EP0013127B1 - Process for making nonwoven fabrics by bonding organic fibers - Google Patents

Process for making nonwoven fabrics by bonding organic fibers Download PDF

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Publication number
EP0013127B1
EP0013127B1 EP79302960A EP79302960A EP0013127B1 EP 0013127 B1 EP0013127 B1 EP 0013127B1 EP 79302960 A EP79302960 A EP 79302960A EP 79302960 A EP79302960 A EP 79302960A EP 0013127 B1 EP0013127 B1 EP 0013127B1
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Prior art keywords
web
water
process
fibers
bonding
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German (de)
French (fr)
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EP0013127A1 (en
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Virginia Caroline Menikheim
Bernard Silverman
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Monsanto Co
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Monsanto Co
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    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D04BRAIDING; LACE-MAKING; KNITTING; TRIMMINGS; NON-WOVEN FABRICS
    • D04HMAKING TEXTILE FABRICS, e.g. FROM FIBRES OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL; FABRICS MADE BY SUCH PROCESSES OR APPARATUS, e.g. FELTS, NON-WOVEN FABRICS; COTTON-WOOL; WADDING NON-WOVEN FABRICS FROM STAPLE FIBRES, FILAMENTS OR YARNS, BONDED WITH AT LEAST ONE WEB-LIKE MATERIAL DURING THEIR CONSOLIDATION
    • D04H3/00Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of yarns or like filamentary material of substantial length
    • D04H3/08Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of yarns or like filamentary material of substantial length characterised by the method of strengthening or consolidating
    • D04H3/14Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of yarns or like filamentary material of substantial length characterised by the method of strengthening or consolidating with bonds between thermoplastic yarns or filaments produced by welding
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D04BRAIDING; LACE-MAKING; KNITTING; TRIMMINGS; NON-WOVEN FABRICS
    • D04HMAKING TEXTILE FABRICS, e.g. FROM FIBRES OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL; FABRICS MADE BY SUCH PROCESSES OR APPARATUS, e.g. FELTS, NON-WOVEN FABRICS; COTTON-WOOL; WADDING NON-WOVEN FABRICS FROM STAPLE FIBRES, FILAMENTS OR YARNS, BONDED WITH AT LEAST ONE WEB-LIKE MATERIAL DURING THEIR CONSOLIDATION
    • D04H1/00Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres
    • D04H1/40Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties
    • D04H1/54Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties by welding together the fibres, e.g. by partially melting or dissolving
    • D04H1/542Adhesive fibres
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D04BRAIDING; LACE-MAKING; KNITTING; TRIMMINGS; NON-WOVEN FABRICS
    • D04HMAKING TEXTILE FABRICS, e.g. FROM FIBRES OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL; FABRICS MADE BY SUCH PROCESSES OR APPARATUS, e.g. FELTS, NON-WOVEN FABRICS; COTTON-WOOL; WADDING NON-WOVEN FABRICS FROM STAPLE FIBRES, FILAMENTS OR YARNS, BONDED WITH AT LEAST ONE WEB-LIKE MATERIAL DURING THEIR CONSOLIDATION
    • D04H1/00Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres
    • D04H1/40Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties
    • D04H1/54Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties by welding together the fibres, e.g. by partially melting or dissolving
    • D04H1/552Non-woven fabrics formed wholly or mainly of staple fibres or like relatively short fibres from fleeces or layers composed of fibres without existing or potential cohesive properties by welding together the fibres, e.g. by partially melting or dissolving by applying solvents or auxiliary agents

Description

  • This invention relates to processes for bonding organic fibers. More specifically, the invention relates to such processes wherein water is utilized as an agent for effecting autogenous bonding of fibers constituting nonwoven webs.
  • Nonwoven fabrics and the utilization thereof are well known to those skilled in the art. Such fabrics are prepared by forming a web of continuous filament and/or staple fibers. Such webs, as formed, are generally lacking in physical integrity and readily disintegrate when handled. Therefore, it is customary to increase the integrity of such webs by bonding the fibers constituting the web at fiber crossover points. Fiber bonding has been successfully accomplished by mechanical entanglement of web fibers; application of adhesives; and autogenously by the use of heat or liquid or gaseous agents to soften the fibers and render them cohesive.
