Airlaid process is one way to form a continuous web of fibers using air as medium. Airlaid is a fabric like material which belongs to the nonwoven materials group. Nonwovens are commonly referred as web or sheet where fibers are bonded with each other by chemicals, mechanical or thermal energy. The main raw material used in Airlaid paper is fluff pulp.
There are four ways commonly used in Airlaid to bind the fibers together
Latex/spray bonding (LBAL/SBAL)
Liquid binder, such as latex is sprayed on both sides of the web to bind the fibers together. The excess moisture is then dried and the latex is cured in the drying section.
Thermal bonding (TBAL)
The web is formed using synthetic and organic (fluff pulp) fibers. Thermal energy is applied to the web which makes the synthetic fibers to bind with each other.
Hydrogen bonding (HBAL)
The web is bonded using one of the following methods:
– Moisture (H2O) & high pressure calendering.
– Water needling
Multi bonding (MBAL)
LBAL/SBAL + TBAL
Airlaid paper can be combined with other materials, such as plastic foil to produce surgical sheets for example.