Application of automobile textiles: A comprehensive study


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Various applications of automobile textiles.

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Application of automobile textiles: A comprehensive study

  2. 2.  According to the Textile Institute, ‘Textile materials and products manufactured primarily for their technical and performance properties rather than their aesthetic and decorative characteristics.’ are called technical textiles.  Technical textiles that are used in this automotive or transport sector are called “MOBILTECH”.  Mobiltech today covers not only isolation and safety aspect but also focuses on comfort and style. The customers look for aesthetically pleasing interiors, great comfort and fuel economy.
  3. 3. Automobile is the lifeline of present society. Trade, Industry and Commercial activity extremely dependent on this sector. Therefore, it is no exception that tremendous growth and development is taking place in this sector. This automotive sector consumes a lot of textile materials that may be visible or concealed in automobile. The global consumption of textiles used in automobile industry is estimated to be over 4.5 lakh tonnes. Textiles in transport are classified as technical because of the very high performance specifications and special properties required. e.g. seat coverings are not easy to remove for cleaning and are fixed in place in many automobiles and must last the lifetime of the car without ever being washed. In addition, they have to withstand much higher exposure to day light and damaging ultraviolet radiations and must have stringent safety requirements such as flame retardancy.
  4. 4. ABOUT AUTOMOBILE TEXTILES  Automobile segment of Technical Textile products includes applications in automotive and automotive components( Including aircrafts and railways)  The automobile products can be broadly classified into two categories: 1. Visible Components 2. Concealed Components  The visible components include: Seat upholstery, carpets, seat belts, head liners etc.  The concealed components include: Noise Vibration and Harness (NVH) components, tyre cords, liners etc.
  5. 5. The growth of automotive textiles is very good in last decades. There are few driving forces behind the growth of automotive textiles. These forces could be:  Improvement in the standard of living of people resulting in the greater demand for personal vehicles.  A car interior has become more and more important as people are spending more time in cars.  For better fuel economy, the trend is towards lightweight vehicles replacing metal by fibre composites in most of the applications.  More safety devices in the vehicles in the form of air bags and seat belts.  Eco logical reforms for recycling of used cars have increased the amount of textiles in an automobile.  Apart from interiors and safety, textiles have also come up with the solution to engineering problems such as tyre reinforcement, acoustics protection, gas and air filtration.
  6. 6. (SOURCE: DRA REPORT); VOLUME – ‘000 T; VALUE US$ mn
  7. 7. ITEMS Nylon tyre cord Seat belt webbing Air bag Car body covers Seat covers (fabric/Upholstery) Automotive interior (Carpets) Headliners Insulation felts Sunvisors/Sunblinds Helmets Airlines disposable Webbing for aircrafts Aircraft Upholstery TT usage in railway Rs. (Crores) 2,425 22 35 17 868 290 59 494 154 759 5 5 1 2 TOTAL 5,145
  8. 8. Textile Component Percentage Carpets( with car mats) 33 Upholstery 18 Pre-assembled interior components 14 Tyres 12 Safety Belts 8 Airbags 3.7 Others 9.4 Total 100
  9. 9. APPLICATION AREAS & PREREQUISITES OF AUTOMOTIVE TEXTILES Sl. No. Application areas Main performance prerequisites Fibres used 1 Upholstery Abrasion & UV resistance, attractive design & texture Polyester, wool, nylon, acrylic 2. Tyre cords & fabrics Tensile strength, adhesion to rubber, fatigue Polyester, Nylon, HT * resistance rayon, steel & aramid 3. Composite Stiffness, strength, light weight, energy absorbing, thermal stability Glass, carbon, aramid, HT polyester & polyethylene 4. Rubber reinforcement (hoses, belts, air springs) Heat resistance, tensile strength, dimensional stability, adhesion to rubber, chemical resistance HT polyester, aramid 5. Seat belts Tensile strength, abrasion and UV resistance HT polyester 6. Airbags Ability to withstand high temperature inflation gases, durability to storage in compacted state over many years Nylon - 6,6, nylon - 4,6 7. Carpets Light fastness, mould ability Nylon, polyester,
  10. 10. APPLICATION AREAS 1. Car body Covers 10.Sun visors/ Sun blinds 2. Seat Cover Fabric 11.Helmets 3. Nylon Tyre Cord Fabric 12.Space Suits 4. Seat belt webbing 13.Data wear 5. Air bag 14.Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) 6. Interior Carpets 15.Tarpaulins 7. Interior design 16.Spray Guards 8. Headliners 17.Flexible intermediate Bulk containers 9. Insulation felts
  11. 11. ABOUT CAR BODY COVERS  Car body covers are used to cover the car if no cover space for parking (Parking Garage) is available PRODUCT CHARACTERISTICS  The car body cover is a 100% technical textile product based on the raw material used.  The car body covers are made of a variety of fabrics including canvas, HDFE, PVC reinforced cotton material and Nylon.