  • Autogenous bonding has been found particularly advantageous from the standpoint of providing fabrics of good strength without incorporating an adhesive having a composition differing from that of the fibers in the fabric. In autogenous bonding, strength can in some instances be improved and/or decorative fabric patterns or modified tactile properties provided by overall or intermittent compression of the softened fibers. However, certain process difficulties have hitherto been associated with autogenous bonding. For example, in processes employing thermal softening of fibers, careful control of temperature (and pressure, if utilized) is required to obtain adequate bonding without complete melting resulting in destruction of the fibrous structure and/or sticking of the web to supports or pressure applying devices. Techniques using liquid softening agents must similarly be carefully controlled to prevent total web dissolution. Further, many liquid bonding agents and gaseous bonding agents, e.g. HCI, are corrosive to equipment and/or pose potential hazards to operating personnel if carelessly handled.
  • The bonding of fibrous webs by the application of specified amounts of water followed by compression of the web to prescribed thicknesses at specified temperatures is described in Japanese patent publication Nos. 74-3459; 74-3460; and 74-3461. However, attempts to prepare nonwoven fabrics in accordance with the teachings of the aforesaid Japanese publications have yielded materials which failed to satisfactorily withstand conventional usage such as washing.
  • A practical process utilizing water as an agent for bonding organic fibers to form fabrics of acceptable physical properties would represent a substantial advance in the art.
  • Summary of the Invention
  • The process of the invention is one for making nonwoven fabrics, and is characterised by simultaneously compressing and heating a nonwoven wets of water bondable organic fibers, said web containing a bonding quantity of water; the compressive force, temperature, and time of exposure of the web thereto being correlated to effect autogenous fiber bonding sufficient to provide a wash-stable fabric but the correlation being such as not to effect autogenous bonding of fibers of an otherwise equivalent dry web sufficient to provide a wash-stable fabric.
  • A preferred process according to the invention is characterised by providing a bonding quantity of water in a nonwoven web of water bondable organic fibers and passing said web containing said water through and compressing said web in the nip of a pair of rolls at least one of which is heated; the compressive force, the roll temperature, and the rate of passage of the web through the nip being correlated to effect autogenous fiber bonding sufficient to provide a wash-stable fabric but the correlation being such as not to effect autogenous bonding of fibers of an otherwise equivalent dry web to - provide a wash-stable fabric.
  • A further preferred process according to the invention is characterised by providing a bonding quantity of water in a nonwoven web of nylon 6,6 continuous filament fibers; passing said web containing said water through and compressing said web in the nip of a pair of rolls at least one of which is heated and at least one of which is patterned to compress the web in spaced, discrete areas; the compressive force, roll temperature and rate of passage of the web through the nip being correlated to effect bonding in the spaced, discrete areas compressed sufficient to provide a wash-stable fabric but the correlation being such as not to effect bonding of fibers of an otherwise equivalent dry web sufficient to provide a wash-stable fabric. The practice of the invention will be understood from the following description of the preferred embodiments.
  • Description of the preferred embodiments
  • The process of this invention can be utilized to effect bonding of any water bondable fibers. The term "water bondable fibers" denotes any fibers which, in the form of a web containing a bonding quantity of water, can be bonded to form a wash stable fabric (a fabric exhibiting little or no pilling when subjected to a hereinafter described washing test) under a combination of compressive force, temperature and exposure time which will not effect such bonding in an otherwise identical dry web. Examples of water bondable fibers suitable for processing in accordance with this invention include fibers derived from: polyhexamethylene adipamide, polycaproamide and other polyamides, acrylic and modacrylic polymers and copolymers and mixtures and blends thereof. The use of homopolymers is preferred since in general they are less subject to change properties as a function of moisture content or reaction conditions. Consequently process controls can usually be more readily optimized. Further, better results in terms of fabric softness, etc., can be expected from the use of polymers having softening points greater than 200°C. Polyamide polymer fibers, e.g. nylon 6,6, are particularly well suited for the practice of this invention. Composite fibers, including those having components which are not, alone, water bondable can be utilized. For example a fiber having a nylon sheath and a polyester core or side-by-side bicomponent fibers or other multicomponent fibers having bondable surface portions can be utilized. The fibers can be in the form of continuous filament or staple and, if desired, can be crimped or textured to provide elasticity or other desired characteristics to the finished fabric.
