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New non-woven composite laminate gives elasticity, recyclability to automotive headliners.

Combining research and development with Kimberly-Clark and JP Stevens Automotive, Shawmut Mills has introduced a composite laminate automotive Headliner and Sun-Visor.

This composite is designed for deep draw molding applications, permitting deeper contours. The composite consists of a 100% polyester brushed fabric from JP Stevens, laminated by Shawmut Mills to Kimberly-Clark's Demique[R] elastic non-woven. One of Shawmut Mill's discontinuous adhesive bonding systems is used allowing for extendability in the finished product.

The traditional headliner composites consist of brushed nylon fabrics laminated to urethane foams. The urethane foam stabilizes the lightweight brushed nylon fabric and provides an adhesive barrier when the product is glued to a rigid headliner board. In the new composite, the Demique non-woven stabilizes the fabric and provides the glue barrier without restricting the elasticity of the fabric.

Kimberly-Clark has produced several Demique products for use in auto headliners and visor applications. Danny Harris, Business manager for Demique elastic Fabrics, said "The standard Demique headliner composite does not offer the plushness of urethane foam but whenever this feature is required we utilize a hydroentangled Demique to meet the requirement.

Daniel Wyner, Shawmut Mills Vice President of Marketing, notes that in addition to greater elasticity in deep-draw applications, the Demique headliner composite offers a much tighter control of thickness than was available in standard headliner foam laminates. Explains Wyner, "As headliner and visor parts become more complex with greater numbers of moving parts, customer are demanding closer overall thickness tolerances to retain necessary clearances in the finished product. The Demique construction allows us to deliver much tighter thickness tolerances. For example, while urethane foam might have thickness tolerances of + or - ten thousandth, the Demique composite will vary only 1 0% of that figure. In addition, the Demique composite shows a 20% increase in extension when compared with standard headliner/ urethane foam."

The chart on this page illustrates Stress-Strain curves comparing maximum elongation and load of current standard headliner/foam laminate to the new headliner/ Demique composite.

Chrysler Corporation, GM and Ford Motor Company in the U.S., and Peugeot and Fiat in Europe, are currently evaluating the process.
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Title Annotation:12th Annual International Show in Print
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:May 1, 1994
Previous Article:Group of companies offering variety of nonwovens.
Next Article:Adhesive melt blowing.

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