Development of Natural Fibers Based Nonwovens for Automotive Interior Applications

Last Updated on 16/12/2020

Development of Natural Fibers Based Non Wovens for Automotive Interior Applications

Mrs. M.Jesima1 & Mr. P.Maheswaran2
M.Tech Textile Chemistry1
Assistant Professor2
Dept of Textile Chemistry
SSM College of Engineering
Komarapalayam – 638 183, India
Email: jesimapsg@gmail.com1


The interest in using natural fibers such as different plant fibers and wood fibers as reinforcement in plastics has increased dramatically during recent years. Jute, Banana and Stems of nethil plant fibers are used. This natural fiber offer an environmental friendly solution for manufacturing textile composite parts and components while providing performance better compared to other products.

Nonwoven materials have been manufactured using needle punch, thermal and chemical bonding. Therefore, currently waste recycled materials present good alternative to synthetic material. Automotive interior applications by innovative material in experimental approach becomes a new area. Based on result the natural fiber based non woven is suitable for automotive interior applications.

The interest in using natural fibres such as different plant fibres and wood fibres as reinforcement in plastics has increased. The need for materials having specific characteristics for specific purposes, while at the same time being non-toxic and environmentally friendly, is increasing, due to a lack of resources and increasing environmental pollution. Studies are ongoing to find ways to use ligno cellulosic materials in place of synthetic materials as reinforcing fillers. Thus, research on the development of composites prepared using new fibrous materials is being actively pursued.

When they have to choose between varieties of products, manufacturers consider following criteria: economics, durability, aesthetics, process ability, mould ability, added benefits, which are main driving forces of nonwoven in construction industry worldwide.

Composites are heterogeneous in nature, created by the assembly of two or more components with fillers or reinforcing fibers and a compactable matrix. Composites are one of the most widely used materials because of their adaptability to different situations and the relative ease of combination with other materials to serve specific purposes and exhibit desirable properties. The main aim of the research paper is to give broad outlook about the textile materials used in automotive interior applications. Nonwoven materials are increasingly used for many applications.



Natural Fiber Properties:
Natural fibers are subdivided based on their origins, coming from plants, animals or minerals. All plant fibers are composed of cellulose while animal fibers consist of proteins (hair, silk, and wool). Plant fibers include bast (or stem or soft sclerenchyma) fibers, leaf or hard fibres, seed, fruit, wood, cereal straw, and other grass fibers.

The below mentioned natural fibers are used for non woven preparation:
Textile fiber


Jute is one of the most important natural fibers after cotton in terms of cultivation and usage. It is most commonly grown in Bangladesh, India (mainly West Bengal), China, Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), Pakistan, Nepal, and Bhutan .


  • Jute fibre has some unique physical properties like high tenacity, bulkiness, sound & heat insulation property, low thermal conductivity, antistatic property etc. …
  • •Jute is 100% bio-degradable and thus environment- friendly. …
  • •Jute fibers are always known as strong, coarse, environment friendly, and organic.


Bananas are among the largest herbaceous plants. It is commercially grown in India (Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are the leading banana producing states), japan and Nepal.


  • Appearance of banana fiber is similar to that of bamboo fiber and ramie fiber, but its fineness and spinnability is better than the two.
  • The chemical composition of banana fiber is cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin.
  • • It is highly strong fiber.
  • • It has smaller elongation.


This fiber is soft woody fiber and obtained from stems or stacks of licotyledonous plants. The fiber are most commonly grown in European union, Canada , Australia, India, Bangladesh and China .


  • •The fiber occurring bundle or aggregates.
  • •It is bast fiber and grows easily.
  • •These fiber have higher tensile strength.
  • •The fibers are raw materials not only used for the textile industry but also for modern environmentally friendly.

Worldwide, the needle punching industry enjoys one of the greatest successes of any textile related process. The needle punching industry around the world is a very exciting and diverse trade involving either natural or both natural and synthetic fibers.

Needle punching process:
The needle punch process is illustrated in figure. Needle punched nonwovens are created by mechanically orienting and interlocking the fibers of a spun bonded or carded web.

This mechanical interlocking is achieved with thousands of barbed felting needles repeatedly passing into and out of the web.

Needle punching process
Fig: Needle punching process
The Needle loom:
  • The needle board: The needle board is the base unit into which the needles are inserted and held. The needle board then fits into the needle beam that holds the needle board into place.
  • The feed roll and exit roll. These are typically driven rolls and they facilitate the web motion as it passes through the needle loom.
  • The bed plate and stripper plate. The web passes through two plates, a bed plate on the bottom and a stripper plate on the top.
  • Corresponding holes are located in each plate and it is through these holes the needles pass in and out.
  • The bed plate is the surface the fabric passes over which the web passes through the loom.
  • The needles carry bundles of fiber through the bed plate holes. The stripper plate does what the name implies, it strips the fibers from the needle so the material can advance through the needle loom.
Needle loom
Fig: Needle loom
Needle penetration
Fig: Needle penetration

Nonwoven fabric properties:
The nonwoven market in India has set the annual market growth at 12.5% with product applications from automotive, geotextiles and health/hygienic sectors providing the growth momentum.