  • The water bondable fibers are processed in the form of nonwoven webs. Such webs of bondable fibers can consist solely of water bondable fibers or can also contain other synthetic or natural fibers which are not bondable. The manner of web formation is not critical. Generally webs are formed by deposition of fibers on a moving belt in either random or aligned orientation to provide a web having a weight 4 to 400 grams per square meter, preferably 10 to 250 grams per square meter. A particularly useful method of web formation is disclosed in United States Patent No. 3,452,615.
  • In practicing this invention, a bonding quantity of water is applied to the nonwoven web. By "bonding quantity" of water is meant a quantity such that subsequent compression of the web at elevated temperature effects fiber bonding adequate to provide a wash-stable fabric.· The minimum quantity of water required wilt"vary somewhat depending on fiber composition, web structure, fiber denier, and bonding conditions. The maximum quantity usable is governed primarily by practical consideration of techniques available for water application and ability of the web to retain the water applied. In general, bonding will be adversely affected by inadequate water but the use of excess water presents no problems other than those associated with processing convenience and economics. Therefore, in practice, relatively large amounts of water (consistent with convenience of application and handling) will be applied to the web to ensure adequate bonding. Optimum amounts from the standpoint of bonding efficiency, processing convenience and economics can readily be determined by routine testing.
  • The bonding quantity of water can be applied to the web by a variety of techniques. For example, the web can be immersed in water by passing the web supported on a moving belt or similar means through a tray of water or under spray nozzles. Humid atmospheres, mist chambers, wet rolls, etc, can also be employed to provide or facilitate obtaining a web containing the desired bonding quantity of water.
  • The web containing a bonding quantity of water is then simultaneously compressed and heated. Simultaneous compression and heating can be conveniently accomplished using a pair of mechanical compressive. means such as plattens or rolls with one or both of the compression means being heated. Preferably the wetted web is compressed in the nip of a pair of rotating rolls at least one of the rolls being heated. It is further found that when the rolls are adapted (e.g. via bosses or land and groove patterns) to compress the fabrics in spaced, discrete areas, fabrics having particularly desirable tactile properties in tetms of drape can be obtained.
  • The compressive force, temperature, and the duration of web exposure to such force and temperature must be correlated to effect fiber bonding sufficient to yield a wash-stable fabric. However, the correlation is such that application of these processing conditions to an otherwise equivalent dry web does not provide a wash-stable fabric. The term "dry" is used to denote a web containing equilibrium water content at 65% relative humidity at 22°C. A completely anhydrous web will, of course, also fail to yield wash-stable fabrics under such conditions. However, the foregoing definition of the term "dry" is chosen to facilitate testing without necessity of rendering the samples anhydrous.
  • Since practice of the invention requires a correlation of conditions such that wash-stable bonds are not obtained with dry webs, the roll or other pressing means will generally be heated to a temperature less than the fiber melting point (as determined for anhydrous fibers at atmospheric pressure). Generally, the temperature will be at least 100°C, and no less than 100°C. below the fiber melting point. At lower temperatures, effective bonding is generally not obtained in reasonable time regardless of the compressive force utilized. Optimum temperatures (correlated with selected pressures) for various fibers can be determined by routine tests. For example, temperatures in the range 150°C-250°C. are generally satisfactory for bonding nylon 6,6; temperatures in the range 150°C-250°C: are also generally satisfactory for bonding acrylic fibers.
