to force the required amount of air through the filter—a contribution to the filter’s energy efficiency and to long-term cost-savings in the operation of the filtration plant. The durability of Sandler nonwovens further supports these savings by prolonging the filter’s operating life and reducing replacements.
The pressure drop is tested according to WSP 70.1 by measuring the filter’s flow resistance in a defined volume flow. Multiple measurements at varying volume flows can be aggregated into a curve depicting the development of the pressure drop. Sandler nonwovens are tested for this property online during production as well as by external institutes and customers. These external partners conduct tests using flat material samples as well as ready-made filters from Sandler material.
Further relevant standards on this subject are DIN 53887 and DIN EN ISO 9237.
See also: Breathability
Mechanical stability is a vital property in nonwovens. It describes their resistance to tearing or breaking caused by mechanical influences. In many applications, nonwovens are subject to strains such as vibrations during processing and use or to compression. Mechanically stable nonwovens withstand these forces, being tear-resistant and having low elongation values in machine and cross machine directions.
- Wipes: Variants featuring reduced elongation for household and industrial cleaning support even heavy-duty applications.
- Filtration: Mechanically stable nonwovens resist the volume flow in use as well as vibration in the filtration plant.
- Technical applications: Mechanically stable nonwovens are used for sheathing and other reinforcements.
To determine a material’s mechanical stability, maximum tensile force and maximum elongation in machine and cross-machine directions are measured at varying parameters according to WSP 110.4. Mechanical stability also embraces several properties specific to the respective application:
In car seats, in furniture, in technical applications and even in cleaning wipes nonwovens are subject to abrasion, which may weaken the nonwoven’s structure. Since the nonwoven is made up of single fibres, these fibres have to be well anchored in the fibre matrix to provide appropriate cross-directional stability. In this way, abrasion resistance is achieved. In the production of nonwovens, Sandler relies on fibres with a high resistance to breakage, thereby fulfilling these requirements.
The abrasion resistance of a nonwoven can be determined using the so-called Martindale test method or according to the DIN EN 530 standard. The materials are classified in requirement categories, depending on the number of scrub cycles as determined by testing. The more cycles endured by the nonwoven, the higher its abrasion resistance. This test can be carried out by our external partners if required.
No fibre shedding and minimised fibre breaking
Sandler nonwovens are made of synthetic fibres that do not shed and due to their elasticity and resistance to breakage, result in the minimum of fibre debris. These media do not cause skin irritation and present no health risks—for example in the automotive industry or in construction. Sandler nonwovens thus meet the requirements of product class 1 of the Oeko-Tex® standard 100, bearing the “Confidence in Textiles” label.
In filtration, this characteristic is of paramount importance: If the fibres are brittle, fibre fragments may become detached and contaminate the source of the clean air stream.
Materials featuring high resistance to bending demonstrate high stability even under strain. This property is particularly relevant for use in self-supporting structures intended to be installed overhead using only few fastening points. Vibrations may develop in use, transposing the component’s weight into a strain. Stiff materials do not deform under load and do not sag. They retain their residual stiffness over the long term.
- Automotive: Nonwovens featuring high bending stiffness are in demand for moulded parts such as headliners.
- Construction industry: Stiff nonwovens are applied for acoustic ceiling panels and other ceiling structures.
At Sandler, bending stiffness is determined using the three-point-method according to DIN EN ISO 14125: A sample is deformed at a constant rate; the applied force and the deflection are measured. This test is performed in our own laboratory.
In roof construction, the raw materials are literally being walked on. Sandler nonwovens for insulation laid on the rafters or bituminous strips feature a pressure- and tread-proof upper side for safety in roof work. Even under pressure they remain firm, due to their high bending stiffness.
Especially in technical applications, nonwovens come into contact with various fluids, chemicals including organic solvents and may also be exposed to sunlight or humidity. Sandler nonwovens are predominantly made of synthetic raw materials such as polyester or polypropylene and are resistant to most inorganic and organic substances. This resistance makes them durable and their specific properties are maintained throughout their operating life. By choosing a suitable Sandler nonwoven, discolouration, softening, bulging, detachment of coatings or blistering become things of the past.
