Numerical modelling of nonwoven thermal bonding process & machinery
2014-05-29T09:26:48Z (GMT) by
Nonwoven-fabrics have been in use since 1930s. Their advantages over other web fonnation methods like knitting and weaving have attracted many industries such as aerospace, automotive, sports, geotextiles, composites, battery separators etc. to explore and increase their usage. During nonwoven manufacturing, most of the laid loose webs have an insufficient strength as fonned, and require an additional bonding procedure in order to provide the produced nonwoven with its intended properties. To achieve the desired properties of the nonwoven web, the bonding process is therefore, the most important part during production. The thennal bonding through air is one of the modem techniques which is incrementally improved to increase the yield of manufactured nonwoven properties. The system has a disadvantage which is, that the production capacity and energy efficiency is very low. The entitled research aims an industrial optimisation of the thermal bonding through air by entailing a strategic approach and encompassing the whole process chain of the thennal bonding process. The comprehensive and flexible optimisation opportunities provided by the CFD has been used to aid in the control and optimisation of the thermal bonding process and machinery. To optimise the process and product quality, the complex system composing of several components and various physical phenomena occurring during processing is simulated using a hierarchical methodology. More specifically a hierarchical decomposition procedure to recast the original multi scale problem as a sequence of three scale decoupled macro-, meso-, and micro scale subproblems is exploited. The methodology is applied in conjunction with the validation of experiments on through-air bonding product lines. 2D and 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models based on the continuum modelling approach and the theory of porous media coupled with the theory of mixtures are developed to treat the flow behavior, heat transfer, phase change and air moisture transport within the whole through-air bonding system. The model is concluded to be an economic computational tool hence providing rapid process optimisation and valuable infonnation early in the process, which can replace costly experiments and ensure product consistency under variable process and climate conditions. 2D and 3D hybrid modelling considering parametric discrete and continuum parts is also perfonned using conjugate heat transfer analyses. The approach precisely permits the optimisation of the machine component design and the associated optimisation of consistent process and product properties.