Flock is a mixture of asbestos fiber and/or adhesives and resins sprayed on a surface at high/low pressure as insulation or to create esthetic value of a product. Flock coating or flocking is a process of depositing many small fiber particles (called flock) onto a surface. Flocking can also be defined as the application of fine particles to adhesive-coated surfaces. Flock consists of synthetic fibers that look similar to tiny hairs. Flock print feels somewhat velvet and a bit elevated. The length of the fibers can vary in thickness. This co-determines the appearance of the flocked product. Thin fibers produce a soft velvety surface, while thicker fibers produce a more bristle-like surface. Flocking of an article can be performed for the purpose of increasing its value in terms of the tactile sensation, esthetics, color, and appearance. It can also be performed for functional reasons including insulation, slip-or-grip friction, and low reflectivity. The flock coating method reduces reflectivity of surfaces. It is also used to produce light tight spaces, especially in the photography industry.
Flocking can expose workers to small nylon particulates, which can cause a type of interstitial lung disease when inhaled. Other hazardous chemical exposure in the flocking industry can include acrylic adhesives, ammonium ether of potato starch, heat transfer oil, tannic acid, and zeolite.
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Flock Coating Market: Dynamics & Trends
Besides the application of velvety coatings to surfaces and objects, various other flocking techniques can be used in color and product design. They range from screen printing to modern digital printing in order to refine fabrics, clothes, or books by multicolor patterns. Currently, the exploration of the flock phenomenon can be seen in fine arts. Finely cut natural or synthetic fibers are used in most of flocking carried out worldwide. Flocked finish imparts a decorative and/or functional characteristic to the surface. The variety of materials that are applied to numerous surfaces through different flocking methods create a wide range of end products.
The flocking process is used on items ranging from retail consumer goods to products with high technology military applications. In the textile industry, flock is currently in fashion with many apparel designers and decorators. Nowadays, flocking is done by the application of a high voltage electric field. In a flocking machine, the “flock” is given a negative charge while the substrate is earthed. Flock material flies vertically onto the substrate, attaching to the previously applied glue. A number of different substrates can be flocked including textiles, fabric, woven fabric, paper, PVC, sponge, toys, and automotive plastic.
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Flock Coating Market: Segmentation
Based on application, the flock coating market can be divided into automobiles, textiles, leather & upholstery, packaging industry, and others. In terms of technology, the flock coating market can be segregated into ultra-violet cured mask, radiation cured mask, and thermal cured mask. In terms of region, the flock coating market can be classified into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa.
Flock Coating Market: Region-wise Outlook
Globally, the market for flock coating has been expanding. The market has been expanding at a rapid pace in Asia Pacific, especially in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and China. Appreciable growth is also expected in Middle East & Africa owing to the economic development in the region and high demand for electronic products, textiles, automobiles and plastics.
Flock Coating Market: Key Players
Key players operating in the flock coating market include Alpha Coatings, Flock It! Ltd., GP Asbestos, and International Coatings Company.