A mathematical model for airflow and heat transfer through fibrous webs

A mathematical model based on computational fluid dynamics has been developed to investigate the airflow and heat transfer through fibrous webs. The model is based on the porous media concept and involves solving equations for continuity, momentum, and energy. A thermal energy equation is developed, which incorporates the heat of fusion of fibres in the fibrous web. Local flow information such as air velocity, temperature, and melt fraction of fibres is obtained from the simulations. An important outcome of the simulation is the prediction of time required to melt fibres in the web under different working conditions. This information can be used potentially in the design of through-air bonding process for nonwovens manufacturer.