Melt blowing

Introduction

Melt blowing is a conventional fabrication method of micro- and nanofibers where a polymer melt is extruded through small nozzles surrounded by high speed blowing gas.

The randomly deposited fibers form a nonwoven sheet product applicable for filtration, sorbents, apparels and drug delivery systems.

The substantial benefits of melt blowing are simplicity, high specific productivity and solvent-free operation.

Overview

Melt blowing process

Polymers

Polymers with thermoplastic behavior are applicable for melt blowing. The main polymer types commonly processed with melt blowing:
  • Polypropylene
  • Polystyrene
  • Polyesters
  • Polyurethane
  • Polyamides (nylons)
  • Polyethylene
  • Polycarbonate

Uses

Melt-blown fabrics have generally the same applications as other nonwoven products. The main uses of melt-blown nonwovens and other innovative approaches are as follows.
  • Filtration. The porous nonwoven melt-blown fabrics can be used in the filtration of gaseous as well as liquid materials. These applications include water treatment, masks, air conditioning filter, etc.
  • Sorbents. Nonwovens are capable to retain liquids several times of their own weight. For instance, polypropylene nonwovens are ideal to recollect oil contaminations.
  • Hygiene products. The high sorption efficiency of melt-blown nonwovens can be exploited in disposable diapers, sanitary napkins and other feminine hygiene products as well.
  • Apparels. The good thermal insulation properties, the barrier behavior against fluids combined with breathability make melt-blown nonwovens a great choice for apparels even in harsh environments.
  • Drug delivery. Melt blowing is also capable to produce drug-loaded fibers for controlled drug delivery. The high throughput rate (extrusion feeding), solvent-free operation accompanied with the increased surface area of the product make melt blowing a promising new formulation technique.

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