Two types of commonly confused nonwoven materials are hydrophobic and hydrophilic. Each has unique characteristics for applications involving water. Taking a look at the Latin roots in these terms provides a clue to understanding them. Common to both terms is root, “hydro” which means “water.” The later portions of these terms are “phobic” which means “fear” and “philic” which means “attraction.”
This type of material resists water penetration with extremely low absorbency and high stability. Hydrophobic nonwovens are used for products that are intended to provide a dry barrier, while withstanding moisture.
Some fibers, such as polyester, naturally have hydrophobic characteristics. In other cases, coatings and treatments can be used to make hydrophobic material from naturally absorbent fiber like cotton. The resin bonding process a variety of fibers to be joined and treated to develop the desired nonwoven characteristics for the application.
Hydrophobic Material Characteristics:
- High strength
Hydrophobic nonwoven applications include: medical products, pharmaceutical supplies, personal hygiene products, facial wipes, diapers, cleaning wipes, and more. Hydrophobic nonwoven material can be made from polyester, rayon, cotton, and blends.
WPT’s specialty, hydrophilic material, attracts and holds water. Hydrophilic materials are used for products that are made for absorption of liquids and moisture, but must retain original strength and form. Using additives such as surfactants, wetting agents, and rewetting agents, a hydrophilic material can be developed from a naturally water repellent material like polyester.
The process of resin bonding enables manufacturers to combine a variety of fibers and treat them to create the desired nonwoven characteristics for the application.
Hydrophilic Material Characteristics:
- High absorption
- High strength
- Air permeable
- Light weight
Hydrophilic nonwoven applications include: medical products, pharmaceutical supplies, personal hygiene products, facial wipes, diapers, cleaning wipes, and more. Hydrophobic nonwoven material can be made from polyester, rayon, cotton, and blends.
WPT Nonwovens offers a wide variety of quality hydrophilic nonwoven fabric.
No matter what size order, we take pride in providing excellent nonwoven fabrics, complete customer support and services, as well as dependable on-time delivery in four to six weeks. Contact us to discuss your project!