With over 40 years of accumulated know-how in the sector, Baltex is the leading producer of warp and weft-knitted knitted fabrics for rubber reinforcement in Europe.
These technical textiles are engineered from advanced fibres such as Technora para-aramids, as well as meta-aramids, high tenacity polyesters and polyamides, and are processed into a wide range of hoses, diaphragms and seals used extensively in the aerospace and automotove industries, as well as many other niche applications.
Baltex is a supplier to many key suppliers to the aerospace industry and holds both Airbus and Boeing approvals. It supplies a range of mesh and tricot fabrics for aircraft seal and hose reinforcement and can supply these ranges in customised colours and primed for increased adhesion.
“Our fabrics substantially reinforce aerospace hoses and contribute to their durability,” says Baltex managing director Charles Wood. “As a result, the hoses perform better while remaining resistant to a wide range of temperature variations. We also manufacture a wide range of mesh fabrics that can be knitted from inherently flame retardant yarns. Some of the finishes we can provide for these hoses include water-based priming solutions for improved fabric-to-silicone adhesion, anti-curl treatments and resination for improved processing stability.”
Baltex has also just completed work in the collaborative Plasmatex process, sponsored by the UK’s Midlands Aerospace.
“We pre-treated fabric with plasma to improve its adhesive properties and then used a low concentration priming treatment to assist bonding,” Wood explains. “The project was successful and is now being assessed for commercial use.”
Similar rubber-reinforcement solutions are widely supplied to the automotive industry for the production of hoses, diaphragms and seals and the company is a leading producer of 3D knitted spacer fabrics which provide convincing benefits in vehicle panelling and seating.
“Spacers are used as replacements for foam and neoprene products and in seating applications provide many advantages including compression comfort and airflow,” Wood explains. “Among other benefits they provide enhanced breathability and pressure redistribution.”
Baltex has full testing facilities at the laboratory at its main plant in Ilkeston near Nottingham in the UK and approval to ISO 9000:2001 by Lloyds Register Quality Assurance has been part of the company’s continuing drive to improve both the quality of its products and the level of customer service.