Airlaid nonwoven panels for use as structural thermal insulation
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Thermal-bonded airlaid nonwoven webs consisting of fiber glass and polyester bicomponent fibers were manufactured, and then multilayer webs were formed into composite panels using compression molding technique. The consolidation process was optimized and the effect of bulk density on air permeabilites, mechanical properties, and thermal resistance was studied. Increasing binder amount and bulk density improved the flexural and tensile strength. Thermal resistance of the panels were found to be very dependent on the bulk density such that the resistance increased exponentially with an initial increase in density, then leveled off and decreased linearly with further increment in density. Depending on the composition and bulk density, the panels provided thermal resistance between 0.52 and 0.88Km(2)/W, tensile strength between 2 and 7MPa, and flexural strength between 600 and 3500kPa. The findings revealed that airlaid nonwoven panels can be designed to use as structural thermal insulation materials in constructions.