  12. 12. ABOUT SEAT COVER FABRICS  Woven seat cover is one of the important contributors of technical textile in an automobile  With gradual improvement in vehicle models and increased emphasis on luxury and comfort, the seat cover market has witnessed uptrend in the market.  Seat covers are made from cotton, vinyl, velvet and leather. PRODUCT CHARACTERISTICS  The fabric used for the manufacturing of seat covers is woven on looms.
  13. 13. RAW MATERIALS AND MACHINERY  Seat covers are made from cotton, vinyl, velvet and leather.  The cotton or synthetic yarn is woven on power looms to produce fabric which is further stentered on stentering machine to smoothen out the fabric (remove bumps).  The fabric is further laminated to provide desired protection characteristics.  The fabric is further finished as per the desired specifications of automobile Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)
  14. 14.  All passenger cars have company fitted carpets  The carpets are laid in the cabin and parcel shelf at the back  The carpets are primarily non-woven textile material  The usage of carpets varies based on the interior designs which vary across car models.
  15. 15. PRODUCT CHARACTERISTICS  The automotive interior carpets are non-woven technical textiles, made primarily from polypropylene fibres.  The carpet is laid on the vehicle floor above which rubber mats are placed.  The desired characteristics of automobile interior carpets typically are as given below: 1. High durability 2. High abrasion resistance 3. Tensile strength-Warp around 50 KGF and Weft around 45 KGF 4. Low in-flammability 5. Good compression recovery  The fabric is around 500 GSM with a thickness of about 3mm.
  16. 16. The color, texture and overall appearance of the car interior, especially the seat, has become extremely important in attracting a potential buyer’s attention. There is only one opportunity to make a first impression. The textile designer must be able to produce innovative interior appearances which reflect or even set current fashion trends, social and economic moods and customer lifestyles Flat woven fabrics account for about half of car seat fabric in Europe but only about a quarter in the USA and Japan. Woven velour’s are the most important type in the USA, and tricot knit the most important in Japan. Circular knits are increasing in Europe, and woven velour’s increasing further in the USA. Worldwide, designs are becoming more sophisticated with increased use of more colors and Jacquard-type designs. In Japan printing on to tricot knit has been attributed to a need for a more economical alternative to Jacquard equipment, which is in short supply in Japan.
  17. 17.  The nylon tyre cord is prepared from high tenacity continuous filament yarn by twisting and plying.  There are two main types of nylons used as tyre cords, they are1. Nylon-6 2. Nylon-6,6  The characteristics of nylon-6 and nylon-6,6 differ slightly and are controlled by the manufacturing process, types of stabilizers and additives used.  Nylon tyre cord fabric provides strength to a tyre.  The tyre industry consumes nearly 98% of the total nylon tyre consumption.  The nylon tyre cord fabric is 100% technical Textile.  Nylon tyre cord fabric gradually replaced the usage of rayon and polyester cords in the tyre industry.
  18. 18. PRODUCT CHARACTERISTICS  Nylon 6 grey are dipped tyre cord fabrics having 1. High strength 2. Fatigue resistance 3. Impact resistance 4. High adhesion  The tyre cords are generally available with the fabric characteristics of 930 dtex, 1400 dtex, 1870 dtex, 2100 dtex.  The crirical specifications drive the characteristics such as breaking strength, elongation, adhesion, ply twists and hot air shrinkage.
  19. 19. PROCESS FLOWCHART Polymerization of caprolactam to manufacture nylon chips Extraction and drying of chips Melt spinning of chips to manufacture nylon tyre yarn Preparation of cord from tyre yarn by twisting and plying Recycling of nylon-6 waste
  20. 20.  Seat belts function as a safety harnesses which secure the passengers in a vehicle against harmful movements during collision or similar incidents.  Seat belts minimize injuries during accidents.  Seat belts are woven narrow fabric made from nylon filament yarns or high tensile polyester filament yarn.  The load specification is an important criterion for usage vehicles.
