New Montex stenter solution meets BWF's requirements
Monforts has pulled out all the stops in the engineering and commissioning of a special Montex stenter line for Germany's BWF Protec.
Based in Hof, Germany, BWF Protec is involved in so many industrial niche markets its range of needlepunched materials is perhaps the widest available from any single source. As a consequence, a very versatile and unique Montex stenter solution was needed to meet all requirements.
“We are not making commodities of thousands of square metres,” explained BWF Protec Managing Director, Dieter A. Huber, “Our business is small quantities of usually very high performance materials for special niches.” He continued, “We have five product managers who are all specialised textile engineers and follow industrial developments around the world to identify areas where a customised needlefelt solution would be appropriate. Where it is, we can provide it.”
Industries supplied with materials by the company range from the aerospace, automotive and transportation sectors to aluminium, glass and steel plants and on to the furniture, protective clothing, medical equipment and grinding and polishing markets.
BWF Protec nonwovens are manufactured in thicknesses of 1mm to 25mm, in widths of 50 cm to 260 cm and in fabric weights of 100 gsm up to 5,500 gsm.
The staple fibres which are processed include all natural and conventional synthetics, in addition to high value performance fibres such as Conex, Twaron, Pyron, Kermel, Basofil, P84, Kynol, PTFE and Zylon.
The company even manufactures certain products with Bekinox stainless steel fibres.
This is in addition to many special blends, all of which are carded pre-needled and then finish needled prior to reaching the stenter.
“Due to this extremely wide range, an off-the-shelf system was not enough,” Mr Huber explains. “We required an 'all-singing and all-dancing' solution, and A. Monforts Textilmaschinen didn't disappoint with the specially customised machine model they delivered.”
The Montex 6500 8F Twin Air system has eight 3 m chamber compartments and a total length of 53 m.
The gas-powered unit can operate at a maximum temperature of 230°C and the company is running it at speeds of 1 m/min up to 50 m/min. It is also equipped with a heat recovery unit for added efficiency.
“With the stenter we can do one of two things, adding chemical treatments or heat setting,” Mr Huber explained. “In some applications low melt fibres are introduced and once activated can make the nonwoven rock-hard like wood. Such materials obviously have to be cut into sheets immediately because they can't be rolled.”
A special requirement was the reinforced horizontal chain.
“The horizontal chain is very important because when you are producing materials with thicknesses of 25 mm, think about the strength that is required to keep them in place.”
The applications for such extremely heavyweight and often inflexible materials can be surprising. One is on the very tips of chair-legs to ensure there is no scratching to wooden or marble floors.