The textile industry manufactures products from a wide range of natural and synthesized materials which have typically been derived from one or more of four primary sources: animal, plant, mineral, and synthetic. These textiles are treated and shaped into myriad products, including but not limited to clothing, upholstery, and industrial fabrics.
The addition of textile coatings in the manufacturing process greatly enhances the value of textile materials by extending their useful life and preserving their aesthetic appearance. Coating methods and technology have evolved alongside the increasingly stringent needs of manufacturers and design engineers.
For example, textile coating technology has begun to incorporate eco-friendly options as manufacturers seek more sustainable and efficient coating solutions. Textile coatings can be custom-engineered to provide specific benefits and enhancements that improve the performance of textile products, which makes them useful in a wide range of industries.
Benefits of Polymer Coatings for Improving Textile Performance
Textiles may be subject to a number of external pressures and abrasive elements during everyday use. For this reason, a number of coatings have been developed to reduce the wear of textile materials. Polymer coatings, in particular, offer enhanced protection on the surface of textile products while still allowing for water evaporation through the fabric—a process that is often hindered by other coating materials. Here are the 10 primary benefits of polymer textile coatings:
1. Abrasion Resistance
Abrasion resistance is measured by rubbing flat materials against the fabric in question to determine the rate at which the fabric erodes. Polymer coatings create a layer on top of the textile fabric to add increased resistance to abrasion. It is particularly useful for materials that experience a great deal of friction, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), power transmission belts, backpacks, footwear, and synthetic leather products.
2. Adhesive Qualities
Textile fabrics can be coated with polymers to increase their adhesion and tack to other surfaces or polymers. For this reason, rubber polymer coatings are ideal for use in high-performance vehicle tires, power transmission belts, and seals and gaskets.
3. Air-Holding Capabilities
Polymer-coated textiles can incorporate resistance benefits to stop items like air or water from passing through the material. This makes them particularly useful in products that need to be capable of holding air, this would include items such as SCUBA buoyancy compensators, life vests, air lift bladders, blood pressure cuffs, pressure infusor bags, aerostates, ballistic vest liners, etc.
4. Antimicrobial Properties
Polymers such as chitosan—a naturally occurring biopolymer derived sea creatures—display measurable antibacterial activity, sometimes with a reduction of up to 99%. Since surfaces coated with these materials remain clean and virtually free of bacteria, they are particularly useful in medical textiles, such as bandages, blood pressure cuffs, braces and prosthetics.
5. Flame Resistance
Polymer coatings may be combined with flame-resistant agents to create highly flame-resistant materials, which make them important in the manufacture protective clothing for firefighters, fabric used in vehicles and airplanes, thermal ablatives for rockets and safety curtains and carpeting.
Polymer coatings make textiles more sturdy and corrosion-resistant, significantly extending the service life of finished products ranging from household goods like towels and sheets to outdoor camping equipment and outerwear.
7. Noise Abatement
Textiles coated in polymer blends possess sound reduction properties. When sound waves are directed toward the materials, they are absorbed due to its porous nature, thereby preventing the movement of sound. This can be particularly useful in soundproofing layers in automotive, aerospace, and industrial applications.
8. Thermal Resistance
Materials coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) or perfluoroalkoxy alkane (PFA) blends are able to withstand temperatures of up to 500° F. Like flame-resistant coatings, these polymer-coated textiles are particularly useful for safety products, automotive and aerospace fabrics, and firefighting apparel.
Polymer coatings provide an excellent means for waterproofing textiles. Their hydrophobic nature ensures that materials coated in certain polymer blends easily repel water and other liquids.
Polymer coatings may be need to be bonded through the use of adhesives, RF, ultrasonic or hot air weldable. These types of fabrics are ideal where a durable sealed seam is required and normal sewn seams create unwanted holes in the surface. These weldable coated textiles are ideal for items such as weatherproof outerwear, inflatable vests, rafts, medical devices, and recreational BC vests.
Polymer Coating Applications
Polymer coated textiles are used throughout a wide range of applications and industries, including:
Industrial and manufacturing
Sports and leisure
Superior Polymer Coatings From Tex Tech
At Tex Tech, our knowledgeable and experienced specialists possess an exceptional understanding of fabric manufacturing and treatment processes, allowing us to offer a wide range of material processing capabilities. Our advanced equipment can apply multiple coating applications in a single pass using multi-surface and impregnation coating methods. Our film lamination services offer up to 8 films per pass, and we can process materials with widths up to 100 inches. We offer surface enhancements such as embossing and peel ply, and a wide range of custom processing options, including bias shifting, edge treatments, and slitting.
In addition to our extensive experience and wide range of services, we are proud to maintain the following:
IATF 16949 Quality Registration
ISO 14001 Certification
Six Sigma Black Belt Certification
For more detailed information on our outstanding textile products and services, download our eBook, “The Essential Guide to Textile Coatings.” Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about our products or capabilities.
Coatings are polymer-based layers that cover a substrate. Some coatings are protective while others contribute additional attributes to a final fabric-based product. Enhanced properties may include improved resistances, enhanced durability, or protection from environmental wear.
Coatings can be applied to one or both sides of a fabric and different substrates cab be selected to address specific requirements. These fabrics include:
Understanding Polymer Coating Systems
Polymer coatings represent a broad category of polymer-based materials that enhance different properties and protect different types of fabrics. Some of the most common polymers include:
Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA)
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE)
Natural rubber (NR)
Polyvinyl chloride (PPVC)
Polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC)
Styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR), a common type of synthetic rubber
Each of these chemicals provides unique protective or performance-driving characteristics.
Advanced Coating Polymer
Dynamic fabric products often require coatings that can provide more complex benefits such as antimicrobial properties or metallic or electrically conductive attributes. Today’s advanced coating solutions also include phase change coatings and increasingly smart textiles. Smart fabrics that are more reactive to electrical impulses and electronic commands may soon become an essential facet of fabric coatings.
Applications for Coated Fabrics
Coated fabrics have multiple applications across different industries. Popular applications include:
Advanced coatings are reserved for applications in extreme environments or for products that face frequent wear and tear. These applications include:
Aviation and aerospace materials
Comfort wear and fashion clothing
Military uniforms and other defense-related applications
Tex Tech’s Coating Capabilities
Tex Tech is a textile coating company committed to excellence in high-quality polymer coatings. We can apply a wide variety of coatings to one or both sides of fabrics for a protective, high-performance final product.
Our coatings are created to enhance or provide features such as:
Air holding capabilities
Abrasion and wear and tear resistance
Flame and heat resistance/mitigation
Heightened bonding strength
Various surface enhancements
Our coatings come in solid, aqueous, and solvent-based forms. Methods for applying coatings include:
Adhesive lamination, which coats the substrate with a film
Heat lamination, which applies a film and then heat treats the surface to bond the coating to the substrate
Direct application methods such as knife over air, knife over roll, and knife over table
Immersive dip coatings, wherein the fabric/item is dipped into the coating
Reverse roll coating, in which fabric runs over a roller and the coating transfers from the roller to the fabric
Transfer coating, which moves the coating from a release paper to the substrate
Our industry experts can match your substrate and specified coating attributes with the most appropriate application method for error-proof, high-quality coating. Tex Tech is a leading supplier of coating and lamination services across a broad range of industries.
Developing an understanding of the possibilities surrounding coatings can help engineers to improve the quality of their final products. To learn more about coatings and their applications, please download our Extensive Coating Technologies eBook.
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