In the automotive industry, this durability is tested according to VDA 621 by dripping selected test fluids on the material or moistening it with them. The temperature at which the test is performed may vary. Sandler nonwovens are tested according to VDA 621 by external institutes.
Specific applications require resistance against specific media or exposures:
Resistance to alkali
In construction, nonwovens come into contact with materials such as concrete or cement mortar. If the level of humidity increases, these building materials are prone to emit large quantities of alkaline salts. Sandler nonwovens are resistant to these alkalis: The nonwoven is unaffected, no disintegration occurs and fabric remains stable. These nonwovens are therefore highly suited to applications in construction. Their resistance to alkali is determined by subjecting them to different test media, usually over a period of several months. A subjective examination of the nonwoven’s structure is subsequently carried out and any decrease in weight and tear-resistance are measured. Sandler nonwovens are tested for resistance to alkali in our in-house laboratory.
Hydrophobicity & hydrophilicity
Hydrophobic nonwovens are water-repellent resulting in reduced fluid absorption. This characteristic is achieved without any additional finishes, using only specific polymers and the appropriate manufacturing technology.
- Automotive: Hydrophobic nonwovens in exterior applications such as wheel house liners withstand any wind and weather.
- Construction: Hydrophobic nonwovens dry quickly and thereby prevent an accumulation of moisture.
In contrast, hydrophilic nonwovens easily attract water and transport it. Special product variants can also be applied for storing fluids. These nonwovens are highly suited to hygiene products or wipes.
Oleophobicity & oleophilicity
The term oleophobicity describes the characteristic of repelling oils and fats. These substances do not penetrate the material but simply run off its surface. Sandler nonwovens for the automotive industry are permanently resistant to engine fluids such as transmission fluid, engine oil or diesel and are in-house tested for oleophobicity according to the drop test method. Likewise, Sandler nonwovens for filtration are resistant oils and fats.
Oleophilic nonwovens, on the other hand, easily absorb oils and fats and amongst others are especially in high demand for environmental applications.
Resistance to fungi, bacteria and moisture
Sandler nonwovens made of thermoplastic polymers are bacteriostatic, i.e. they prevent the proliferation of colony-forming units by denying any breeding grounds for fungi or bacteria. In humid conditions, this characteristic is particularly enhanced by their resistance to moisture: The fibres do not absorb moisture, therefore the nonwoven dries quickly.
- Filtration: Sandler nonwovens are tested for their resistance by external institutes. Corresponding certificates attest to the nonwovens’ suitability for application in ventilation and air-conditioning systems according to VDI 6022.
- Construction: This characteristic helps to prevent the growth of mould in buildings, protecting the health of the occupants.
Bacteriostatic properties are determined according to the DIN EN ISO 846 standard by evaluating the impact of micro organisms on synthetic materials. The nonwoven is placed on a culture medium to which different fungal spores and bacteria are applied. After a period of 4 weeks under defined temperature and lighting conditions, the growth of both fungi and bacteria is visually observed.
In construction, for roofing and façades as well as in technical applications the utilised materials are frequently subjected to sunlight. Use of specifically chosen polymers result in Sandler nonwovens being UV-resistant: The material’s structure remains intact, neither discolouration nor disintegration being an issue.
UV-resistance is determined by means of an exposure test. Samples of the nonwoven may for example be placed behind window glass and subjected to real climate variations. Prior to and after the test, the nonwoven’s mechanical properties are determined, by checking for any detrimental effect from exposure to the UV-rays, in relation to the duration of exposure.
In furniture, in hygiene products, in the automobile, in outdoor jackets and as industrial cushion liners for packaging, these nonwovens facilitate processing, contribute to the end-product’s durability and protect surfaces. The following properties are relevant to this characteristic:
The recovery rate describes a material’s ability to relax or regain its original shape after long-term, constant strain.
