Nonwovens reshape the future of the construction market

Release date:

2019-08-12 19:55


Non-woven fabrics are the "eternal star" of the construction market. While you don't usually see them, nonwovens play a huge role in new homes and renovations of older buildings - they can be building cladding, roofing, and in window waterproofing, thermal and acoustic insulation as well as in many areas. Manufacturers of nonwovens and composites are optimistic about the future of nonwovens in the construction market.

According to Nico Del Monaco, European vice president of nonwovens and fiberglass reinforcements at Owens Corning, the nonwoven construction market is growing in all regions, mainly driven by developments in the residential and commercial construction markets and The transition to composite materials in these fields. "Composite materials are reshaping the construction market, and with glass fiber reinforcements and specialty nonwovens, we will turn standard construction materials into high-performance products and systems. We expect this trend to continue."

Owens Corning is developing new solutions to support composite penetration into new markets in the future. “The ongoing shift in the construction market from paper and felt to nonwoven solutions is a prime example,” adds Del Monaco.

Freudenberg focuses on sustainability

Freudenberg Performance Materials, which says they have a 40% market share in the roofing industry, also sees the growing use of nonwovens in construction, and the market continues to develop opportunities to bring more improvements to the end user. multi-value product. The company also believes that composite materials are enabling the construction market to continue to advance. "A new generation of 'composite technologies' is opening up new fields of application to enhance the protection of buildings and bring a higher quality of life to people's living quarters," said Dr. Frank Heislitz, CEO of Freudenberg Performance Materials. " The strong development of 'green' construction provides further impetus to the building materials market. End-users are increasingly demanding sustainable products and there is a clear preference for environmentally friendly alternatives and recycled materials."

In the face of such a market environment, Freudenberg has long been prepared, so it is up to the task. The company's production process begins with the post-consumer recycling of PET bottles, its main raw material. They select it, wash it, and press it into plastic bottle flakes. These plastic bottle flakes are converted into short fibers or directly used in spunbond production to make recycled polyester nonwovens. "Recycling PET bottles means that we can replace the original material with recycled polyester of the same quality, which saves natural resources," explains Heislitz.

Because non-woven fabrics can combine good mechanical strength with high elongation at break, polyester non-woven fabrics are the most commonly used substrates. In Freudenberg's reinforced products from glass fibers, the elasticity of polyester combines with the stability of glass to give nonwovens excellent running properties. Heislitz added: "Therefore, using it on high-temperature and high-speed asphalt production lines, the asphalt membrane will have excellent dimensional stability and long durability."

According to Heislitz, Freudenberg's leading position in the roofing material market benefits from the company's long-term positioning and strong customer relationships, which are based on the company's deep understanding of customers' needs and expectations. Leading technology, high flexibility and a broad product portfolio enable Freudenberg to meet the most stringent requirements of its customers. “While they won’t be visible, once our polyester substrates are embedded in bituminous membranes, they will play a vital role for our customers to achieve their product target performance,” he said.

Freudenberg currently holds positive expectations for the construction market, which is expected to grow further in the medium term. In terms of specific growth areas, the company believes that developing countries have great potential in the field of construction applications of non-woven fabrics.

Owens Corning Continues to Expand

Owens Corning offers fiberglass products ranging from fiberglass to glass mats for residential roofing materials to coated and uncoated specialty nonwovens for residential and commercial buildings, and the company's ongoing research puts them in the Advanced technologies for the manufacture of fiberglass, glass-coated and non-woven felt composites.

According to Del Monaco, Owens Corning's nonwoven fiberglass mats are typically wetlaid, impregnated with a synthetic water-based binder, and the impregnated web is dried and cured in a belt dryer. After passing the inspection, it is cut and wound in a winder.

Owens Corning uses its patented Advantex formula, which is corrosion-resistant and boron-free. Commonly used binders include acrylic, urea-formaldehyde and renewable organic binders.

"Continuing urbanization trends and greater demand for homes are driving demand for composite solutions," Del Monaco said. Our range of organic binders is replacing products that use formaldehyde binders.”

