Automotive textiles are part of the range of textiles used in vehicles, i.e. it is widely used in the automotive industry, from light vehicles to heavy trucks or heavy vehicles. Automotive textiles are also an integral part of technical textiles and are used extensively in transport vehicles and systems, including automobiles, trains, buses, aircraft and ships. Approximately 50 square yards of textile materials are used in the interiors of ordinary cars for seats, headliners, side panels, carpets, linings, trucks, airbags, etc. The term automobile textile means all type of textile components e.g. fibers, filaments, yarns and the fabric used in automobiles.
The following are some of the automotive textiles that are suitable for processing by laser cutting:
The volume of upholstery varies by region since manufacturers from different regions may prefer different styles of vehicle interiors. Both woven manufacture of automotive upholstery. An average of 5-6 m2 of fabric is used in cars for upholstery. Modern designers are trying to give sporty or elegant look to the car interiors.
The seats should be one of the most important items in a car’s interior. Textiles have become the most widely used seat covering material and are beginning to be used in other areas of the seat, such as seat cushions and seat backs, to replace polyurethane foam and metal springs. Nowadays, polyester is a very popular material for making seats, such as polyester in upholstery, polyester non-woven fabric in seat cover laminate, and polyester non-woven fabric in seat cushions.
Carpet is an important part of the automotive interior. Carpets must withstand temperature extremes. Needle-felt carpets, tufted cut-pile carpets are generally used. Major car producers are using tufted cut-pile carpets in their cars. Carpets usually have a rubberized backing.
4. Air Bags
In recent years, the automotive industry has put special emphasis on cars safety as a result of customer demands and government regulations. One of the most used elements in car safety are the airbags. Airbags prevent drivers and passengers from suffering injuries in car crash accidents. Thanks to the success of the first airbags models, more complex types of them are designed and included in new cars. This has risen the demand of airbags, and the need for car manufacturers to find suppliers capable of delivering good quality airbags, in the required moment. Suppliers are required to be flexible enough to handle the different models of airbags specified for a given car model. Manufacturing an airbag requires different operations, like the cut of the raw material in different shapes that are required to produce such airbags. To ensure accuracy during the cutting process, automated equipment is used, like laser cutting machines.
State-of-the-art laser cutting technology can help manufacturers of automotive interiors and airbags to overcome multiple business challenges. The use of lasers to cut fabrics for the automotive industry has many benefits.
1. Laser cutting airbags
Cutting airbags with a laser cutting machine allows for very efficient R&D and production phases. Any design changes can be implemented on the laser cutting machine in a matter of minutes. Laser cut airbags are consistent in size, shape and pattern. Laser heat enables sealing of the edges.
2. Laser cutting interiors for the automotive industry
Laser cutting of textile interiors for the automotive industry is a very well known process. Compared to conventional cutting processes, the laser cut section is extremely accurate and consistent. In addition to textile fabrics which can be cut very well by laser, common automotive interior materials such as leather, leatherettes, felt and suede can also be cut with efficiency and precision by laser cutting machines. Another unique advantage of laser cutting is the ability to perforate the fabric or leather with a tight array of the holes of the certain pattern and size. It requires to provide a high level of comfort, ventilation and absorption of the car seats.
3. Laser engraving for fabrics and leather in the automotive industry
In addition to laser cutting, laser technology also allows laser engraving of leather and fabric. In some cases, logos or process notes need to be engraved on automotive interior products. Laser engraving of textile, leather, leatherette, felt, EVA foam and velvet produces a very tactile surface, similar to embossing. Especially in the automotive industry, this branding is very popular and can be personalized.
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