Nonwovens have specific characteristics that allow them to deliver High-performance across a wide range of applications.

Specific functions include:
  • Absorbency,
  • Liquid repellency,
  • Resilience,
  • Stretch,
  • Softness,
  • Strength,
  • Flame retardancy,
  • Washability,
  • Cushioning,
  • Filtering,
  • Bacterial barrier and
  • Sterility.

Application of nonwovens in automotives:

The use of nonwovens has increased substantially in recent years. Today more than 40 automotive parts are made with nonwoven fabrics, from trunk liners and carpets to air and fuel filters.

  • Nonwoven fabrics provide several advantages over woven and knit counterparts. Durable nonwoven fabrics have high strength and are resistant to abrasion.
  • More importantly, nonwovens are very cost-effective because they generally weigh less then woven materials.
  • Due to their versatility and numerous benefits they are also widely used in the design and construction of other vehicles and transportation means – aeroplanes, trains, boats, spacecraft and satellites.

Nonwovens for automotive interiors:

  • Nonwoven materials are increasingly being used by manufacturers of automotive interiors all over the world.
  • The main applications for these materials is as the decorative facing for use on the overhead system, on car seating, trunk trim and door panels.

Automotive carpets:
Nonwovens as primary and secondary backings for molded automotive carpets:

  • Excellent moldability
  • High dimensional stability
  • Precise fit

The advantages of using nonwovens:

  • Superior strength and weight
  • Abrasion resistance
  • Thermal protection
  • Flame resistance acoustic insulation
  • Air filtration
  • Easily moulded and retains shape
  • Readily sewn, seamed, coated, dyed and laminated

From this study, it can be suggested that the fibers jute, banana and nethil natural fibers is an alternative choice to replace the synthetic material. The non woven based above natural fiber has the properties and it’s suitable for automotive interior applications. In addition Nonwovens can be engineered very precisely to meet exacting specifications and stringent regulatory requirements for the filtration of air, liquid, bacteria, dust, gas and a myriad of other areas.


  1. Jie Zhang; Hua Zhang; Jianchun Zhang, “Effect of Alkali Treatment on the Quality of Hemp Fiber”., Journal of engineered fibers and fabrics,volume 9, issue 2-2014.
  2. Mustafa Sabri Özen., “Investigation of the Electromagnetic Shielding Effectiveness of Carded and Needle Bonded Nonwoven Fabrics Produced at Different Ratios with Conductive Steel Fibers”, Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics., Volume 10, Issue 1 – 2015.
  3. M.Haghighat Kish and S.Shaikhzadeh Najar.,”Structure and properties of a natural cellulosic hollow fiber”, International Journal Of Engineering., vol.11, no.2, may 1998-101.
  4. K Mayandi1, N Rajini1, P Pitchipoo2, VS Sreenivasan3, J T Winowlin Jappes4 and A Alavudeen1.,“A comparative study on characterisations of Cissus quadrangularis and Phoenix reclinata natural fibres”, Journal of Reinforced Plasticsand Composites0(0)1-12, July 8,2016.
  5. Sangeeta Bansal1, Preeti Sodhi2., “Pineapple Leaf Fibers: ECO Souvenir”, Research J. Humanities and Social Sciences. 5(2): April-June, 2014, 141-147 .
  6. C.Vigneswaran,V.Pavihra,V.Gayathri,K.Mythili.,Banana Fiber Scope And Value Added Product.,Jornal Of Textile And Apparel Technology Management.,Volume 9, Issue 2, Spring 2015.
  7. Jan E.G. van Dam Wageningen University, “The Netherlands., Environmental benefits of natural fibre production and use”, Proceedings of the Symposium on Natural Fibres.
  8. Sakthivel S.1, Ezhil Anban J.J.1, Ramachandran T.2., “Development of Needle- Punched Nonwoven Fabrics from Reclaimed Fibers for Air Filtration Applications”, Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics, Volume 9, Issue 1 – 2014.
  9. M. Sfiligoj Smole, S. Hribernik,K. Stana Kleinschek and T. Kreže., “Plant Fibres for Textile and Technical Applications”,
  10. Mukopadayay, S.K., and Partridge, J.F., Automotive Textiles., 1997, Textile progress, 29(12), 29-34.
  11. Warner S.B., Fibre Science., Prentice Hall, Engle wood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1995.
  12. Broutman L.J., Aggarwal B.D., Analysis and performance of fiber composites, Soc.Plast. Ind., John Wiley and Sons,Newyork ., 1980.
  13. M.C.Y. Niu, Composite Airframe Structures, 2nd ed., Hong Kong Conmilit Press Limited, 2000
  14. R .E. Horton and J.E. McCarty, Damage Tolerance of Composites, Engineered Materials Handbook, Vol 1, Composites, ASM International, 1987
  15. High-Performance Composites Sourcebook 2009, Gardner Publications.

Share this Article!

Leave a Comment