Combustible Fibers in the Textile Industry

Spinning. Reeling. Throwing. Carding. Blending. The various methods of textile processing have one thing in common: they produce fiber. As manufacturers treat wool to remove grease, treat silk to remove gum, and blend fibers to produce consumer goods, they are creating impressive finished products, but they are also creating fiber.

When not properly managed, this fiber can pose a hazard to textile industry employees. Cotton fly and other textile fibers can quickly accumulate in work areas. This accumulation of textile fibers creates conditions which could be susceptible to explosive fires. As textile fiber gathers on overhead structures, the combustible fiber stands ready to ignite. The electrostatic flocking process that is often used in textile manufacturing further increases the risk of ignition.

In recent years, the textile industry has seen improvements in mechanical processes, the development of new materials and greater quality control. Between 2006 and 2017, the United States infused the textile trade with nearly $23 billion for new equipment and facilities. The nonwovens segment of the industry has grown to encompass a broad range of high-speed, innovative processes that generate engineered-fiber products.

Yet, despite advances, combustible fiber accumulation remains an issue. Manual housekeeping methods and dust collection systems are employed in many settings, but these reactive measures can’t compete with the combustible fibers produced in textile facilities. What the industry needs is a proactive solution.

How SonicAire Can Help

SonicAire’s industrial fiber control fans use precision fiber-control technology to prevent combustible dust build-up. This proactive approach effectively keeps overhead areas clean and mitigates the risk of combustible fiber events in the textile industry.

The SonicAire Solution

SonicAire proprietary technology combines two methods to control fiber flow.

High-Velocity Airflow

SonicAire fans use high-velocity airflow to keep overhead areas clean. The strength of this airflow effectively prevents the accumulation of combustible fibers on overhead structures in the facility.

Thermal-Current Control

Typical airflow includes upward thermal currents which naturally lift and carry fibers to overhead areas of facilities, where fibers quickly accumulate and can become a fire hazard. SonicAire industrial fiber control fans prevent these upward thermal currents from holding fiber in the air.

Adjust the slider arrows in the middle of the Before/After photos to see the effect of using SonicAire dust control fans in your facility.

Textile Industry Overview

Exporting to more than 200 countries, the textile industry is a key player in the U.S. economy. It’s a global leader as well: The United states ranks #2 in the world for textile-related exports. In 2018, nationwide textile and apparel shipments topped $76 billion, and the industry supply chain employed more than 594,000 workers.

With such a broad base, the textile industry forms the foundation for several other U.S. industries, including retail, fashion and parts of the military. The National Council of Textile Organizations reports that “one textile manufacturing job in this country supports three other jobs.”

Making up this vast industry are multiple categories of textile and nonwoven production lines, which include:

  • • Yarn and Fabric Manufacturers
  • • Cotton Suppliers
  • • Wool Suppliers
  • • Synthetic Fiber Suppliers
  • • Non-Apparel Sewn Products
  • • Apparel
  • • Printers
  • • Finishers
  • • Textile Chemicals
  • • Dyers

Learn More

Contact SonicAire to learn how we can conduct an engineering evaluation of your facility and use our BarrierAire™ technology to mitigate combustible dust, improve safety and reduce downtime/improve efficiency of your operation.

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SonicAire Fans at Work

We’ve been looking for the smartest way to deal with the dangers of combustible lint. We have just finished installing our SonicAire fans, and I just wanted to tell you that we appreciate the fine products you guys are putting out!
– Maintenance Manager, Industrial Laundry Facility
As soon as we started using the SonicAire fan systems, we saw a dramatic difference. I believe SonicAire fans are integral to continuously maintaining OSHA compliance and safety in the most efficient way.
– President, Lumber Company
The product was everything and more than what I thought it was going to be.
– Owner, Laundry Facility
Our board of directors and OSHA consultants were very impressed with how well the fans operate in our facility.
– Process Development Engineer, Recycling Processing Facility
We installed SonicAire fans over our paper machines to prevent dust from accumulating in the first place. Not only do they keep our plant continuously compliant with OSHA regulations, they keep our employees safer.
– Plant Maintenance Process Leader, Paper Company
We installed SonicAire fans throughout our plant because we wanted to find a superior way to deal with the problems of combustible dust. We needed a higher level of continuous clean; I am pleased to report that the fans delivered everything we wanted achieve!
– Recycling Foreman, County Recycling Facility

Put SonicAire to Work for You

With an engineered layout custom-designed for your plant, SonicAire fans will replace high-risk and costly manual cleaning measures, eliminate the need for housekeeping shut-downs and help maintain a clean, safe environment. Use the Learn More form above, at right to request more information or visit our Dust Solutions page to learn more.