Properties and Functions of Felt
Felt has become an important industrial and general purpose material, with a legion of uses, for reasons such as these:
Felt is versatile
Felt can be manufactured to conform to a specific thickness, resilience, shape, absorption or density. It can be bought to almost any consistency of hardness or softness. It can be successfully proofed against moths, flame, water, fungi and corrosion
The sealing property of felt, its ability to prevent oil, greases and gases from escaping, is put to good use, as in washers for industrial equipment and motor parts.
A concomitant of felts sealing ability is its shielding capacity. It excludes materials like dust and abrasive particles from bearings and other sensitive machine parts. It also shields and protects fine objects from bumps and scratches during transport.
Felt lessens and isolates vibration, absorbs shocks and deadens noise. It acts as a cushion under the base of machinery.
Insulation from vibration, noise, heat and cold is one of the standard applications for felt.
Felt’s high capillary nature, long-life, non-fray construction, absorption capacity and resiliency make it excellent for wicks. It stores, filters, circulates or delivers oil, ink and other liquids in a number of outlets which range from marking pen nibs to automobile lubricating wicks.
The wicking and porous qualities of felt combine with its ruggedness and durability in a variety of liquid and vapour filters used by industry.
The sponginess of felt makes it a suitable pad for carrying inks and other solutions, in office equipment for instance. It can also be impregnated for various purposes with natural and synthetic substances like asphalt and resins.
Felt can be strongly cemented and bonded to surfaces of all kinds, is easily laminated with other materials.
A friction material
Felt holds, drags, clutches and breaks, reduces friction against glass, wood and metal. It also rubs and wipes, grinds and polishes, as in metal roller wipes and polishing wheels of all kinds.
Felt does not ravel shred or fray. It can be cut accurately with a clean edge by die, knife or shears. It can be punched, perforated, chiselled, turned or ground.
Resilience and elasticity
Wool fibres are natural springs, and felt materials embody their resilience. Felt does not crumble when placed under a load, and recovers rapidly when the load is removed. A high degree of elasticity is also characteristic of felt, which has a high breaking point.
Felt possesses exceptional qualities of toughness and endurance. Exposure to the atmosphere, moisture, sun, heat and cold hardly affect it. It resists wear, age, deterioration and many acids and chemicals.