Infrared Emitters increase Output of Production of Filtration Materials and Non-Woven Fabrics

Paper and non-woven materials are equipped with coatings so that they can be used for medicine and hygiene. The necessary drying processes are optimally solved by modern infrared emitters.

Infrared Booster optimizes Production of Filtration Materials

Infrared booster increases production of filtration materials
  • An infrared module from Heraeus Noblelight has helped Purification Products, of Shipley (UK), to solve a production problem and achieve significant increases in the manufacturing output of the activated carbon filtration materials it supplies for a wide range of industrial applications

Purification Products uses patented processes to produce filtration materials and fabrics by incorporating active powders into textile, board and foam substrates. These materials are then used in filter units to remove contaminants from air, gas and liquid streams in both dynamic and static situations. Typical applications include removal of odors and smoke from air conditioning systems, odor removal in HEPA filters and the removal of color and odor from chemicals, cooking oils and water.
The manufacture of some of the company’s products relies on the use of an air-laid, cellulose wood pulp web, which is much less dense than a conventional wet pulp web. As a result it has a great ability to absorb powders to the extent that the activated carbon powder which is applied to the web can account for up to 60% of the weight of the finished product.
In the manufacturing process, the air-laid web is laid on a viscous backing in a continuous process and the carbon powder is applied. A latex mixture is then introduced to this assembly to bind it together and the completed web is then dried before being rolled up for dispatch or cut to length. The drying is an important stage in the process, as any wet, and active, latex carried over to the following machine rollers can be detrimental, while inadequate fixing is obviously to be avoided for quality reasons. The company already had an infrared drying system in place and this had performed satisfactorily for some years. However, the need to increase production output to meet rising customer demand required the company to reassess its drying facilities.
Consequently, Heraeus, who had supplied the infrared emitters for the original system, carried out trials at its Neston applications center and established that the production rate could be increased if a medium wave infrared booster module were fitted in front of the existing system.

Based on the results of these successful trial a medium wave module containg six emitters 4.5 kW each was retrofitted with little disruption to production schedules at the Shipley plant.

Infrared System for Non-Woven Fabrics

Infrared heat for medical non-woven fabrics
  • By installing an infrared heating system from Heraeus Noblelight, Advanced Fabrics (SAAF) has significantly improved the throughput of coated, non-woven fabrics at its Saudi Arabian manufacturing plant to meet increased demands for its products. The system was designed, built and commissioned on-site following extensive trials at Heraeus’ Neston Application Centre.

SAAF is a major international force in the medical and hygiene markets for spunbond and SMS nonwovens, produced on state-of-the-art plant. To achieve the specific properties required in medical operations, of being alcohol-repellent and anti-static, fabric manufacture involves the application of a chemical to 100% polypropylene SMS. SAAF’s objective was to increase the throughput of its line, whilst maintaining the high quality of application.
After contacting Heraeus, extensive tests were carried out at the company’s Applications Centre. Various combinations of infrared emitters, at various powers were trialled to ensure that sufficient heat for drying could be transferred to the fabric without affecting the polypropylene, which has a low softening and melt point. These tests were then supported with proving trials carried by Heraeus personnel on-site at the Saudi Arabian factory and the results confirmed the suitability of infrared for the application. As a result, the optimum infrared system was installed.

Ian Disley, of SAAF, who was instrumental in selecting the infrared option and took part in the initial trials, comments, “The Heraeus installation has achieved our target and proved eminently cost-effective.”

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