In the textile manufacturing industry, both raw materials and finished garments are thermally processed to give specific product qualities necessary for their specific end-use. Raw fabric rolls require processes, such as dying, setting or the application of flame retardant coatings. These processes are performed by feeding the coated fabric continuously through an oven referred to as a Stenter or Tenter oven, in which the coating/material is thermally treated or cured. Similar processes are applied in the manufacture of carpet. Finished garments often need additional coating processes. A key process is ‘wrinkle-free’ coating of finished garments, which are then cured either in batch or conveyorized ovens.
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Thermal processing of fabric, whether in raw roll form or finished garments requires accurate control to ensure that the chemical/coating applied to the surface experiences the correct cure conditions (Time @ Temperature). Oven ambient temperature and surface temperature measurement either across the width of the raw fabric roll or at critical areas of the finished garment are needed throughout the oven. This provides a complete product temperature profile to confirm that the cure schedule is achieved to guarantee coating and fabric performance.
- Confirm that all parts of either fabric or garment experience correct coating cure to guarantee quality and eliminate waste
- Identify hotspots that may cause damage to fabric, particularly delicate materials, such as cotton
- In wrinkle-free processing, control formaldehyde generation during the cross linking reaction
- Control the fabric dimensions (setting) and also color formation to ensure product uniformity