What Is A Scrim And What Is It Used For?

by | Jul 29, 2016 | Textiles

Anyone asking the question “What is a scrim?” has probably seen hundreds of different products that use scrims over the course of his or her lifetime. However, unless they are in the manufacturing and processing industry, they simply haven’t taken the time to understand the correct term for the open mesh they see on packing tape, structural backings and other types of products.

Making Scrim

Think of scrim as webbing or an open mesh that is made by different yarns spaced to create a repeating, identical pattern. Some types of scrim are created by a weaving process, which secures each yarn around all other yarns to hold it in place.

With is woven option there are always slight distortions in the weave based on pressure and tension during the weaving process. This is also a process that is more suited to the medium to large types of scrim.

With the nonwoven options, the individual yarns are coated with adhesive material and then placed on top of each other in the desired pattern and density. As there is no “weaving” or interlacing, the nonwoven scrims can be much more compact. There is also no over and under pattern, providing a uniform surface as well as a perfectly straight placement of the horizontal and vertical yarns.

What is a Scrim Made Of?

A nonwoven scrim can be made of a wide variety of different materials. This includes yarns that are made of glass, rayon, polypropylene or polyester. They are typically multifilament types of yarns which add to their strength while also allowing them to be very lightweight.

Different types of binders, or the adhesive used to hold the scrim in place, can include polyvinyl, polyvinyl alcohol and butadiene styrene among others. Heat can also be used in a process known as thermal bonding to create incredibly strong mesh that can be used for backings on heavy items such as asphalt shingles, packing tape and even different types of construction materials.

You may be surprised where you find scrim used. It is often a hidden component, sandwiched between layers to add a lightweight structure or increased strength to a product.

New technology in materials for yarns, binding and processing options continue to add to the value of nonwoven scrim. Perhaps the best answer to “What is a scrim?” is that it is a practical, low-cost reinforcing product that has endless possibilities for all types of structural requirements.

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