Traditional woven substrates offer many useful properties, including thermal insulation. Woven fabrics and other specially-designed non-woven “tech textiles” offer superior insulating properties, making them ideal for a wide range of thermal applications.
Non-Woven Fabrics as “Tech Textiles”
Non-woven fabrics, yarns that are fused together using heat, sonic force, or chemical means, are the newest frontier in the textile industry. Glass fiber and basalt fiber in particular are promising in their unique ability to both insulate and protect from heat.
In addition to other useful properties such as resilience, flame retardancy, and strength, these so-called “tech textiles” are poised for explosive growth in industries such as healthcare, construction, and automotive. Non-woven textiles are an over $30 billion U.S. industry with some estimates suggesting as much as 7% growth in the next decade alone.
Thermal Properties of Non-Woven Textiles
Across the board, fiberglass fabrics made using continuous glass fibers have a low coefficient of thermal expansion. They also have very high levels of thermal conductivity which makes them ideal for particularly volatile temperature specifications. Because fiberglass itself cannot burn, it’s becoming increasingly common for use as industrial insulation; Fiberglass retains as much as 50% of its original strength even at over 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
Because they also have highly desirable dielectric properties and low dielectrical constants, tech textiles are useful for electrical insulation as well.
Basalt Fiber as an Insulator
Basalt fiber composites and yarns, relative newcomers to the tech textiles space, are valued for both their thermal and acoustic properties. As a volcanic rock, basalt has long been known for its heat resistance and durability. Because it is derived naturally, it is also more earth-friendly than many other chemically-made textile components.
Not only does basalt fiber insulation provide comparable acoustic and thermal properties to other tech textiles, it allows for smaller thicknesses to be used. Additionally, because of its inherent density, basalt insulation adds a higher level of tensile strength as well as modulus.
B&W Fiberglass is a U.S. manufacturer of tech textiles such as glass fibers, basalt fibers, and fiberglass yarns. Our team of experienced professionals can consult with you on the needs and limitations of your project and help you determine whether a technical textile solution is right for your application.
Contact our team today at 704-434-8005 to find out more.