Jun 24 2019

Non-wovens: materials with a bright future

More flexible, safer, resource-efficient and easy to care for – the requirements for modern materials are oriented to the increased needs of the market, of architects and designers, as well as of society. The latest development from materials research for furniture production and interiors could most recently be seen at interzum in Cologne. Here, one material convinced at various levels simultaneously: fleece.

Material with a future

Innovative materials and developments in materials technology have always influenced mankind. Materials research is making products and functions a reality that will bring about a new generation of products. The industry thus anticipates increasingly innovative materials, which are lighter, thinner, more compact, more flexible or more resistant to wear. One of the materials that fulfils these standards is fleece. Perfect plasticity, the best dimensional stability, a high degree of stability in general and impact resistance are fascinating perspectives for new products of fleece materials and their applications. The material is sound-absorbing, has a warm surface, irrespective of the temperature, is easy to care for and has a pleasant felt feel to the touch. The flame resistance and the low weight are two more properties that both inspire and convince.

In addition to the many mechanical properties, fleece also offers several design advantages. The material can be dyed in any conceivable colour, and even two-colour variants are possible today. The raw material can also be mixed with darker fibres to achieve a mottled look. Due to this design versatility, fleece materials are also becoming increasingly interesting for architects, interior and other designers.

Acoustic solutions for open offices

Open office landscapes are more popular than ever today. Not only tech companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft are for the most part doing away with single offices and replacing them with open plan offices with areas for teamwork, rooms for meetings and seating niches.

Even traditional German corporations like Lufthansa, Adidas and Siemens are experimenting with the concept. But how does one reduce the noise level of spaces sustainably? With partition walls, room dividers and acoustic pictures of fleece materials.

The Viersen-based company Recytex offers the latest developments in the acoustic segment with self-supporting acoustic fleece. Because it is possible to install the material without frames, room dividers, ceiling and wall panels for absorbing noise in the open plan office no longer seem so heavy and bulky.

The surface of the self-supporting acoustic fleece can be printed individually – from the Caribbean beach to mountain landscapes, every employee can give free reign to their imagination. In addition to the diversity of motifs and colours, the fleece material can also be designed with perforated surfaces and 3D texture. The options for architects and interior designers with regard to the open design of workplaces have no limits.

Advantages for the furniture industry

While Recytex mainly relies on the sound-absorbing property of the material, Becker Brakel goes one step further. The company produces form fleece, which is correctly referred to in chemical terms as polyester fibre fleece. It consists of an open fibre structure. The fibres are not interwoven or knotted, but are instead a formation of individual threads. Stability is achieved through a combination of polyester fibres and the special polyester fusion fibres: the fewer the fusion fibres, the softer the formed part feels and the more flexible it is.

To date, form fleece has primarily been used in the automotive industry for the cladding of glove compartments, trunks or the rear shelf. However, the furniture industry is also slowly discovering the possibilities of the material. Thus, with Thonet and Brunner, two German furniture companies already have products with and of form fleece from Becker Brakel in their portfolios. With its "crona felt" collection, Brunner has recently expanded upon the already existing "crona" series with a chair variant with a seat shell of form fleece. Thonet, on the other hand, trusts in a seat shell of form fleece for its armchair 808 that can be additionally upholstered for the desired "lounge effect".

Fleece unites many positive properties. It can be used in a variety of ways, is available in various colours and has a long service life – it is no wonder that the furniture industry appreciates the material.




Rigid acoustic fleece

by Recytex GmbH & Co. KG

Flexible acoustic fleece

by Recytex GmbH & Co. KG

SEATING LINE Nonwovens for furniture

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