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Keynote Address: Spunlace 101, the Components of Establishing a Productive and Versatile Spunlace Plant

Dan Feroe


The Spunlace market is a recent phenomenon relative to the textile industry, with approximately 40 years since its initial start in the R&D departments of DuPont, and 20 years since it became a viable industry serviced by Engineering firms capable of supplying lines where speed, uniformity and efficiency made the fabrics applicable to the general customer applications. The lines supplied today bear little resemblance to those supplied even 10 years ago, with the machine configuration, line width and speeds all increased by an order of magnitude. The lines today are up to 4.5 meters in width and operate at 200+ meters per minute at the winder, a far cry from line widths and speeds of a decade ago. The technologies to enable this change do not lie only with the Spunlace machine where many improvements have been brought to the market, but also in carding, where a combination of doffing capabilities and wider machines which can manufacture webs which can be transferred at higher speeds without affecting the fiber orientation at wider widths, all reducing the incremental cost of production. The cost reduction criterion is critical in this very competitive market where the majority of fabrics would be considered commodity items. Thus a line today makes a line delivered 10 years ago obsolete in all but specialty applications. The purpose of this paper is to provide an insight into the general characteristics of a Spunlace line, with emphasis on the Spunlace machine, as much of the technologies for fiber preparation and web forming are well known throughout the Nonwovens Industry.

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Document last modified 04/27/04