SORBENT CONSTRUCTION 101

Updated: Oct 16, 2019

Sonic bonded? fine fibre? laminated? What do these terms even mean? Are they all the same? In this post, all of your questions about the different material that our sorbent pads & rolls are crafted out of are going to be answered. All of our absorbent pads & rolls are dimpled for faster wicking with the exception of our oil-only eco line.


To start, MEI carries meltblown, polypropylene absorbent pads and rolls. Polypropylene is the absorbent material and meltblown refers to the manufacturing process in which the polypropylene undertakes to be turned into different types of pads & rolls. The polypropylene is melted and then blown into very fine fibres until the desired weight is achieved: Light, medium, or heavy. Which weight you choose depends on the absorbency capacity that you would like to get from your absorbent with heavyweight having the highest absorbency. This process makes up a single layer of compact, polypropylene. The next step determines which title the pad or roll gets: Sonic bonded, fine fibre, or laminated.



SONIC BONDED


Sonic bonded construction involves the simple procedure of running the single layer of fibre through sonic heads. This ties down and bonds a portion of the fibre, limiting the amount of lint found on the sorbent. This process also makes the sorbent somewhat stronger. It should be noted that sonic bonded construction does not make the absorbent lint-free. Sonic bonded pads & rolls are ideal for those wanting a good absorbent that will provide general spill cleanup applications at an affordable price. Our eco line of sonic bonded, oil-only absorbents are non-dimpled and are a great, low-cost option for outdoor and marine applications.


LAMINATED


MEI stocks single-laminated pads & rolls. This construction involves attaching a piece of non-woven material (aka spunbond material) to the top side of the polypropylene fibre. This process drastically decreases the lint percentage on the top part of the pad. It also increases the durability of the pad considerably. In saying this, laminated pads & rolls make excellent mats around work stations or walk-ways. The top, laminated side faces up to endure any foot traffic while the exposed, highly absorbent meltblown-fibre lays flat in order to grip the flooring. Laminated absorbents are also ideal for wiping down machinery & equipment. The lack of lint on the absorbent means that you do not have to worry about lint getting stuck in any important parts of the machine. Double-lamination involves the same procedure as single-lamination with the added step of attaching a second piece of non-woven material to the bottom of the polypropylene fibre. This makes the entire absorbent virtually lint free. Double-laminated absorbents are available upon request.


FINE FIBRE


Fine fibre is regarded by many as the most versatile and best-quality option for absorbents. This construction involves attaching a piece of high quality, fine fibre piece of spunbond material via bonding to each side of the highly absorbent polypropylene core. The fine fibre construction allows the media to be smooth, fast-wicking, and limits the amount of lint on the pad/roll. It also ensures that liquids can easily penetrate through to the polypropylene core; fine fibre pads & rolls have an extremely high absorbency rate and are great for quickly absorbing and recovering liquids. Fine fibre absorbents have less lint then sonic bonded absorbents, but more then laminated absorbents. Because of this middle ground, fine fibre is the best option for those that want a well-rounded absorbent that can tackle almost any application.



After one of three construction methods has been applied, the absorbent is either rolled up or cut into pads before being brought to market.


Be sure to check back for more info posts!

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