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Automotive fabrics used out of sight

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Fabrics are hard at work in vehicle interiors, including many essential textiles and composite materials that are used out of sight.

Behind & between

  • Acoustic and thermal insulation uses needle-punched nonwoven composites made with natural fibers (kenaf, jute, waste cotton, flax) in blends, often with PP and PET, for floor covering, door panels, headliners, trunk liners and parcel shelves.

Under the hood

  • Air intake filters Incorporate tri-laminated, synthetic fiber nonwoven fabric mechanically integrated by needle punching and also by thermal-bonding.
  • Battery separators Use nonwovens that are often made with polyolefins, including polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE); polyamide (PA); polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE); polyvinylidine fluoride (PVdF); and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
  • Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) Have improved stability and safety because electrical and mechanical properties are enhanced with nanofibers made with electrospinning technology.
  • Fuel filters Use 100 percent wet-laid cellulose fiber nonwovens, blends of cellulose fiber with polyester or microfiber glass and multi-layer constructions containing cellulose fiber and meltblown glass nonwoven fabrics.
  • Oil filters Made with multi-layer, laminated, synthetic fiber nonwoven fabrics.
  • Power transmission V-belts, fan belts and timing belts use cotton and polyester-cotton blended woven and knitted fabrics, as well as polyester cords.

Holly O’Dell is a freelance writer based in Pine City, Minn.

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