  21. 21.  In Bangladesh all 4 wheelers drivers and passengers must use seat belts.  At nearby, the seat belts, which are used in the cars are called three point which has single continuous length of webbing. They are called three point for the reason that these belts help spread out energy of the moving body in a accident over the chest, pelvis and shoulder.  Seat belts are classified as: 1. Static Belts 2. ELR (Emergency Locking Retractor) belts.
  22. 22. PRODUCT CHARACTERISTICS  The seat belts are made from nylon filament yarn or polyester filament yarn which is woven to produce the webbing pattern.  The linear density of man made yarns must be stuck between 100 dtex and 3000 dtex, preferably 550-1800 dtex.  The filament linear density should be between 5 dtex and 30 dtex, preferably 8-20 dtex.  A typical seat belt is made of 320 ends of 1100 dtex polyester each.  The majority weft yarns prepared from polyester are 550 dtex.  The critical characteristics of the webbing are: 1. Abrasion resistance 2. Resistance to light and heat 3. Capable of being removed and put back in place easily and good retraction behavior. 4. The load bearing capacity of seat belts is 1500 KGs.
  23. 23. WHAT IS AIR BAG? An air is an elastic bag cushion like make up which inflates and deflates quickly in some stages in certain types of car accidents. It is a safety device aimed at preventing or minimizing injury to passenger when such an accident occurred. Air bags have been efficient to put a stop to severe head and chest injured in adults when auto mobile accident have occurred . Air bag can located in both the front and rear vehicles. Front air bags : the air bag component for the driver side is situated in the centre of the steering wheel, where as the passenger side component (if required ) can be found in the dash board above the glove box. Side airbags : there are three different types of side air bag systems currently available : 1. Roof-mounted side air bags designed to protect the head and neck. 2. Door-mounted side airbags designed to protect the chest 3. Seat-mounted airbags designed to protect the chest & head.
  24. 24. PRODUCTION CHARACTERISTICS 1. The air bag are made in following manner 2. The yarn or fabric primarily nylon 66 , lighter denier , lower dpf and silicon coated. 3. Approximately 1.8 square meter of fabric is used per air bag module 4. Nylon 66 is used as a key raw material.
  25. 25. WORKING PROCEDURE OF AIRBAG Airbags inflate, or deploy, quickly -- faster than the blink of an eye. Imagine taking one second and splitting it into one thousand parts. In the first 15 to 20 milliseconds, air bag sensors detect the crash and then send an electrical signal to fire the airbags. Typically a squib, which is a small explosive device, ignites a propellant, usually sodium azide. The azide burns with tremendous speed, generating nitrogen, which inflates the airbags. Within 45 to 55 milliseconds the airbag is supposed to be fully inflated. Within 75 to 80 milliseconds, the airbag is deflated and the event is over.
  26. 26. WORKING PROCEDURE OF AIRBAG Airbags may save lives and guard against severe injuries in high speed collisions, if designed properly. However, the speed with which airbags inflate generates tremendous forces. Passengers in the way of an improperly designed airbag can be killed or significantly injured. Unnecessary injuries also occur when airbags inflate in relatively minor crashes when they're not needed In the past, the air bags were coated by Neoprene. Generally, coated air bags are preferred for driver’s seat and uncoated air bags for side seats. Recently, silicon coated and uncoated air bags have become very popular due to advantages such as extended service life, adaptation to heavy duty vehicles, reduced module size, cost reduction, improved recyclability
  27. 27. THE COMPONENT OF AIR BAGS Air bags production involves three different separate assemblies that combine to form the finished end product, the air bag module. Air bag module assemblies are: 1. Propellant: It is consist of sodium azide combined jointly by means of an oxidizer, a stuff that facilities the sodium azide to burn up when ignite. 2. Inflator assembly: The inflator machinery, such as the metal container, the filter assemblage-stainless steel wire net with ceramic substance in the initiator are receive from outside dealer and examined. The machinery is after that brings together on an extremely automated manufacturing line. 3. Air Bag: The woven nylon air bag fabric is purchased from external dealers and examined for any material flaw. The air bag fabric is afterward die cut to the appropriate form and sewn, internally and externally, to appropriately join the two sides. Once the air bag is stitched, it is inflated and checked for any seam defects.
  28. 28. 4. Final assembly of air bag module: The air bag assemblage is then mounted to the tested inflator assembly. After that, the air bag is fold up and the breakaway plastic horn and protection cover up is installed. Lastly, the completed element assemblage is examined and tasted. 5. Other components: The left over parts of the air bag system – the collide sensors and diagnostic monitor unit, the steering wheel linking coil and the display lamp-are joint with the air bag at some point in vehicle assembly. All the parts are joinedand communicate throughout a wiring harness.