- Hygiene industry: In this sector, elasticity and stretch are important for nonwovens used in diaper ears and other closures.
- Automotive: A high recovery rate in nonwovens used in seats provides for long-term driving comfort. These nonwovens yield to deformation, yet remain stable.
- Upholstered furniture: Nonwovens featuring a high recovery rate render furniture durable and contribute to a high level of long-term comfort.
- Mattresses: The formation of dents and creases can be prevented, resulting in permanently comfortable sleep.
In technical applications, the parameters for testing this property are stated in DIN 53517 or DIN ISO 815. The so-called compression set value as measured is expressed as a percent. A sample is compressed by a defined value and held in this state for a given time at a defined temperature, the specific test parameters being dependent on the intended application. 30 minutes after relaxation the material’s thickness and plastic deformation are determined. For hygiene products, the material’s elastic properties are measured by means of the hysteresis test following the procedure in DIN 53835.
Voluminous nonwovens are particularly bulky for improved visual effect, processability and performance:
- In furniture these nonwovens create unrestricting bulky upholstery, particularly for soft upholstery in the backrest—perfectly suited to the latest design trends.
- Mattress covers are even more comfortable with voluminous nonwovens.
- In outdoor clothing voluminous materials provide for a higher level of heat retention.
Flame-resistant products meet particular demands in the event of fire. Subjected to blaze, sparks or open fire, they do not catch fire immediately. When ignited, these structures do not continue to burn, but extinguish after a specific time.
Depending on the specific application and national regulations, various test standards apply:
- Automotive applications: DIN 75200, MV SS 302, PV 3357 and UL 94
- Filtration: The provisions regarding flame-resistance are laid down in DIN 53438 standard.
- Construction: Nonwovens for office fittings and mattresses used on ships and trains are evaluated according to DIN 4102 or DIN EN 13501 standards.
- Upholstered furniture: BS 5852 standard is decisive in this sector.
Our nonwovens are tested for flame-resistance in cooperation with external testing institutes.
STRUCTURE & SURFACE
The fibrous structure of nonwovens combined with diverse bonding technologies creates a multitude of different structures and surfaces, optimising and complementing function and efficiency of these materials depending on their respective application:
No plain surface is like the other. Depending on the requirements of the application, numerous “plain“ surfaces variants are available. A smooth / plain surface also characterises optimised surface integrity.
- Wipes: Smoothing the surface reduces linting. Furthermore, the nonwoven gains a more compact feel and becomes more stable due to a reduction in elongation.
- Automotive industry: Surface smoothing lends stability to the material and improves processability.
- Fashion: A well-bonded surface prevents fibres from penetrating the outer fabric.
Perforating or aperturing offers a specific method of surface structuring. It changes the material’s surface, giving the nonwoven a special design as well as additional functional properties. In wipes substrates perforation improves the cleaning effect: It enlarges the material’s surface area, enhancing its dust hold capacity.
Embossed nonwovens combine design and function. The material can be embossed with various motifs as a visual eyecatcher. In many cases, however, these designs also enlarge the nonwoven’s surface—a definite “plus” when it comes to dirt collection in wipes or absorbency in hygiene products. Multi-layer structures may be bonded via an embossing process, attaining adhesion between the layers without binders. Depending on the material and the utilised polymers these structures can be created thermally or by using hydro embossing. Visit our Design section for more details.
In offices or public spaces embossed acoustic components made of nonwovens may also offer a design feature.
Many Sandler qualities are available with end use oriented print motifs. Various designs for the hygiene and wipes industry emphasise the respective application. Visit our Design section and see for yourself or contact Sandler for your customised print design.
In technical applications such as filtration or construction, performance parameters such as the filter grade, relevant testing standards or the classification pertaining to thermal conductivity can be printed onto the material using inkjet printing upon special request of the customer.