  • Regardless of the temperature chosen, satisfactory bonding will not take place in the absence of adequate compression. Although the mechanism of the bonding process is not fully understood, it is believed that application of sufficient pressure, in addition to ensuring fiber to fiber contact, results in a gasketing or sealing effect retaining water under the pressure point as heat is transferred'to the compressed wetted web. Thus, it is believed that the water is heated above its atmospheric boiling point and that the superheated water (or steam) under pressure participates in the bonding mechanism.
  • The duration of time in which the web is subjected to heating and compression can be regulated by conventional techniques, e.g. regulation of roll speed. Such time will be chosen to permit adequate heating of the web to effect bonding. In general, the use of higher temperatures lowers the exposure time required.
  • As previously indicated, it is not necessary that the overall web be compressed and heated. Excellent results are obtained by compressing and heating the web in a pattern defined by compressed (bonded) and uncompressed (unbonded) areas or in spaced discrete locations, for example, by use of bossed or engraved rolls or rolls having land and groove designs adapted to compress the web in such spaced, discrete locations. When using such techniques, it is generally desired that the web be substantially uncompacted prior to pressing. In order to provide adequate overall physical properties from 2% to 80%, preferably 3% to 50%, of the total surface area of the web should be subjected to compression and heating. When providing discrete, spaced bond sites, the number of bond sites per square centimeter should be from 1 to 250, preferably 16 to 64 in order to provide desired physical properties.
  • In some instances, various adhesion promoters can be used in conjunction with water to provide bonds of improved physical properties or permit use of somewhat lower temperatures and/or pressures. In such instances (consistent with definitions previously set forth) the bonding quantity of water and the correlated compressive force and temperature will be such that wash-stable fabrics are obtained even in the absence of the adhesion promoter but such that wash-stable fabrics are not obtained in the absence of such bonding quantity of water. That is, the amount of adhesion promoter utilized will not, alone, effect wash-stable bonding of a dry web. Suitable adhesion promoters include substances which form aqueous mixtures or solutions and/or which tend to facilitate rendering the fibers autogenously cohesive. For example, suitable adhesion promoters for nylon webs include inorganic and organic materials such as hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, formic acid, phenol, resorcinol, methanol, ethanol, etc. Reducing acids such as hydrochloric acid appear preferable to oxidizing acids because such acids have less tendency to effect polymer degradation. Aqueous solutions of inorganic salts such as sodium iodides, calcium bromides, zinc chloride or magnesium chloride can also be used. Examples of suitable adhesion promoters for acrylonitrile polymer webs include ethylene carbonate, propylene carbonate, dimethylformamide, dimethylacetamide, chloral hydrate, tetrahydrothiophene-1,1-dioxide,butyral- acetone and salts such as sodium thiocyanate, lithium iodide, calcium bromide, zinc chloride and magnesium chloride
  • The following examples will facilitate a better understanding of the invention and the desirable properties of fabrics produced thereby. The tests described below are used to determine fabric properties as reported in the examples or otherwise referred to in the specification and claims:
    • Wash Stability
  • Wash stability is determined as follows: Nonwpven fabric samples are mixed with at least 10 pieces of hemmed cotton sheeting each measuring about 91 cm x 91 cm. The number and size of the nonwoven fabric samples are subject to the following constraints:
    • 1. Total area of the nonwoven samples is less than 6.5 m2.
    • 2. Each sample is at least 465 cm2 in area with a minimum dimension of 15 cm.
    • 3. No sample is larger than 0.929 m2 in area or more than 0.305 m in its maximum dimension.
  • In addition, the total weight of the cotton sheeting plus the nonwoven samples should not exceed about 1.8 kg. (These constraints assure comparable results).
  • The load is washed in a Kenmore Model 76431100 washing machine (marketed by Sears Roebuck & Co.) using the "normal" cycle (14 min.) "Hi" water level (55 1), HOT WASH, WARM RINSE (water temperatures of 60°C ± 3°, 49°C. ± 3°) and 90 g of American Association of Textile Colorists and Chemists Standard Detergent 124.