According to the company, composite products offer not only cosmetic benefits, but also exhibit significant performance benefits due to specialty nonwoven solutions that provide flame resistance, mildew and mildew resistance, better sound insulation, impact resistance properties, corrosion resistance, etc.

“Owens Corning products often provide unique functionality,” Del Monaco said. “Replacing paper clothing on exterior gypsum linings with fiberglass nonwovens is a good example. Paper clothing has problems with moisture and mold. , so Owens Corning worked with gypsum manufacturers to develop a special coated fiberglass nonwoven that solves this pain point and improves the overall performance of the system. In addition, our gypsum panels allow buildings to be Normal use during construction.”

Owens Corning has been expanding in recent years. In April 2018, Owens Corning completed the acquisition of China's Guangde Shida Rock Wool Manufacturing Co., Ltd., which mainly produces various types of rock wool products for construction and other special applications. The sales in 2017 were approximately 60 million RMB. In China, rock wool has become one of the main thermal insulation materials due to its specific life protection and fire protection properties.

Julian Francis, President of Owens Corning Thermal Insulation Business Unit, said: "We are optimistic about the company's future business growth potential and market influence in China's mid-temperature construction and high-temperature industrial applications. This successful acquisition further promotes our global three-dimensional business growth potential and market influence. Sustainability strategy for the large thermal insulation market.”

Zhiyuan Wei, Vice President and Managing Director of Asia Pacific of Guangde Shike Co., Ltd., said: "We are very pleased that this acquisition will enable us to further expand the production capacity of rock wool products in China.

Owens Corning has leading building science knowledge and capabilities. In the future, the company will continue to promote the maximum development of rock wool in the Chinese market, create maximum value for customers' growing needs, and always provide them with excellent thermal insulation solutions and Excellent service. "

Owens Corning is committed to investing in and developing the Chinese market. After the acquisition of Guangde Shida, Owens Corning will have seven production bases for thermal insulation products in China, which can provide customers with insulation covering a full temperature range. Thermal insulation materials, including glass wool, extruded foam board, rubber and plastic, foam glass and rock wool. Other Owens Corning investments include a specialty glass fiber nonwovens production facility in North Carolina in 2016 and the acquisition of a glass-based coating production facility in South Carolina in 2017.

Fibertex focuses on roofing materials

Fibertex Nonwovens works closely with several of the largest manufacturers of industrial roofing materials and continues to expand its product range to include solutions that make installation on the job site as easy as possible. One of the unique innovative solutions uses a self-adhesive nonwoven specially designed for flat roof membranes. Fibertex laminates non-woven fabrics to the back of waterproofing membranes for flat roofs, suitable for industrial or commercial buildings. The non-woven fabric protects the waterproofing membrane and acts as a barrier between the roof and the membrane. In addition, the non-woven material imparts better tensile strength and elongation to the film.

In terms of roof lining materials, Fibertex laminates non-woven fabrics with films, which are fastened to roofs and can be used as breathable materials under wall tiles. Fibertex nonwovens are advantageous in this area due to their high tensile strength and tear resistance.

At the same time, Fibertex's Absorex non-woven fabric can be laminated on the back of a single metal plate before forming, which plays the role of anti-condensation. "Fibertex Nonwovens have the perfect balance between softness and high tensile strength,"

Thomas Boudailliez, Business Manager for Architectural Flooring at Fibertex Nonwovens, said, “Our nonwoven products combine the advantages of a lightweight and strong material and are a perfect match for new installation techniques.”

According to Fibertex, the building roofing market has been expanding in recent years and is expected to continue to do so. "The demand for roofing materials that are quicker and easier to install in Europe and the US is driving the growth of this market," Boudailliez said.

DuPont Expands Tyvek Portfolio

Tyvek from DuPont (now merged with Dow) is arguably synonymous with building cladding, which the company invented decades ago, but they are still developing new products , and continuous improvement of the existing product portfolio.