Nonwovens can also be used in the form of composites consisting of several layers. Different nonwovens are combined with one another or with other materials. These multi-layered structures combine the diverse properties and functionalities into one product, fulfilling the highest quality standards. Multi-layer composites may also facilitate processing. The possible combinations are virtually unlimited:
- Hygiene industry: Multi-layer nonwovens combine several functions in one product, such as the transport and storage of fluids.
- Medical applications: Together with other materials nonwovens also function as padding for improved in use comfort, particularly in extended use.
- Wipes: In cosmetics and other applications the combination of fine and coarse layers improves the cleaning effect.
- Automotive & upholstered furniture: Multi-layer nonwovens facilitate processing and lend stability, for example to leather seats: when laminated onto the leather, they prevent overextension in use, thereby reducing unsightly creases in the seat.
- Filtration: Multi-layer composites lend stability to the products: Ceiling filters, for example, are rendered more stable by a polyester fabric laminated to the medium.
- Technical applications: Composites of nonwovens or with a multitude of other materials can increase the stability or even the resistance to heat, acids or other influences.
- Fashion: Lamination to nonwovens imparts optimum surface integrity and prevents pilling and fibre penetration.
Sandler nonwovens can be offered with different finishes to supplement functionality: for example with lotions, cleaning agents, an antibacterial finish or a flame-retardant finish to increase flame-resistance.
Nonwovens can be printed all-over or with detailed motifs using thermal transfer printing, digital printing, flexo printing or other established printing technologies.
- Hygiene & wipes industry: Print motifs emphasise the application and offer visual differentiation.
- Office design: Acoustic components for interior decoration can be printed to offer a design facet. Thermal transfer printing increases surface bonding and smoothes the nonwoven’s surface.
With the intention of improving the print result, the surface of Sandler nonwovens may also be pre-treated by roughening the fibres.
Adhesive coating can be applied on one or both sides of the nonwoven. In filtration for example, ceiling filter media are coated with an adhesive finish to facilitate processing in the end application. The coated parts are protected by a release film. Once this film is removed, the nonwoven can be used as intended. Pleatable filter media can be equipped with spacers made of hotmelt adhesive.
The nonwoven can also be pre-treated to enlarge the fibres’ surface to improve bonding with the adhesive.
To achieve adhesion between layers, as an eye catcher or for the selective deformation of voluminous materials: Sandler nonwovens are embossed for a variety of applications. They are well suited to both calender and ultrasonic embossing, frequently used for the hygiene industry. In the automotive sector, embossed nonwovens are also used for example in engine cover parts. Again Sandler nonwovens are ideally suited to the processes employed in this industry, such as hot and ultrasonic embossing.
Due to the thermoplastic properties of the selected polymers utilised Sandler nonwovens are mouldable and are able to match the contours of the component. In addition, the material can also be hardened through moulding.
- Automotive industry: Nonwovens are for example processed into 3D moulded parts such as headliners or wheel house liners.
- Interior design: Acoustically efficient moulded parts made of nonwovens are also making advances into interior design. One recent example: a designer lamp shade.
In the filtration industry nonwovens are generally pre-heated prior to pleating. Sandler nonwovens are well suited to this process.
The polymers used make Sandler nonwovens totally compatible with ultrasonic welding, high-frequency welding or thermal welding techniques.
- Automotive industry: Ultrasonic or high-frequency welding spots are used to fasten nonwovens to die-cut or cover parts.
- Filtration & hygiene industry: Multi-layer composites can be bonded using ultrasonic or high-frequency welding.
- Technical applications: Nonwovens for pipe insulation are sealed using common welding technologies.
Depending on the specific application, Sandler nonwovens can be laminated with different materials to produce multi-layer structures with multifunctional properties: for improved acoustic efficiency, hardening, greater stability, resistance to heat or for improving mechanical properties. In fashion, the nonwoven is bonded to the outer fabric, in hygiene products multi-layer structures combine reliable protection with comfort in use—the possibilities are virtually endless.
In the hygiene industry, nonwovens are frequently transported to the laminating line on a vacuum conveyor belt. This process poses specific demands on the material’s air-permeability and Sandler nonwovens provide these characteristics.