Warp knitting machine builders Karl Mayer build a range of Malimo stitch bonding machines (Fig. 30.4) . Whereas warp and weft knitting construct fabrics from yarns, stitch bonding constructs fabrics from a medium such as a fibrous web using purely mechanical means. It is therefore a highly-productive method of producing textile substrates for industrial end-uses.
Using horizontally-mounted compound needles, the medium can be pierced by the pointed needle heads, so it is ideal for the production of textile composites. It is stitch-bonded either right through the structure or only on one surface in order to stabilise it. Dependent upon the model, additional yarns or fibres may or may
Guide needle 1st guide bar Guide needle 2nd guide bar Knocking-over sinker
Warp yarn guide needle Fig. 30.4 Malimo stitch bonding machine knitting head [Karl Mayer].
not be supplied to the needles. Yarn layers, webs, films or materials such as glass fibres, rockwool, or re-cycled products can be processed
Malimo web processing techniques include Maliwatt, Malivlies, Kunit, and Mul-tiknit. The Malimo machines operate with one or two guide bars and offer parallel weft and multi-axial alternatives. Pile and fleece can be produced on the Malipol (pile yarn feed) and Voltex (pile web feed) machines.
The Karl Mayer Maliwatt stitch-bonding machine is a high-performance machine for plain stitch-bonding of loose or pre-bonded fibrous webs, as well as of substrates of various materials within a wide range of thicknesses and weights per unit area.
The advantage of mechanical bonding is that it occurs in a single process without the use of chemicals. The resultant fabric can be used in a moulded resin laminate for boats, cars and sports equipment.
A special version of the machine for processing fibreglass into a web has now been developed. The fibreglass is fed to a chopper behind the machine. This cuts the glass fibres into pre-determined lengths (25-100mm). The chopped strands are randomly arranged in the form of a mat on a conveyor belt that feeds to the stitch forming area where they are bonded by means of a quilted seam. The mat is used to make reinforced plastic mouldings such as safety helmets and vehicle bodywork.
Working widths range from 2900mm to 6150mm and gauges from E 3.5 to E 22.
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