In the roofing sector, the company recently developed Tyvek Protec roofing lining material for the residential construction market. Introduced in 2016, this product features a unique embossed pattern that provides better traction and grip for walking on the roof, while it also features excellent light weight, durability, secondary moisture protection, and a wrinkle-free surface to install Also simpler. Rupa Kibbe, head of DuPont's Performance Building Solutions Roofing business, said: "One of the features of Tyvek Protec products is their flatness in use, which is critical to working efficiently and ensuring that the liner is installed evenly on the roof. "

Among other new product releases, the DuPont Tyvek DrainVent Rainscreen, launched late last year, is designed to provide advanced moisture protection for exterior wall systems. This product is DuPontSafety & Construction's first roll product that creates a 6mm (0.25") void for drainage and breathability for drying after covering.

The Tyvek DrainVent can be installed behind stucco, stone veneer, brick, wood, fiber-reinforced cement and sheet metal, further extending the life of exterior wall cladding by creating gaps that help prevent rot, cracking and peeling problems. This product replaces the intermediate layers required for stucco and stone, while the additional heavy duty filter fabric prevents infiltration of plaster and stucco.

Easy to cut and install, the Tyvek DrainVent lays flat and rolls around corners, helping to prevent improper installation and wrong details. Heavy-duty filter fabric keeps grout out, helps create a flat surface that allows the cover to lay flat, and has a high water vapour transmission rate, making it very breathable. It also provides uniform non-structural support for various cladding layers due to its unique three-dimensional honeycomb texture design and durability.

According to Kibbe, non-woven fabrics can enhance the performance of products with good design. “Just because a product is a non-woven fabric doesn’t mean it has the desired effect or superior performance. DuPont has chosen to combine non-woven technology with textile technology to provide the desired physical properties.”

According to Kibbe, growth in new construction has been slow as macroeconomic factors such as mortgage rates and student loan debt continue to hold back potential first-home buyers. “However, the remodeling market has grown 50 percent since 2010, and as homes continue to age, we will see growth in the re-roofing business. DuPont is capturing this by offering homeowners innovative roofing solutions. growth opportunities."

Texel acupuncture products are a success

Texel Technical Materials has been involved in the building materials industry for nearly five years, and it has achieved success in different market segments, including acoustic flooring, roofing fleece, acoustic ceiling and wall applications. According to Alex Alexis, business unit manager at Texel, the company's sales growth was driven primarily by demand for soundproofing solutions and technologies to replace asphalt roofs.

“Needle-punched nonwovens have proven to be an efficient soundproofing solution,” says Alexis. “Previously, needle-punched materials used behind floors and walls were uncommon, but the market trend now favors the use of needles. thorn technology to achieve aesthetic appearance and sound insulation performance.”

In roofing materials, Texel's needle-punched nonwovens are used to further enhance liquid applications, waterproofing systems and roofing under tile technology, replacing some stitchbonded materials and fiberglass nonwovens. "Needling is cost-effective and provides good elongation properties," he added.

In 2016, Texel was acquired by Lydall, a leader in specialty engineered products and materials, and is now part of Lydall Technical Nonwovens. Lydall is combining the technology and expertise of Texel and Gutsche, a previously acquired German needlepunched nonwovens company.

Gutsche's Audiovel nonwovens have a growing presence in the European and North American markets. At the same time, Texel's new product line Feltkütur will make a big splash in North America. Alexis explained: "This new synergy will provide a stronger global presence and accelerate the development of new sound insulation material technologies."

Feltkütur by Texel is a range of acoustic panels made from a 100% PET blend. These acoustic panels are rigid and are used for ceiling and wall partitions. For the roofing business, Texel has developed a 100% PET fleece for liquid applications, which has strong absorption and capillary action. "We've adapted our production line to make this product," Alexis said.

Texel is optimistic about the development of needle-punched nonwovens in the construction market. "Texel's building materials business has grown rapidly over the past three years," Alexis said. "We want to maintain that growth. Needlepunching is gaining more market share in the roofing market, and we're seeing The government is spending more on infrastructure, which will impact our industry for years to come."

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