Groz-Beckert KG

Newsletter 3 | 2012

Profit from sustainability –
with felting needles for filter media from Groz-Beckert

What links humanity with a healthy environment more than clean air and pure water? Efforts are being undertaken worldwide by governments and industry to reduce harmful emissions. The astonishingly rapid growth of filter media is proceeding hand in hand with this development. According to estimates, filtration will reach a market volume of between 75 and 100 billion USD by the year 2020. Even today, nonwovens filter media have an international market share of 27 percent. With their variety and their diverse properties, they promise enormous potential for the future. Make the most of it with the ideal felting needle for every application – from Groz-Beckert!

Filter media in focus

In its 3/2010 the Online Newsletter already reported on the topics of filter production and filter technology. The great amount of interest shown at the ITMA ASIA in Shanghai has made it clear that felting needles for filter felts are continuing to capture the attention of the worldwide nonwovens industry. With Groz-Beckert you're optimally equipped for present as well as future requirements, as well as growth within a highly promising future market.

Filter media – an overview

Surface filters – frequently reusable
Depth filters – generally not reusable

Needle felts are used to filter fluids, capture solid matter and purify the air of contaminants. They are processed to produce hoses, pockets, containers and also supplied in roll form.

Segment 1

Segment 2

Segment 3

Air filters

Fluid filters

Gas filtration

Coal-fired power stations
Waste incineration
Respiratory protection

Drinking-water filters
Oil and fuel filters
Waste water filters

Gas turbine filters
Hot gas filtration

How filter media work

Structure of a filter

Ever more stringent demands made on the purity of air emitted to the environment are necessitating particle filtration systems which allow extremely low limiting values to be adhered to (particle size - PM 2.5 or smaller). Examples of these applications include power plants, cement factories, waste incineration plants, the chemical industry, carbon technology etc.

Selection and characteristics of felting needles

For optimum needling results, precise adjustment of the barb geometry to the fiber is extremely important. The thicker the fiber, the deeper the barb has to be.
Groz-Beckert provides felting needles for the most diverse fiber fineness.

Correct selection of the felting needle plays a decisive role here. Where preventing damage to the fibers is a key issue, the needles chosen should have features such as small barbs and a three-dimensional rounded shape (Groz-Beckert standard). When working with high-strength fibers, felting needles with a reduced number of barbs and a reinforced working part cross-section are used.

Tolerances in the 1/1000th mm range and absolutely even production ensure ultra-precise barb measurements - from one needle delivery to the next. This provides the absolute assurance of process reliability and reproduction accuracy for our customers, and consequently a consistently high standard of filter manufacturing quality.

Felting needles for special applications

Felting needle with chrome-plated working part
Felting needle with GEBEDUR® coating
Teardrop-shaped needle for gentle treatment of support fabric
Teardrop-shaped working part cross-sections

Special coatings for long service life

As certain fibers such as glass fibers are highly abrasive, in this case the service life of the felting needle is of central importance. Here, needles are used which have been given a special coating such as partial chrome plating or GEBEDUR® (refer to technical info sheet "GEBEDUR® needles").

Increase in tear strength and stability due to support fabric

To increase the tear strength and improve dimensional stability, backing materials known as support fabrics are often worked into the filtration medium (needled from both sides). Barbs with a minimal or even negative kick-up are designed to ensure the most careful possible treatment of the support fabric.

Teardrop-shaped needle to protect the support fabric

A special working part cross-section is also ideal for taking optimum care of the support fabric. The tear drop-shaped needle has only one edge with barbs and can be placed in a certain location relative to the direction of movement in line with specific type of gentle treatment required (see technical information sheet "The teardrop-shaped working part").

Diversity among filter media

M-Aramid, PTFE, PPS, PI;
© Andrew Webron

In ultra-fine filters, the finished filtration medium on the intake side is made of ultrafine or microfiber layers with a fineness of < 1 dtex. Here, needles should ideally be selected which have barb sizes of ≤ 0.04 mm.

Because of the high degree of chemical resistance and mechanical strength required, a large number of in some cases highly costly technical fibers are used to manufacture needled filter media, such as aramid, glass fiber, P 84, etc.

Different treatment finishes used for filter media

Smoothing by calendering
Microfiber coating
PTFE coating (membrane material)

In order to guarantee that particle deposits are formed on the surface of the filter, which exert a positive effect on the actual filtration (e. g. surface filtration), after needling usually a "smoothing" process is carried out by means of calendering, the application of an ultra-fine fiber layer, or by coating with a material such as PTFE.

The unfiltered advantages

The benefits of needled felts:

  • Cost-efficient manufacture
  • High fiber retention rates
  • Suitable for deformable and non-deformable gel-like particles
  • Defined determination of pore sizes through targeted selection of needle fineness and barb size
  • High elasticity compared to other textile constructs
  • High flexibility in respect of width, thickness, volume, etc.
  • High air permeability, large fiber surface
  • Can be combined with other textile or non-textile surfaces

Groz-Beckert as your partner:

The availability of a wide choice of suitable needles which vary in terms of their barb size, barb shape, working part fineness and working part cross-section allows Groz-Beckert to offer the ideal felting needle for all needled filter media. Improved wear properties due to special coatings ensure a consistent needling result during the manufacturing process. This helps our customers to manufacture with the utmost reproduction accuracy and process reliability and so assume and maintain a leading position in the marketplace.

If you have any questions, the experts from the Nonwovens division will be happy to answer them. Groz-Beckert looks forward to a discussion with you!