  • The wash load is then dried in a Kenmore electric dryer, Model 6308603 (marketed by Sears, Roebuck and Co.) for at least 30 minutes (or longer if required to dry'the entire load). The test specimens are then evaluated by visual observation to determine the number of pills formed. A pill is a visually discernible (usually roughly spherical) tangle of fiber, or fiber plus extraneous material, extending above the surface of a fabric and connected to the body of the fabric by one or more filaments. A fabric is considered to fail the test when 5 or more pills are observed in any 929 square centimeters surface area or when more severe physical deterioration is visually discernible. Fabrics passing the above test are considered "wash-stable". In the test described, the pills are predominantly formed by fibers which were not bonded in the process or which, in test procedure, were freed from bond sites. Thus the degree of pilling provides a measure of the efficacy of the process for forming bonds and a measure of the resulting bond integrity. In instances of very poor bonding more severe fabric deviation than pilling, e.g. complete disintegration, may be observed. As a practical master, fabrics which do not pass the test (even if not totally or partially disintegrated in the test) will not withstand substantial physical stress or repeated washings with excessive deterioration.
  • Other tests reported in the examples provide an indication of various properties of general interest which are obtained in fabrics produced by the practice of this invention and indicate the general effect of variations in process conditions on these properties.
  • Evaluation of Physical Properties
  • Breaking Load and Elongation are determined by American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) procedure D-1 682-64.
  • Bending Length is determined by ASTM procedure D-1388-64.
  • Trapezoid Tear Strength is determined by ASTM procedure D-2263-68.
  • Strip Tenacity is determined by dividing the breaking load of a cut strip by the strip basis weight and is expressed as g/cm/g/m2,
  • For webs that are bonded using an embossed roll the bond sites are evaluated microscopically by examining both sides of the web with a stereo microscope and physically by subjecting the web to a tensile stress. The size of the bond on each side is measured and compared to the size of the boss portion of the embossed roll. Desirable bond sites are those wherein the bond is the same size on both sides of the web and also approaches the size of the boss portion. To measure bonding between fibers within the bond sites, a dissecting needle is scratched along the bond while the sample is examined microscopically. This procedure can indicate how firmly filaments are held together within the bond site. Samples, approximately 2.54 cm square, are slowly stretched in an extensiometer and the fibers are observed within the bond sites. The location of fiber failure is an indication of fiber fusion within the bond site.
  • The bond sites are rated on a scale from 0 to 5. An explanation and description of the ratings is as follows:
    Figure imgb0001
    Fabrics having a bond rating of 3 or greater are generally wash-stable.
  • In the examples the term "press pressure" refers to the positive force, expressed in kilograms per linear centimeter, compressing the rolls together. This force includes mechanical, pressure utilized to compress the rolls, together with the compressive effect attributable to the weight of the rolls. In the case of bossed rolls, it is assumed for purposes of calculation, that all of the pressure is exerted at the boss points and a "corrected pressure" is calculated accordingly.
  • Example I
  • A series of nonwoven webs of nylon 6,6 continuous spun fibers were prepared. These webs were then sandwiched between two fiber glass screens and immersed in water at room temperature. Excess water was removed so that about 20-30 percent by weight of the uncompacted web weight remained. The water wetted webs were then pressed at 9.1 meters/min. under a pressure of 17.4 kg/linear cm in either of two modes. In one mode the two press rolls consisted of a smooth resilient rubber roll at 40°C., and a smooth metallic roll heated to various temperatures as shown in Table I. In.the second mode a rubber roll was used with a heated embossed metallic roll. The embossed roll had 48 square boss sites/cm2 which were aligned in a square pattern and covering about 15 percent of the surface area of the roll. When correcting for the 15% pattern coverage (assuming all pressure is applied to only the boss sites), the corrected pressure at the roll nip was 115.9 kg/cm. Embossed roll temperatures are shown in Table I. The results of tests performed in accordance with the procedures herein described on the bonded fabrics obtained from these webs are reported in Table I, below.
