Infrared heat technology for Converting, Textiles and Non-Wovens

Infrared Technology in Textile Processing Applications

Many different heating and drying processes are components of the manufacture and processing of textiles. High value, technical textiles must manufactured to high standards. Coatings on fabrics and materials must be be dried as quickly as possible.

The demands on heating systems are continuously increasing, and heating processes must keep pace with manufacturing processes. Infrared is a proven source of heat in textile processing, because IR transfers high heating power quickly.

This helps reduce energy consumption, increase production speeds and lower production costs.

Popular uses of IR in textile applications include:

Infrared Heat Increases Productivity of Flameproof Textiles

Forgotten candles or a short circuit in the toaster – if a fire starts at home it should not get out of control. Curtains and home textiles should not contribute to the spreading of a fire and therefore they have to be equipped with flameretardant properties.

Read our application example here.

Drying of Water-Repellent coating on fabric

A carbon infrared system is helping to increase production line speeds by providing pre-drying of a water repellent coating applied to a specialised fabric used in the manufacture of outdoor clothing. Moreover, its ease of control is also ensuring that there is no damage to the fabric caused by over-heating.

Read our application example here.

Heraeus Offers Cure For Dyeing

A custom-built infrared drying system has helped Century Dyeing of Elland, near Leeds, to solve a problem which they were experiencing with the dyeing of a particular fabric for a specific customer. The innovative solution involved on-site tests at the Elland factory and the design of a system to provide sufficient drying within a very short time window and very tight space constraints.

Read our application example here.

IR Technology for Textile Shaping

Textile shaping is a critical component of the overall process, and infrared technology is an effective means of delivering the required heat exactly where and when it is needed. Here are a few real-world examples of Heraeus infrared technology in this application.

  • An infrared heating system from Heraeus Noblelight is helping a manufacturer of molded carpet blanks for automotive use. The versatile system features fifteen individually controllable zones, allowing the production of a wide range of blanks to meet the demands of many different makes and models. The carbon infrared heaters used offer extremely fast response time (under one second).
  • A manufacturer of window blinds faced a production bottleneck, due primarily to the limitations of a stentor (an industry-standard drying and curing oven). By switching to a mediumwave infrared system from Heraeus, line speeds were increased from 12m/minute to 18m/min, an increase of 50%. The system has been such a success, a second system has been installed in anticipation of increased demand.
  • The manufacturer of leather chairs for office and home use required a heat source to facilitate shaping of the leather covering onto chair frames. The manufacturer previously used a ceramic heater for this application, but found that the heat provided was inconsistently applied, and that the service life of the inefficient ceramic heaters was too short. A new system from Heraeus Noblelight made use of the efficient single tube carbon heater. The new heater provided symmetrical heating, much longer service life, and a shorter heat-up time.
  • The manufacturer of extra-high durability clothing fabrics sought an efficient method to preheat cloth prior to its entering a hot air oven. A modular system composed of carbon mediumwave infrared lamps from Heraeus Noblelight provided fast heating, short response time and did so in a small space.
  • A high-end automobile manufacturer cures the fabric roof material on its convertible cars using fast mediumwave infrared heaters from Heraeus Noblelight. The system is controlled via a straightforward control panel with optical pyrometer. The system offers fine-tuned control of individual zones, applying specific amounts of heat exactly where needed.
  • A producer of high-strength fishing nets for commercial deep-sea fishing operations faced a problem: during transportation from the manufacturing facility to the end users, mold formed on the nets, rendering them a health hazard for fishing workers, and a posing a potential contamination risk to the catch. The manufacturer installed mediumwave infrared heaters from Heraeus Noblelight into the tail-end of the production line; the IR lamps reduced moisture and helped greatly reduce the conditions that would allow mold to grow during transport.

Embossing and Laminating Using Infrared Heat

Embossing and laminating processes benefit from infrared technology's unsurpassed ability to apply heat evenly across a large area. Textile processors worldwide use Heraeus infrared heaters for their embossing and laminating applications. Here are a few examples.

  • A manufacturer of cushion flooring (for residential kitchen, bathroom and similar applications) uses carbon mediumwave infrared heaters from Heraeus Noblelight to preheat the product prior to embossing. The system is thyristor controlled through use of optical pyrometers and control panel.
  • A manufacturer of embossed PVC flooring sought a heating system to replace its current one, which was "maxed out" at 100% capacity. The new system -- a fast mediumwave system from Heraeus Noblelight -- increased line speed 40%; product temperature was increased; embossing depth was increased; and the closed-loop system allowed improved flexibility of power control.
  • A manufacturer of carpeting sought a heat source for the embossing process. A Carbon Twin Tube infrared heat system from Heraeus Noblelight provided the ability for the manufacture of three different carpet sizes using a single oven. The efficient heat allowed variable line speed, with a maximum of 20 meters per minute. Embossing temperatures could be varied as needed, to a maximum of 190°C.
  • A company that produces vinyl flooring sought an efficient heat source for the embossing stage of production. The company used infrared technology from another manufacturer, but believed the current method could be improved upon. They consulted Heraeus Noblelight and found that a new infrared system using fast response mediumwave infrared heaters provided better and more evenly-distributed heat absorption. The mediumwave infrared technology provides deeper and more consistent heating all the way through the vinyl sheet.
  • A leather company required process heat for the embossing component of product finishing. Their previous solution was the use of locally-made heaters; these suffered from instability and short lifetime. The manufacturer replaced the heaters with medium wave infrared heaters from Heraeus Noblelight. The resulting process upgrade has yielded longer heater lifetime and overall higher product quality.
  • A fast response, medium wave infrared heating system helps ensure improved lamination of tufted carpet tiles for a major manufacturer. The carpet must be “relaxed” prior to application of hot bitumen onto a backing structure. The manufacturer switched to IR technology to replace their less-efficient convection oven system. The new infrared system also requires much less floor space. The fast response of the heaters and the flexibility of the control system allow the company to deal effectively with changes in line speed and with line stoppages.

Textile drying and the activation of adhesives are two of the many textile-related application for which infrared technology is ideally suited. The high level of control afforded by Heraeus infrared heaters means that efficiency is maximized; the quick on-and-off properties of IR ensure that heat is used only when it is needed. The following are just a few of the real-world uses for IR in adhesive activating and drying situations.

  • A carbon mediumwave infrared system from Heraeus Noblelight is helping to increase production line speeds by providing pre-drying of a water repellent coating applied to a specialized fabric used in the manufacture of outdoor clothing. The system's ease of control ensures that there is no damage to the fabric caused by overheating. What's more, the new system has allowed an increase in line speed averaging around 6%.
  • A manufacturer of athletic shoes for worldwide distribution required process heat to a final step in manufacturing: applying the graphic mark to the shoes. The previous method -- ceramic heaters -- applied temperature unevenly, resulting in erratic performance and results. Mediumwave infrared heaters from Heraeus Noblelight provided excellent temperature control and power savings via Heraeus heaters' quick heat-up and cool-down properties.
  • The manufacturer of automobile interior door panels was experiencing problems with the trim properly adhering to the body assemblies. The cause was soon discovered: the adhesive started to cure too quickly. Part of the solution was to switch to a different adhesive that required reactivation via heat. But a suitable heat source would be required. Consulting with Heraeus Noblelight, the manufacturer selected a carbon infrared heating system. The contact-free, efficient IR system is perfectly matched to the needs of the process (no wasted heat) and fast response time affords maximum control over the process.

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