Braiding and Technology Applications in Textiles

Have you ever had surgery and wondered what makes up some of the different medical tapes and items doctors use? The process of braiding takes a fabric from its raw form and turns it into a finished, usable product. Companies like Fletcher Industries are able to execute these processes by way of braiding machinery and material expertise. As technology advances, braids are becoming a main product input of choice in aerospace, transportation, and medical fields. Let’s take a look at the process of braiding and its latest methodologies and applications.

A braiding machine uses three or more yarns that intertwine and twist around one another to create a complex structure. Some of these structures include ropes, power cords, and reinforced hoses. Braids are flexible and have a high strength capacity to allow for durability and impact resistance and can be used on designs and applications with varied materials, configurations, and molds.

Braiding machines seem complex with the movement of bobbins – a cone that holds thread, yarn, or wire – but are quite simple, robust, and extremely reliable. It saves on the cost of production time by automating the process with the latest technology. There are a few different types of braiding including:

  • Round braids – have a round cross-section and the products made from round braids include cords, laces, cables, or ropes.
  • Flat Braids – they are flat (also called laces) and can be sewn to other textiles and have a higher load-bearing capacity.

These machines incorporate electronic and automated controls making the creation of a braid both easy and automated. Braiding machines can use different types of fibers making it adaptable for different application requirements. Fabric that is braided with flexible fibers can open and expand to fit over tools and cores, just like a sock molds to your foot. This ability creates the perfect solution for products with changing geometrics like a golf club or prosthetics.

The manufacturing of braiding allows for quick production of biomedical items like flat braids, tapes, and tethers. They are crafted from high strength polymeric filament yarns and are used for medical applications including medical tape for surgeries, catheters, or dental floss. Biomedical fabrics can be braided into a variety of shapes including:

  • Tapes
  • Flat braids
  • Slit tapes
  • Conduits
  • Braid over core

Flat medical tape and tethers can be made in different lengths and widths. This gives the wearer flexibility in choosing the right option based on specific requirements or needs.

Fletcher Industries offers Ratera braiding machinery for the manufacturing of braided rope, cords, over-braid, and medical structures. Braiding production is made more efficient by using machinery that eases the braiding process. It also allows for sustainable practices and cost savings for the customer while automating the entire process. If interested in more information on braiding machinery or the techniques that help make such applications possible, contact us at 910-692-7133 or visit us here.

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