Whilst created using similar manufacturing techniques Spunbond polypropylene and non woven spunlace (also known as hydroentangled, jet entangled or spunlaced) are fabrics with differing characteristics and uses.
What is the manufacture process?
Broadly speaking, the following stages are involved in the manufacture process:
Extrusion, cooling and filtering, spinning, drawing, web formation and bonding.
The extruded spun filaments are placed onto a belt. The fibres are then separated by air jets or electro static charges.
Spunbond polypropylene and spunlace - the difference
The main differences in the manufacture cycle of spunbond polypropylene and spunlace occur in the bonding stage of the process. Both products would have no mechanical resistance without the bonding step.
The main bonding processes used for nonwoven fabrics are either chemical, thermal, hydro entanglement or mechanical. In the bonding of spunbond polypropylene, "calendering" is used, where the fibres are calendered through heated rollers to bond them.
Spunbond polypropylene can also be pinsonically welded using ultrasonic energy to form quilted products particularly suited to mattress covers. Visit our quilted fabric page to learn more about the products that we supply.
In the case of spunlace, however the bonding process used is hydro entanglement. The web is entangled and the fibres interlinked through multiple rows of jets of water at high pressure.
Use of Polymers
Due to its high yield and subsequent low cost, isotactic polypropylene is the most commonly used polymer in the production of non woven fabrics. Further low cost and environmental benefits are also realised when fibres are recycled by being re-pelletised.
In the case of spunlace, viscose, cotton or polyester are often mixed with wood pulp.
Whilst spunbond polypropylene and spunlace do enjoy some of the same benefits, such as low cost, durability and strength, there are some benefits unique to each product.
Here are just some of the benefits of using spunbond polypropylene:
- Excellent moisture resistance
- High temperature resistance
- Strong and durable
- Versatile and recyclable
Here are just some of the benefits of using spunlace fabric:
- Soft handle, good drapeability
- Absorbent and durable
- High density and uniform appearance
Spunbond polypropylene is an incredibly versatile product, some of its uses are:
- Bed bases and mattress covers
- Cushion linings
- Disposable table covers
- Disposable work wear
- Hygiene products
- Insulation materials
- Upholstery linings
Due to it's soft feel and appearance, spunlace is often used for products within the medical or health industry, as follows:
- Disposable bedding
- Baby wipes / wet wipes
- Surgical gowns
It is also important to note that both spunbond polypropylene and spunlace can undergo a laminating process. When laminated with a PE film, the penetration of fluids and bacteria can be prevented, making the product especially useful within the medical industry.
Visit our healthcare products page to see what products or fabrics we supply within the medical industry.
Please contact us for more technical information or with any questions relating to our product range.