  29. 29. ABOUT HEADLINERS Headliners are used in passenger cars and multi/sports utility vehicles as non-woven light weight roofing material. The cars were earlier fitted with knitted/woven fabric with hard cardboard type of backing. The trend has changed and increasingly non-woven headliners are being used in vehicles.
  30. 30. PRODUCT CHARACTERISTICS A headliner is a compound stuff that is ingredient of a face fabric with non-woven or foam back up that is stick on to the in the interior roof of automobiles. The majority headliners made of a tricot knit fabric that is knapped to offer a flexible feel and uniform look. The cloth is held fast with melted polyurethane foam. The fabric-foam structure is adhered to the inside fiberglass covering of the automobile. Headliners non-woven cloths has GSM varies from 185 – 220 GSM. The desired characteristics of headliners are good sound damping properties and good aesthetics. The manufacturing process and material used varies across manufacturer and as per OEM specifications.
  31. 31. RAW MATERIALS AND MACHINERY Usually the headliners are non-woven technical textiles prepared by polyester staple fiber (PSF) polypropylene or polyurethane core sprayed among two reinforced sheet. Needle loom is the main machinery for manufacturing headliners non-wovens.
  32. 32. ABOUT INSULATION FELTS • Insulation felts often known as NVH products (Noise, vibration and harshness parts) are used as for acoustic and thermal insulation in the automobiles. • These are bonnet liners, outer dash, wheelhouse and outer floor under the shield. These parts are not only provides noise protection inside the car but also reduction in the noise emission outside. • Uses of NVH parts in automobiles started after introduction of EURO norms in the sector.
  33. 33. PRODUCT CHARACTERISTICS • The NVH products or insulation felts 100% polyester non woven technical textile products. • These products are classified based on the manufacturing process needle punched, phenolic resin bonded and thermoplastic. • The felts are generally soft and used with or without harder backing. • The thermal insulation products provides dissipation of heats at high temperature areas in the engine and under car body. • The NVH products combine noise and heat protection function into the integrated comfort system.
  34. 34. RAW MATERIALS AND MACHINERIES  The manufacturing process for NVH products is based on the raw materials used.  The two broad manufacturing processes are 1.For Non Polyurethane based (Non – PU) and 2. Polyurethane based NVH products.  The machinery used for manufacturing NVH components detail are as given below: 1.Opening and Blending machine-(Key supplier-Reisky and Schlese) 2.Needle Loom –(Key supplier- Dilo (Germany)) 3.Foaming and Moulding machine 4. Lamination machine 5. Resin felt manufacturing machine 6. Thermo-bond interlining manufacturing machne.
  35. 35. ABOUT SUN VISORS/ SUN BLINDS The sun visors are located in the interiors of a four wheeler just above the windshield. The sun visors are used to block the light from the sun from entering through the windshield. The blinds can also be turned to the front side window to reduce lateral sun exposure. There are two sun visors in a car, 1. One for driver and 2. The other for co- passenger However, the high end car models have up to four sun visors.
  36. 36. PRODUCT CHARACTERISTICS Sun visor needs to effectively reduce the sun obstruction to the driver and passenger. Nowadays, a small mirror is also fitted on one of the two sun visors(on one side) The blinds are primarily made of three parts 1. The synthetic backbone made of polypropylene or kenaf fibres, 2. Scrim – coarse woven reinforcement fabric and 3. Upholstery – typically artificial leather RAW MATERIALS The fibres of polypropylene, kenaf and polyethylene tetra fluoride or blend of these used for formation of the core. The core is further reinforced with scrim and then the unit is upholstered to for the sun visor unit
  37. 37. ABOUT HELMETS  Helmets are used as protective headgear for two wheelers.  The usual motorcycle helmet has an internal layer of polystyrene or polypropylene foam and an external layer made of plastic, glass, and other man made fibres.  The principal function of a helmet is to absorb the shock of a crash and thus put a stop to major injury to the brain, rather than preventing head and face crack.  The external casing put off pointed substance from piercing the head and also saves from harming the inner liner upon contact with the road.
