Humidity and car interior manufacturing industry
In the past, the production sector of the automotive industry was especially focused on the exterior of cars, the elegant and attractive design of the body was the main differentiating factor used by manufacturers who wanted to impress potential buyers and the quality of interior components and passenger comfort were reserved only for luxury cars. In recent decades, car users have developed higher standards and specific requirements to improve passenger and driver comfort, so car and light commercial vehicles manufacturers now pay as much attention and importance to interior design, the materials used to produce interior components, and increased comfort not only for luxury cars but for all passenger vehicles.
Humidity is one of the most important factors to consider when talking about the manufacturing of automotive interior components, in this article we will refer in particular to the production of car seats but we are open to suggestions if you have other questions.
Car interior – Manufacture of seat covers.
Most car seats are made of durable materials to withstand long-term use. The most used materials for car seats are polyester, leather and textiles.
Leather – is a hygroscopic material with a porous structure, it contains thousands of microscopic holes through which it absorbs moisture from the air. At too high a level of moisture the leather materials rot and mold, in a dry air environment the leather dries and cracks, both situations lead to material loss, processing difficulties and poorly finished products. Other problems caused by lack of moisture control when talking about leather processing or leather products are: gradual decomposition of the material, discoloration of the material, unpleasant odor, appearance of stains and other visible defects, loss of elasticity of the material, etc. To avoid these inconveniences, it is recommended to always measure the humidity level in the processing and production room and to maintain the relative humidity between 50 – 70% at a uniform temperature of 15 – 20 ° C.
Polyester – Various car brands choose this material car seats covers. Although it is a synthetic fiber, polyester has some hygroscopic properties, it absorbs water from the environment very slowly (which depends on the temperature inside) but dries very quickly. Therefore, this material degrades by hydrolysis at an incorrect level of humidification, its tensile properties being also affected.
Textiles – All natural textiles are hygroscopic. That is, they absorb or release moisture depending on the relative humidity of the surrounding air. This change in moisture content has a direct impact on the properties of textiles, such as fiber strength, elasticity and weight. Textile materials lose moisture during processing which leads to drying, by increasing the humidity immediately after processing, the material regains its elasticity thus improving the quality and performance of materials.
So what is the ideal humidity? Well, this depends on the type of textile and the production process. Natural fibers are much more susceptible to moisture than synthetic ones, in terms of performance. However, synthetic textiles (such as polyester) suffer more with the accumulation of electrostatic charges. When electrostatic charges are installed on conductive surfaces, the environment becomes extremely dangerous not only for materials but also for employees.
Maintaining a relative humidity between 40-60% considerably reduces the risk of electrostatic accumulation thus ensuring the safety of products, materials and the building, while providing the most hygienic working environment for employees.
Condair offers complete humidification solutions using vaporization, evaporation, atomization, hybrid humidification, humidification and evaporative cooling, water treatment systems and dehumidification solutions. If humidity is a problem for your current production lines do not hesitate to contact us, our team of experts is ready to answer any question.