Calendering: A process that plays a part in all our lives, yet most of us have no idea what it is. From disposable diapers to dryer sheets, to disinfectant wipes, to rubber tires, to PVC films used on laminate floors, to healthcare protective equipment, and many more - calendering is vital to the production of thousands of products used every day.
Calendering is the process of pressing a continuous web or substrate, such as cloth, rubber, paper, film, nonwoven, composite, wire mesh, etc., between rollers to create specific physical characteristics. These can include controlled thickness, surface finish, and required properties such as structural reliability, liquid absorption, and abrasion resistance.
Alliance Machine and Engraving, LLC manufactures custom calender machines for numerous industries. The calenders employ two or more steel rolls that close under pressure to smooth, compress, and in some cases partially bond a nonwoven, plastic, paper, or another substrate. The rollers may be mirror-smooth, embossed with a pattern, or porous, and are usually heated with hot oil or electric elements. The calender machines can be utilized in an independent converting setting or an integrated production facility. Each designed with a specific application, Alliance calenders currently in use range from 260” wide to less than 12” wide.
When processing certain webs such as fine paper or precision magnetic tapes, a calender will have a stack of rolls through which the web is threaded. This is referred to as a supercalender.
Many nonwoven’s need to be calendered as part of their production or finishing process. The combination of heat and pressure seals and consolidates the random fibers in the web, yielding a sturdy, cost-effective replacement for woven fabrics in applications such as disposables (medical masks, dental bibs, diapers, wipes, dryers sheets), semi-durables (filters, packaging, scouring pads) and durables (automotive, home furnishings, garment bags, geotextiles).
Alliance is currently working with a major supplier of woven fabrics for various markets including healthcare. Many of their materials have a cotton and a synthetic component. The supplier wants to investigate how calendering one such blend could help reduce porosity by partially melting and sealing the surface, therefore making the material better suited for a protective garment barrier application. The supplier sent material samples to Alliance and the samples were run on a test lab calender at various speeds, temperatures, and pressures. The materials have been returned to the supplier to test results. Helping find ways to improve the material used for healthcare gear is an honor for Alliance.
Alliance Machine and Engraving, a member of The Bradbury Group, announces a formal agreement with the Memco® division of Pamarco Global Graphics. Alliance is now the exclusive provider of all marketing, maintenance and production of Memco® brand Metal Embossing Machinery and Roll Sets, Matched Steel Roll Sets and Mill Engraved Products.
“We celebrate the next step in our continued growth by teaming up our engraving expertise at Alliance with the well-known, highly respected and long-standing Memco® brand in metal embossing machinery and matched steel roll sets,” said Alliance’s Vice President of Sales, Brad Foster.
Tom Greenberg, Alliance president and founder commented, “We are pleased to finalize this Agreement. Our customers gain technology benefits from the synergies created by the Alliance-Memco® Agreement and the quality and service Alliance has become known for in the industry.”
Memco® brand components and units can be seamlessly manufactured and serviced from our modern Alliance facility in Ashland, VA, or through The Bradbury Group divisions around the globe. Hardened steel mill masters and engraving stands from Memco® will be transitioned to Alliance over the next 12 months as we ramp up manufacturing. The plan going forward is to retain all Memco® agents in Europe, Central America, South America, Asia and Africa.