During the meltblown process, plastified polymer is extruded via a die with fine capillars at whose tip filaments are stretched by compressed process hot air and laid-down as a microfibre nonwoven, e. g. on an air-permeable sieve belt.
This technology has been known for over 60 years and is used to manufacture nonwovens with different structures from fine integrated filaments. It represents a very compact manufacturing process, as it enables production of a textile surface product in a single step. Traditional textile manufacturing processes usually require much more process steps (e. g. fibre extraction, cleaning, spinning into yarn, weaving, washing, dyeing, drying). The meltblown system can be extended by unwinding stations in front of and behind the nozzle for the production of single-, two- and multi-layer laminates. A calender can be used to merge the fed materials.
Main application areas for Meltblown-products are water-repellent barrier layers (hygiene, medical technology), filtration (wet, gas, dust, etc.) and volume nonwovens (acoustics, oil absorbers). All these areas of application have grown strongly in recent years and are very likely to continue to do so in the future as they serve social megatrends.