Web cleaning textiles and nonwovens

Speaking to Donald Lewis, Business Development Manager, Meech International

1. What are the challenges for web cleaners on textiles and nonwoven materials?

Manufacturing textiles and nonwo-
vens creates a lot of airborne dust and other particles – these contaminants can get into many different places and they can find their way into the various stages of the production process. Whether it is spun, reeled, woven, knitted or a nonwoven – contamination and static generation are an ever-present threat in the forming of textiles and nonwoven product. Textile production uses a plethora of equipment to produce a wide variety of materials. The manufacturing process causes fibres, lint, staples and dust to circulate in the air and land on reels, finished products and processing equipment. In fact, these contaminants find their way into all aspects of production very easily – and in significant volume – impacting on some of the most important stages, such as washing, bleaching, dying, sanforizing, printing, and inspection. Even drying heat rollers can re-apply the loose contaminants permanently into finished products – the result being a product not fit for purpose, which increases rejection and wastage levels.  The generation of static charges in these environments can also cause problems. Reels that are unwound at high-speed are liable to generate static, which attracts contamination to the surface of the materials. Nonwovens are particularly susceptible to this, due to their manmade fibre makeup. Healthcare products, such as facemasks and diapers are all especially prone to static during manufacturing – so its eradication is important, as any item with contamination on it will be immediately discarded, at a significant cost to the manufacturer. The challenge for any company in the textile and nonwoven industries is finding a way to safely clean these sensitive textile and nonwoven materials, which can be prone to surface damage. Any web cleaner will need to be highly efficient and capable of removing substantial amounts of contamination, all without impacting on the surface of the material.