  38. 38. PRODUCT CHARACTERISTICS The two types of helmets available are: 1. Full face helmet 2. Open face helmet The critical characteristics of the helmets are – protection of head, clear vision through the visor, quick release chin strap and appropriate ventilation(in case of full face helmets). The outer shell is made from Acrylotrille-Butadiene-Styrene(ABS) or polypropylene or glass fibre plastic which is hard in nature. The inner side of the shell is expected to provide cushion to the rider and is made from regulated density concussion padding.
  39. 39.  The earliest developed Apollo spacesuits contained an inner layer of nylon fabric with network of thin walled plastic tubing, which circulated cooling water around the astronaut to prevent over headings.  This inner layer is comfort layer of lightweight nylon with fabric ventilation ducts, than a three layer, system formed the pressure garment.  Net followed five layers of aluminized Mylar for heat protection mixed with four spacing layers of Dacron. These were covered with a non - flammable and abrasion protective layer of Teflon - coated beta cloth.  The outer layer was Teflon communication cloth. The backpack unit contained a life support system providing oxygen, waters and radio communications.
  40. 40.  Data wear incorporates sensors at each of the body joints plotting the position on a graph, which is calculated on a computer. The sensors are made from conductive elastane.  Data wear clothes consists a bunch of magnetic position sensors, the TCAS system measures the angle of each of the joints to determine absolute position of each of the limbs. It has been designed for comfort and ease.  The sensors can be places to specification for individual applications.  The Data-wear body unit consists of jacket, trousers and gloves that are circuited or wired electronically for interaction with computer.  The application of Data-wear is to track position of limbs in computer data, medical imaging, measurement, ergonomics, biomechanics, robotics and animation.  The whole body can be monitored by Data-wear, which has a particular relevance in fields of sports injuries and biomechanics.
  41. 41.  More use of textiles is now being made in HGV interiors, which are becoming more comfortable with livelier coloring, rounder shapes and surfaces.  Composite materials are being used to replace bulky space dividers and doors to create more cab storage space.  Seating fabric requirements are similar to automobiles except heavier fabrics about 430 GSM using yarn up to 3000 dtex are sometimes used and performance requirements of the flame retardant test are generally higher.
  42. 42.  Heavy Goods Vehicles are a major user of tarpaulins, which are made of PVC plastically, coated nylon and polyester, usually plain woven from high tenacity yarns.  Tarpaulins must have resistance to cold cracking, reduced flammability, coating adhesion, water proofness and high tear and tensile strengths.  These must be dimensionally stable over a wide range of temperatures and relative humilities and be resistant to common chemicals, oils and engine fuels.  Tarpaulins are secured with high tenacity polyester narrow fabrics which must also be tested carefully for strength and UV resistance
  43. 43.  A European community directive requires Heavy Goods Vehicles to be fitted with guards to reduce road spray.  Suitable products have been produced from polyester monofilament yarn knitted in a spacer fabric construction about 12mm thick.  Textile guards are substantially lighter than ones produced in plastic and about six guards are required for the average Heavy Goods Vehicles.
  44. 44.  Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers are used for transporting materials such as powders.  These are woven with polypropylene tape yarns with a specially formulated coating.  Because of the danger of static explosions when being filled or emptied, they need to be carefully earthed with metal wire in the fabric.  It has been possible to replace the wire with ‘Negastat’, Dupont’s antistatic yarn that functions without the need to earth.
  45. 45.  The application of automotive textiles are increasing day be day.  For light weight body, interior design and different functional purpose textiles are extensively used.  To save the automobiles form rough weather and to protect the passengers from any accidents technical textiles are widely used.  Apart from these, different functional parts are made from textiles to enhance the functionality of the automobiles.  In rail, waterway vessels, aircrafts the technical textiles are used.  Ropes, sails, seating etc. are some example of textiles used for waterway vessels.  Different parts of surfing boards, aircrafts etc. are made with textiles composites to reduce the weight.
  46. 46. Textile materials are used in automobiles for interior trim and for ensuring comfort (e.g. seat covers, carpets, roof liners, and door liners) as well as for reinforcement (e.g. tyre) and filters. Textiles also offer weight reduction which in turn results in fuel economy. The technical textile market is respective to innovative new products. There is opportunity and need for functional, cost-effective materials. However, the market is fragmented and complex. Development and lead times are often long and expensive. The market is quite small but exhibits moderately strong growth and produces are generally of high unit values. Due to increasing health and safety issues at work, this may be an increasingly attractive segment. Good products are needed and they must work well. It is a market that offers opportunity, but also one that demands that much development and testing be done prior to adopting new products. There may be long lead times much resistance to things new products to market. The truth is we cannot afford not to have the ideas and products.