From Handbook of Nonwoven Filter Media

4.2 Polymers

Polymers are used for the fibers in nonwoven webs and for the resins and additives used to bond, coat, and provide other properties to the fiber formed web.

In meltblown, spunbonded, and electrospinning processes the polymer is the fundamental raw material supplied to the process and the forming of filament fibers is an intermediate stage in the forming of the web. Web properties for these processes are determined by the appropriate choice of polymer based on its properties and selection of the process conditions for forming that polymer into a fibrous form.

On the other hand, formation of webs by the air laid, dry laid and wet laid processes begins with a raw material that is already in fiber form. These are shorter nonfilament types of fibers provided by some form of outside supplier. The choice of fiber properties is the guiding criterion in the design of the web.

Organic fibers and resin binders are composed of polymers. Their properties and processability are very much dependent on the chemistry and properties of the polymers from which they were made. A listing of the structures of many of the polymers used for nonwoven materials is tabulated in Table 4.1.

Table 4.1: Structures of polymers used in nonwovens


Type(s) & trade name(s)

Chemical name







  • ? Abaca

  • ? Manila hemp)

  • ? Hemp

  • ? Esparto Grass

  • ? Sisal

  • ? Jute

  • ? Kenaf

  • ? Flax


Repeat unit:anhydro-beta-cellobiose

Products & Services
Specialty Fibers, Fabrics, and Textiles
Specialty fibers, fabrics and textiles are based upon a unique composition, weave, or technology, and are designed for specialized applications.
Natural Fibers and Fabrics
Natural fibers and fabrics consist of bulk fibers, yarns, or woven cloth manufactured from plant materials such as cotton, wool, linen (flax), sisal, jute, hemp, or silk.
Industrial Fabrics
Industrial fabrics consist of woven or non-woven cloth made from natural or synthetic materials.
Synthetic Fibers and Fabrics
Synthetic fibers and synthetic fabrics consist of bulk fibers, yarns, woven cloth or other textile products manufactured from polymer-based materials such as polyamide (nylon), polyester, aramid, or other spun thermoplastics.

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