Coated fabrics consist of woven and non-woven cloth with a coating or resin applied to the surface or saturated into the bulk of the material to provide some additional property. Specifications include product type, material type, dimensions, properties, and features. Coated fabrics also differ in terms of applications. Some products are used in aerospace, automotive, chemical processing, electronic, geotextile, filtration, or HVAC applications. Others are used in carpeting, clothing, fuel cells, or home furnishing. Coating fabrics for construction, reinforcement, and cleaning applications are also available.
Product types for coated fabrics include blankets and batts along with various woven, knitted, and non-woven materials. Blankets or batts (batting) are made of thick layers of woven and/or non-woven fabric sheets. Woven products are used for composite tooling and the formation of structures. Knitted products consist of continuous fibers that are processed into a knitted structure with either two or three dimensions. Knitting provides a more conformable structure than weaving, which is valuable for contoured surfaces. Non-woven coated fabrics are textile-based or fiber-based materials that are shaped into mats of randomly-oriented fibers, felt, needlepunched cloth, spun-bound, or melt-blown structures.
Coated fabrics differ in terms of material type. Choices include synthetic and polymer, acetate and triacetate, acrylic and modacrylic, aramid, elastomeric, fluoropolymer, nylon and polyamide, olefin and polyolefin, and polyester. Coated fabrics are also made of polyethylene, rayon, styrene acrylonitrile (SAN), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Some coated fabrics are made of natural fibers such as cotton, wool, hemp, jute, linen (flax) or silk. Others are made of glass, fiberglass, E-glass or S-glass. Products made of rock wool, slag wool, ceramic, boron, carbon or graphite, silica, metallic fibers, and zirconia are also available.
Selecting coated fabrics requires an analysis of dimensional specifications such as fiber denier, overall thickness, overall width or outer diameter (OD), overall length, and fabric weight. Denier is a unit of measure for the linear mass density of fibers. It is defined as the mass in grams (g) per 9000 meters (m). Filament denier is defined as the mass per 9000 m of a single filament of fiber. Total denier is also defined as the mass per 9000 m, but applies to filament agglomerations such as yarn. Overall thickness of coated fabrics is measured with a gage that contains two flat cylinders for a relevant sample area and a spring-loaded mechanism for a consistent, applied pressure. Overall width or outer diameter (OD) is the cut width of a roll of coated fabric or coated textile material.