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.