Textile coatings are one of many types of chemical coating, and are applied to a material in order to change, enhance or improve its characteristics and properties. Textile coatings offer great versatility, can deliver a range of different results – both functional and aesthetic – and are used across many industries from aerospace and automotive to outdoor wear and geotextiles.
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Firstly, let’s look at chemical coatings in general. A chemical coating is a formulation that can be applied to any material with the aim of enhancing certain properties of or giving new properties to that material. There’s a wide range of materials that this can apply to, such as fabric, steel, glass, and wood. The different types of properties a chemical coating can give include water repellency, flame retardancy, durability, anti-static, and different colours.
Coatings can add real value to textiles by enhancing and extending their performance and aesthetic appeal. Textile coating techniques and technology have advanced and diversified considerably over the last couple of decades as uses of technical textile material have increased. These techniques are increasingly taking into consideration the impact on the environment, and sustainability and efficiency are two important benefits of textile coating.
There are many textile coating techniques for various different chemical coatings, but they are all similar in the fact that they all put a chemical layer on the surface of the given material. The chemical compound being used as well as the coating technique all depends on the end use of the textile.
Textile Coating Techniques
Some textile coating techniques (and there are many more) include:
- Direct coating – the coating chemical is spread on the textile with a fixed knife
- Transfer coating – the coating is spread onto paper which forms a film that is then laminated onto the textile
- Spray coating – exactly as it suggests, the coating is sprayed directly onto the textile. This can be done through compressed air vaporisation, airless pressure spray, and powder resin spray
- Extrusion coating – plasticised coating is passed through a sheeting die and transferred directly onto the textile
- Foamed coating – normally used for knitted or woven fabrics, a foam coating lies on the surface of the textile and is then crushed onto the textile by a roller
Uses of Textile Coatings
Coated textiles are used in many industries and businesses, including:
- Agriculture – including fences, crop covers, bags, and pond lining
- Automotive – here at ReAgent, we manufacture textile coatings for airbags for a market leader in automotive safety. The coating we manufacture is a bespoke chemical blend that ensures all gases remain inside the airbag, keeps the airbag inflated for longer, weighs less, and is water-based
- Clothing – for example on artificial leather, outdoor wear, linings, and waterproofs
- Home furnishings – such as upholstery, carpet and curtain backing, and bedding
- Medical – on plaster, medical gloves, and upholstery
- Protective wear – including aprons, chemical boiler suits, space suits
At ReAgent, we manufacture bespoke textile coatings for specialist formulations and specific viscosities. Check out our textile coatings page for more information, or contact one of our friendly team today.