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Adhesive and Thermal Lamination for the roofing and construction sectors

Nonwovens Lamination | Andrea Ruggiero, 24 March 2020

The use of nonwoven laminates in the construction and roofing sectors is reliant on housing and construction trends. As such, demand for this area of nonwovens laminates fluctuates.

Regardless, nonwovens play an important role in construction and roofing, primarily acting as a protective layer for houses and other buildings.

Examples of how nonwovens laminates are used in construction include:

  • Insulation
  • House wrap
  • Roofing underlay, membranes, underslating and composites
  • Substrate for floor coverings
  • Pipe wrap
  • Ground and foundation stabilization

Nonwovens are effective in roofing and construction because adhesive and thermal lamination technologies make it possible for nonwovens laminates to keep moisture out and add an insulating layer to help maintain a comfortable environment while keeping heating and cooling costs down.

What Adhesive and Thermal Lamination are and why they matter

Adhesive and thermal lamination technologies are the go-to for nonwovens lamination in the construction and roofing sectors. As a single nonwoven web on its own is not strong enough and doesn’t have the properties required in construction use, but it is necessary to bond together multiple layers to obtain a composite with the desired properties. By adhesive and thermal lamination it is possible to obtain  the highest quality nonwoven laminates at a low cost.

Adhesive Lamination

Adhesive lamination relies on bonding one or more layers of web through the use of hot melt adhesives. The adhesive is generally a polymer that is applied in a single coat or in a spray pattern that ensures good bonding, while maintaining permeability and breathability of the resulting composite. A single coat application is ideal when there is a need to provide a solid barrier, while sprayed adhesive is the best choice when there is a need to control the permeability and other specific characteristics of the composite.

The use of adhesives to create composites for roofing and construction has the benefit of providing flexibility in the composite properties. With the correct materials for each layer and full control over adhesive distribution, it is incredibly easy to vary the adhesion methods to accommodate house wrap, roofing, floor underlay and other types of required barriers.

Thermal Lamination

Thermal lamination make use of the thermoplastic properties of one or more layers of synthetic fibers to bond these layers together through the controlled use of heat. However, when it comes to creating nonwovens laminates for roofing and construction, calendering is the preferred method.

Calendering takes advantage of a combination of heat and intense pressure that is applied through the use of rollers: as the layers are passed through the rollers, the fibers are welded together. This is a process that can be done at high speed and produces thin, lightweight composites that are ideal for roofing and construction.

Advantages of Adhesive and Thermal Lamination 

There are a number of impressive advantages of using nonwovens laminates in the roofing and construction sectors that make it possible to provide the right barriers for specific uses, making the lamination technologies that we’ve talked about indispensable. Advantages include:

  • Incredible durability
  • High UV and temperature resistance
  • High moisture/vapor permeability
  • Lightweight
  • Multi-directional elongation
  • High absorbency of tensile energy
  • Flexibility in the use of materials and bonding techniques to get just the right composite for the job
  • Indefinite life span of the final product
  • Full control over adhesive distribution

Examples of laminate made with Adhesive/Thermal Lamination technology

The uses of nonwoven laminates within the roofing and construction sectors are abundant, in particular as regards laminates made with adhesive and thermal lamination technology.

One example is roofing underlays and membranes. For flat roofs, nonwovens provide a protective waterproof layer that weighs a mere 4% of the average waterproof alternative and has a long life of up to 40 years or more. When it comes to pitched roofs, nonwovens are lighter than the average asphalted cardboard and are more effective, while being more environmentally friendly.

Other than these, there are also some unique applications that show the versatility of nonwoven laminates in construction and roofing. A great example of this is the creation of green roofs and “living” buildings. From the Bosco Verticale buildings in Milan, with their abundance of trees and plants, to the green roofing on the Empire State Building, nonwovens laminates provide bituminous layers that provide drainage and act as a nutrient substrate for the plant life.

Ultimately, adhesive and thermal lamination processes provide the right level of versatility to create a range of nonwovens that can be used throughout the roofing and construction sectors. These proven lamination processes result in high-quality products at reasonable prices, making them a staple in when building any type of structure.

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4 Essential Hacks for Your Lamination Process