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Hydroentanglement is a bonding process for wet or dry fibrous webs made by either carding, airlaying or wet-laying, the resulting bonded fabric being a nonwoven. It uses fine, high pressure jets of water which penetrate the web, hit the conveyor belt (or "wire" as in papermaking conveyor) and bounce back causing the fibres to entangle.
Hydroentanglement is sometimes known as spunlacing, this term arising because the early nonwovens were entangled on conveyors with a patterned weave which gave the nonwovens a lacy appearance. It can also be regarded as a two-dimensional equivalent of spinning fibres into yarns prior to weaving. The water pressure has a direct bearing on the strength of the web, and very high pressures not only entangle but can also split fibres into micro- and nano-fibres which give the resulting hydroentangled nonwoven a leatherlike or even silky texture. This type of nonwoven can be as strong and tough as woven fabrics made from the same fibres.
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