    Figure imgb0002
  • These data show that pressing the wetted web with a heated embossed roll at 170°C. began to develop a significant bonding level. When the temperature of the embossed roll was increased to 190°C., the combined action of water and pressure yielded a bonded fabric with excellent properties. The webs pressed overall which were prepared at the lower pressure did not compare in properties until the press temperature was increased to 180°C.
  • . Example II
  • The purpose of this example is to measure the effect of bonding .webs that have absorbed lower quantities of water than the webs of Example I. The moisture was sorbed by long exposures to moist air at 65 and 98% R.H. Similar fibers were used and the process conditions of Example I are the same. All of the webs were pressed with a heated embossed roll having the same pattern as the roll described in Example I. Details of tests performed on the bonded fabrics obtained from these webs appear in Table II.
  • These data show that webs containing 4 and 8 percent water add-on required significantly higher temperatures to achieve desirable physical properties. These webs did not attain properties comparable to webs containing higher quantities of water add-on. The webs that absorbed 4 percent water did not attain good bond ratings even when the roll temperature was at its highest level.
    Figure imgb0003
  • Example III
  • In this example a series of nonwoven webs of nylon 6,6 continuous spun fibers were prepared. These webs were then wetted with water by spraying. Water was applied to one side of the web with a pneumatic atomizing nozzle having a flat spray. The nozzle, housed in a Plexiglass chamber, was mounted over a moving belt that transported the uncompacted webs through the spray. The amount of water deposited onto the web was varied by changing air pressure, rate of water feed to the nozzle and varying belt speed. The amount applied to the webs varied from 20 to 94 percent add-on by weight (based on the anhydrous web). The wet webs were pressed at 9.1 m/min. between a hard rubber roll at 40°C. and an embossed roll heated to temperatures shown on Table III. The embossed roll had 28 square boss sites/cm2, which were aligned in a square pattern. The pattern covered about 18 percent of the fabric area. Sample 1 was pressed with 96.7 kg/linear corrected pressure and the remaining samples were pressed with 252.5 kg/linear cm corrected pressure to insure better heat transfer and good abrasion resistance for both sides of the bonded web. As web basis weight increased, higher press roll temperatures were required because of the increased mass of fiber and water. Details of tests performed on the bonded fabrics obtained from these webs appear in Table III.
  • These data show that good strength properties can be obtained from webs wetted with 18 to 94 percent by weight of water and heat pressed at 190°C to 200°C. When the water is applied to one side of a web by means of an atomizing spray, an add-on of 30, to 80 percent is preferred to ensure uniform bonding throughout the web thickness.
    Figure imgb0004
  • Example IV
  • In this example, a series of nonwoven webs of fibers composed of a 50 percent nylon 6,6 sheath and a 50 percent polyester core were prepared. The webs were treated in accordance with the conditions set forth in Example III. A correlated pressure of 252.5 kg/cm was used for all the web samples. Details of tests performed on the bonded fabrics obtained from these webs appear in Table IV.
  • These data show that good strength properties were obtained from the webs wetted with 16 to 108 percent by weight of water and heat pressed at 175°C to 180°C. This example shows the applicability of this invention for webs composed of fiber of two different polymers wherein one of the polymers is water bondable.
    Figure imgb0005
  • Example V
  • In this example a 44.1 g/m2 nonwoven web of acrylic stable fibers.was prepared. The web was sprayed with water using a hand-held spray apparatus with an atomizing nozzle. The wetted web was then pressed at 357.2 kg/linear cm corrected pressure between a smooth resilient rubber roll at 40°C. and a smooth metallic roll heated to 185°C. The web speed through the rolls was 10.7 m/min., bending length of the bonded fabric was 3.48 cm and the strip tenacity was 18.3 g/cm/g/m2.
