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Advances in Textiles Technology

Two-layer fabric for inflatable products reduces need for sewing

Two-layer fabric for inflatable products reduces need for sewing

A two-layer fabric designed for the construction of inflatable products is the latest invention from Korea’s Kolon Industries Inc. The construction involves weaving two fabrics simultaneously with provision made for what International Patent WO 2004042128 describes “an attachment area”. With such a material, claims the company from Kachon City, much of the sewing can be eliminated when making the inflatable product. As such, the fabric is suitable for making airbags, particularly side curtains.

Earlier developments had attachment areas that were either 3/3 or 2/2 basket weaves; however, used alone these may leak some of the inflating gas from the bag. In contrast, the invention’s fabrics are based on plain weaves, also leading to appreciable cost-savings in the manufacturing process.

A Jacquard loom weaves the two separate fabrics simultaneously, creating an attachment point at the centre. This attachment area (A, B) has an air leakage of less than 0.8 l.[min.sup.-1].[cm.sup.-1], as measured at 2.5 kPa with an Antares Leak Tester 900 Se. Separated areas are mirror images of each other and at the attachment point (C) there is a plain weave.

Preferably, the two-layer fabric is coated with a synthetic resin (ideally a silicone coating) to improve the air-tightness and strength. The weight of the resin coating will be 40-150 g.[m.sup.-2]; if less than this is used, the inventors note that inflation cannot be maintained for more than 5 s, as required in use.

The twin fabrics (a) are a simple repeat pattern; the plain weave (b) an extension of this.

Emphasis is laid on simplifying manufacturing and so reducing production costs. The main technical objective is to provide a pocket that can be inflated by gas.

Fabrics used in this type of application will normally be 0.5 mm in thickness (as defined by the American standard ASTM D 1777) and have a stiffness of, say, 3.5 kgf (ASTM D 4032). Such fabrics should have a cover factor of more than 1900 to provide the necessary air-tightness, where cover factor is defined as: [warp density (per unit length) x type (warp linear density)] / [weft density (per unit length) x type (weft linear density)].

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For further information, see: International Patent WO 2004/042128, or contact: Kolon Industries Inc, Kolon Tower 1-2, Byulyang-Dong, Kachon City Kyunggi-Do, South Korea. Tel: +82-2-3677-3114. http://www.kolon.co.kr

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