Waves over Fabric : Why they appear and how to reduce them.
Sammanfattning: Almedahls have for some time started to receive more customer complaints about uneven roller blind fabrics or so-called waves over fabric. The waves are a major problem for Almedahls customers since they make it hard to cut the fabric into roller blinds. The company believes that the waves appear due to different process parameters within their finishing line but the company do not yet know how or where. The thesis project strives to find an explanation to what waves over fabric are, why they appear and how they can be reduced. The documentation that Almedahls have made of the problem so far, including photographs and customer complaints reports, was examined. Orders produced from four selected grey-weaves during the last three years was examined and compared to received customer complaints and standard operations lists. No clear relationship was found and weaves with longer process lines did not seem to cause more waves to appear. However, addition of an extra colouring to the standard operations appeared to be more frequently occurring when a standard operations list had been changed.Waves over fabric were at an early stage related to the mechanical properties of the weaves as the weaves are exposed to stresses and strains during the entire production line. In Almedahls’ finishing line the web and the beam tensions and the levelling mechanisms in the stenter frames appeared to be the parameters which especially apply stresses and strains. Tensile tests were performed to examine the mechanical properties of a few of Almedahls grey-weaves and half processed weave. The test results showed that a strain between 11-27 % can be applied before the test samples start to deform while calculations of the amount of strain applied by the stenter frames showed to be much less, between 2.5-3.5 %. The difference in size between the test samples and the weaves must be considered when comparing these results. The small, repeated strains applied by the finishing line may eventually lead to permanent deformation of the weaves and appear as waves. The combination of the web and the beam tensions can also result in a stretch in the bias-direction of the weave which cause deformation in the middle of the weave where waves most often appear.The thermal properties of the same weaves were also tested through DSC, Differential Scanning Calorimetry, tests. The test results showed that the polyester material in the weaves does not melt or deform at the temperatures Almedahls use in their processes. The shrinkage of the grey-weaves during the de-sizing processes was also considered through width measurements. The conclusion was that the structure of the grey-weave influences how much the weave will shrink and the dimension change of the weave may influence the appearance of waves and needs more investigation.
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