  • Example VI
  • Nonwoven webs comprised of 3 denier per filament continuous filament nylon 6,6 and having a weight of 34 gms/m2 were processed by passing the web through the nip of a pair of heated steel rolls at a speed of 3.9 meters per minute. One of the rolls carried bosses, the tips of which defined a pattern of rectangles (having sides measuring 1.65 and .71 mm) and rhomboids (having sides measuring 1.65 mm and .65 mm) alternating in axial and circumferential rows. The longer dimensions of the rectangle were circumferentially oriented and longer dimensions of the rhomboids were axially oriented. The rhomboids and rectangles were positioned such that extensions of their longitudinal center lines bisect the adjacent parallelograms. Circumferentially, the parallelograms are spaced by a distance of 1.36 mm. Axially, the rectangles are spaced .67 mm. from the acute apexes of the rhomboid and 1.12 mm. from the obtuse apexes. The inclination (position of acute and obtuse apexes) of the rhomboids is reversed in successive axial rows. The bossed roll had about 19 bosses per cm2, covering about 21.2% of the roll surface. The remaining roll had a smooth surface. The rolls each had diameters of about 12.7 cm. and both rolls were maintained at 180°C. The rolls were either set at the fixed spacings indicated in Table V below or positive roll pressure was applied as indicated. Prior to passage through the rolls, water was added to certain webs as indicated. The samples of fabric produced were tested for wash-stability and the results are reported in the table.
    Figure imgb0006
  • The foregoing results further illustrate the criticality of utilizing adequate compressive force correlated with temperature in the practice of this invention. In conjunction with the foregoing tests, identical samples were also subjected to tensile stress and inspected to determine if fibers were pulled from the bond points. It was noted that the samples in which fibers were readily pulled from the bond points were not found to be wash-stable.
  • Example Vll
  • Nonwoven webs comprised of 3 denier per filament continuous filament nylon 6,6 and having a weight of 68 gms/m2 were processed in the manner described in Example VI above. Process conditions and results obtained are shown in Table VI below.
    Figure imgb0007
  • Example VIII
  • Nonwoven webs comprised of 3 denier per filament nylon 6 staple fibers (5 cm length) and having the weights indicated in Table VII below were processed in the manner described in Example VI above utilizing roll temperatures and other process conditions as shown in Table VII. Test results are shown in the table.
    Figure imgb0008
  • The foregoing data further demonstrate that proper correlation of compressive force and temperature is critical in obtaining fabrics of acceptable properties.
  • By reference to the foregoing description and examples, those skilled in the art can practice the process of the invention within the scope of the appended claims to obtain a variety of nonwoven fabrics useful as substitutes for conventional knitted and woven fabrics and in other well understood applications of nonwoven fabrics.

Claims (11)

1. A process for making a nonwoven fabric, said process comprising simultaneously compressing and heating a nonwoven web of water bondable organic fibers, said web containing a bonding quantity of water, characterised by the said quantity of water being sufficient to effect fiber bonding adequate to provide a wash stable fabric under the compressive force and temperature applied; the compressive force, temperature and time of exposure of the web thereto being correlated to effect autogenous fiber bonding sufficient to provide a wash-stable fabric but the correlation being such as not to effect autogenous bonding of fibers of an otherwise equivalent dry web sufficient to provide'a wash-stable fabric.
2. A process of Claim 1, wherein said simultaneous heating and compression is effected by passing said web containing said water through and compressing said web in the nip of a pair of rolls at least one of which is heated and at least one of which is patterned to compress the web in spaced, discrete areas.
3. A process of Claim 2, wherein the patterned roll has a pattern of boss sites disposed to provide a fabric having a pattern of boss sites disposed to provide a fabric having a pattern of from 16 to 64 spaced, discrete bond sites per square centimeter, said bond sites covering from 3% to 50% of the fabric surface area.
4. A process of Claim 2, wherein each roll has a land and groove pattern interacting with the land and groove pattern of the other roll to provide a fabric having a pattern of from 16 to 64 spaced, discrete bond sites per square centimeter, said bond sites covering from 3% to 50% of the fabric surface area.
5. A process of any of Claims 2 to 4, wherein the web containing a bonding quantity of water additionally contains an adhesion promoter.
