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Coated or Laminated Textiles – The Swot Analysis

Abstract

The importance of coated or laminated textiles are diversifying the world of materials developing in new generation of textile materials and other items, finding wide range of applications. This requires subsequent review of the development in quality and production processes of coated/laminated textiles contributed towards textile and clothing industry leading to proliferation. In order to estimate this potential for rapid development & sustainability, the importance and SWOT analysis of manufacturing & applications of coated or laminated textiles have been evaluated in this paper.

Research Scopes

Application of coated or laminated textiles are currently in its continuing phase although some of the technology prototypes are still to be developed; the theoretical and scientific studies and research are still going on to produce coated and or laminated textiles with the best quality.

Introduction

Coated or laminated textiles find an important place among technical textiles and coating/laminating is one of the most important technological processes in modern industry. Coating or laminating can be defined as the process of applying a viscous liquid (fluid) or formulated compound on a textile substrate. It also consists of bonding a pre-prepared polymer film or membrane with one or more textile substrates using adhesives, heat or pressure.

SWOT ANALYSIS – WHAT IS IT?

SWOT Analysis is a method which is used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture.This strategic planning method involves specifying the objective of the business or project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieving that objective.

Application of Coated OR LAMINATED Textiles

Coated or laminated textiles applications are now found in many sectors, such as; defense, transportation, healthcare, architecture, space, sports, environmental pollution control, etc. Coated or laminated textiles are produced to form composites such as; automotive body cloth, tires, conveyor belts, hoses, protective clothing, shelters, covers, liquid containers, etc.

 Automotive Body Cloth   

Automotive body cloth is a fabric and foam laminate. A scrim or film is often laminated to the back of the foam for added stability and to decrease foam wear. Seating, headliners, arm rests, door panels, sun visors and other components all utilize body cloth as covering material over the super-structure of the part (figure 1).

Tajul_Islam_clip_image002Figure 1: Automotive Body Cloth

Production of Automotive Body Cloth by Flame coating (FLAME Laminating) Method

The flame laminating process involves passing urethane foam by an open flame causing the surface of the foam to melt or flow, serving as an adhesive.   This molten material bonds to the surface of the fabric. The fabric/foam combination then passes through a nip roll, completing the lamination process (figure 2).When a scrim or film is needed on the back side of the foam, the process can be repeated or a dual-burner flame lamination machine can be used. After lamination, the finished product is collected, stored and shipped in roll form to the customer.

Tajul_Islam_clip_image004Figure 2: Flame Coating (Flame Laminating) Method

Factors affecting properties of coated OR Laminated textiles

The properties of a coated or laminated fabric depend on–
a) The type of polymer used – rubber, polyvinylchloride, polyurethane, etc which are specially formulated with additives and compounded into a paste suitable for laminating or coating.
b) The nature of the textile substrate – cotton, rayon, nylon, polyester, polyester – cotton blends and glass fibers that may be produced in woven, knitted or nonwoven constructions.
c) The coating method employed – spread coating, dip coating, melt coating, lamination.

economic aspectS OF COATED OR LAMINATED TEXTILES

Economic considerations are very much important in selecting a coated or laminated textile for a given application. Unless the cost of it is insignificant in compare to the rest of the system, the least expensive material producing the desired effect will usually be chosen. Economics, however, can not be only factor in the choice, since the final performance of the system may well be of crucial importance.

To make a rational selection, without restoring to a expensive and time consuming approach, the formulator should have knowledge of:

a) The surface and inter-action phenomena that must be controlled.
b) The characteristics of polymer and physical properties of available textile substrate    choices,
c) The relationships between the structural properties of the available polymer and their effects on the pertinent inter-action phenomena.
(d) Any restrictions to the use of available materials, as in, for example, textiles, clothing or transport sector.
(e) Economic constraints of the choice of the raw materials and the product.

SWOT analysis  

Strengths
– Standard quality product
– Simple and easy production process
– Raw materials and utilities are readily
available
– Recyclables
– User friendly design
– Can be supplied in roll form to the
customer
Weaknesses
– Possibility of producing low quality
products
– Volatile compound can be
produced
– High energy consumption
– High production  cost
– High skilled (trained) workers
required
– Storing conditions (inventory)
– In want of finance
Opportunities
– New products can be developed
– Overseas access
– New markets can be created
– High consumption trends
– Research for new specialist applications
– Good profit margins
Threats
– Possibility of  negative publicity
– Environmental protection policy
– Political instability
– Injurious to health
– Social restrictions
– Operators’ safety
 

Conclusion

The SWOT analysis has given a clear picture about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with the manufacturing and applications of coated or laminated textiles which will guide to take necessary steps to overcome the constraints so that high quality products can be produced and supplied in the competitive world market.

References

1.Coated and Laminated Textiles, Fung, Collins and Aikman Automotive Fabrics, UK, Woodhead  Textiles Series No. 23.

2.Coated Textiles, Principles and Applications, A. K. Sen, 2nd Edition.

3.Coating Technologies, Article, Georg Gillessen, Nordson Engineering, Coating Business Unit.

4.Hill, T. & R. Westbrook (1997). “SWOT Analysis: It’s Time for a Product Recall”. LongRange Planning 30 (1): 46–52.

Tajul.pictureMohammad Tajul Islam Mollah

PhD Candidate,College of Textiles

Donghua University, Shanghai, China

E-mail: timollah@yahoo.com, timollah@gmail.com

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