Almost 500,000 tons of nonwovens are currently used annually in the production of filters, which corresponds to approximately 10% of current worldwide industrial nonwovens manufactured. Here, the filter market is split into two areas: air and liquid filtration. While in excess of 170,000 tons of nonwovens were manufactured for gas/air filters in 2015, the volume for liquid filters was almost double at around 295,000 tons.
Polypropylene (PP) staple fibers are used in many different applications, such as automotive, carpets and floorcoverings, geotextiles, apparel, sanitary and hygiene, and technical applications. In the automotive sector, for example, end-uses include luggage compartments, undershields, floor carpet systems, wheel arch liners and seam reinforcement. Currently, around 20 kg of various fibers are used per vehicle – and this figure is increasing.
Attracting over 7,000 attendees and 555 exhibitors, INDA’s IDEA16, held in Boston from May 2-5, broke all previous exhibitor and attendee records and the buoyancy of the North American nonwovens industry was very apparent. Yet on a global level, two factors continue to exert a strong influence – the progress of China and the price of oil.
The 13th edition of Techtextil North America (TTNA), held May 3-5 at Atlanta’s World Congress Center, achieved positive results by most accounts. This year’s show housed 351 exhibitors and drew more than 7,000 attendees. Many exhibitors were pleased with the event’s traffic while others reported their objective was to let the world know they are open for business. As it did two years ago, TTNA shared an exhibit hall with Texprocess Americas and the JEC Composites show.
Sportswear that can measure heart rate and other performance metrics, and jackets that can control a smartphone are at the cutting edge of the burgeoning wearables sector. With a focus on technology, design and function, this trend is placing new demands on fabric makers developing e-textiles and other smart garments.
But the growing field of high-tech textiles does not solely involve integrating electronics into yarns and fabrics to produce trendy apparel; technical textiles are offering solutions in a wide range of end-uses using innovative yarns, fabric constructions and finishes.