6. A process of any of Claims 2 to 5, wherein the water bondable fibers are homopolymer fibers.
7. A process of any of Claims 2 to 6, wherein the water bondable fibers have softening points greater than 200°C.
8. A process of any of Claims 2 to 5, wherein the water bondable fibers are nylon 6 fibers.
9. A process of any of Claims 2 to 5, wherein the water bondable fibers are nylon 6,6 fibers.
10. A process of any of Claims 2 to 7, wherein the roll temperature is below the fiber melting point but no more than 100°C. below the fiber melting point.
11. A process of any of Claims 2 to 8, wherein the web has a dry weight of from 10 to 250 grams per meter.
EP79302960A 1978-12-21 1979-12-19 Process for making nonwoven fabrics by bonding organic fibers Expired EP0013127B1 (en)

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US97218478A true 1978-12-21 1978-12-21
US972184 1978-12-21

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EP0013127B1 true EP0013127B1 (en) 1982-07-28

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EP (1) EP0013127B1 (en)
JP (1) JPS5584460A (en)
BR (1) BR7908367A (en)
CA (1) CA1140406A (en)
DE (1) DE2963458D1 (en)

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5336552A (en) 1992-08-26 1994-08-09 Kimberly-Clark Corporation Nonwoven fabric made with multicomponent polymeric strands including a blend of polyolefin and ethylene alkyl acrylate copolymer
US5382400A (en) 1992-08-21 1995-01-17 Kimberly-Clark Corporation Nonwoven multicomponent polymeric fabric and method for making same
US5405682A (en) 1992-08-26 1995-04-11 Kimberly Clark Corporation Nonwoven fabric made with multicomponent polymeric strands including a blend of polyolefin and elastomeric thermoplastic material
US5643662A (en) 1992-11-12 1997-07-01 Kimberly-Clark Corporation Hydrophilic, multicomponent polymeric strands and nonwoven fabrics made therewith
US6500538B1 (en) 1992-12-28 2002-12-31 Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. Polymeric strands including a propylene polymer composition and nonwoven fabric and articles made therewith

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US3365354A (en) * 1963-08-07 1968-01-23 Johnson & Johnson Overlay sheet and process for making the same
DE2049943B2 (en) * 1970-10-10 1978-07-20 Bayer Ag, 5090 Leverkusen
DE2056542A1 (en) * 1970-11-17 1972-05-18 Bonded fibre fleece prodn useful as a - substitute leather
US3996404A (en) * 1974-07-30 1976-12-07 Japan Vilene Company Ltd. Conjugate polycarbonate fibers and fibrous sheets made thereof
NL7703952A (en) * 1976-04-15 1977-10-18 Monsanto Co A method of bonding or adhering a non-woven web or sheet, as well as the product of this process.

Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5382400A (en) 1992-08-21 1995-01-17 Kimberly-Clark Corporation Nonwoven multicomponent polymeric fabric and method for making same
US5418045A (en) 1992-08-21 1995-05-23 Kimberly-Clark Corporation Nonwoven multicomponent polymeric fabric
US5336552A (en) 1992-08-26 1994-08-09 Kimberly-Clark Corporation Nonwoven fabric made with multicomponent polymeric strands including a blend of polyolefin and ethylene alkyl acrylate copolymer
US5405682A (en) 1992-08-26 1995-04-11 Kimberly Clark Corporation Nonwoven fabric made with multicomponent polymeric strands including a blend of polyolefin and elastomeric thermoplastic material
US5425987A (en) 1992-08-26 1995-06-20 Kimberly-Clark Corporation Nonwoven fabric made with multicomponent polymeric strands including a blend of polyolefin and elastomeric thermoplastic material
US5643662A (en) 1992-11-12 1997-07-01 Kimberly-Clark Corporation Hydrophilic, multicomponent polymeric strands and nonwoven fabrics made therewith
US6500538B1 (en) 1992-12-28 2002-12-31 Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. Polymeric strands including a propylene polymer composition and nonwoven fabric and articles made therewith

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
CA1140406A1 (en)
CA1140406A (en) 1983-02-01
JPS5584460A (en) 1980-06-25
BR7908367A (en) 1980-07-22
EP0013127A1 (en) 1980-07-09
DE2963458D1 (en) 1982-09-16

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