Types of High Performance Fiber and Their Properties and Applications

Last Updated on 07/05/2021

Types of High Performance Fiber and Their Properties and Applications

Saddamhusen Jamadar1 & Santosh Pattekari
D.K.T.E’s Textile & Engineering Institute,
Ichalkaranji, India
Email: saddamjamadar75@gmail.com1


Fiber and its properties are very important to the performance of the final textile products. High-performance fibers are derived from their unique molecule and phase structures. Besides high tensile strength and modulus, they may also have very high levels of other properties such as operating temperature, heat resistance, flame retardancy, and chemical resistance. The concept of high performance fiber came into textile industries during 1950-1970’s. High performance fibers have been developed to offer high strength, high modulus, thermal stability at high temperature, chemical and solvent resistance and number of other properties for their own end use application.

Types of High Performance Fibers

1. Carbon fiber

  • Carbon fiber was first developed in 1963 in the Royal Aircraft establishment. U.K
  • Carbon fiber may be defined as a fiber which contains 90% of carbon.
  • It is having high flexural rigidity and torsional rigidity.

Manufacturing Process of Carbon Fiber
Manufactured from precursors like PAN, cellulose fiber, pitch fiber & phenolic fiber.

It mainly includes 4 stages:

Precursor production

Thermal stabilization between 100-4000C

Carbonization between 700-15000C

Graphitization between 1500-30000C

Types of Carbon Fiber

  1. Ultra-high modulus(500GPA)
  2. High modulus (300-500GPA)
  3. Intermediate modulus(300GPA)
  4. Low modulus (<100GPA)
  5. High tenacity

Properties of Carbon Fiber

  1. Dencity: 1.8-1.96g/cc
  2. Tenacity: 22gpd
  3. Elongation: 0.38-1.8%
  4. Modulus: 1500-3000gpd
  5. High fatigue resistance
  6. Good vibration damping
  7. Good electrical conductivity
  8. High resistance to chemical
  9. Loi more than 60%
  10. High brittle
  11. Low impact resistance
  12. Low abrasion resistance
  13. Loop strength 0%

Applications of Carbon Fiber

  • Aerospace
  • Road & marine transport
  • Automobile hood
  • Air craft brakes
  • Nuclear field
  • Textile machinery
  • Medical application

2. Aramid Fiber

  • It is an aromatic nylon Having benzene ring in the molecules
  • DuPont has introduced this aramid fiber in order to develop strong high temp resistance fiber
  • Nomex first aramid fiber introduced in 1960

Commercially Available Fibers

1. DuPont USA

  • Nomex® fiber
  • Kevlar® fiber

2. Teijin co Japan

  • Technora® fiber
  • Teijin conex® fiber
  • Twaran® fiber

3. KEVLAR fiber

  • It is a synthetic fiber of DuPont corporation that was first created in 1965.
  • It contains both aromatic and amide molecular groups.
  • Amide groups form a hydrogen bonds between the polymer chains holding them together like a glue.
  • Aromatic component has radial orientation, which provides an even higher degree of symmetry and strength to internal structure of fibers
  • Spun fibers exhibit a crystalline arrangement with the polymer chains oriented parallel to fiber axis.

Manufacturing Process of Kevlar Fiber:

  1. p-phenylene diamine & terephthaloyl chloride are raw materials.
  2. Undergo low temperature polycondensation reaction.
  3. The polymer is isolated, neutralized, washed & dried.
  4. Then subjected to dry jet wet spinning to obtain Kevlar.
  5. LCP with 90% orientation.

Properties of Kevlar Fiber:

  1. Tenacity: 23gpd
  2. Tg: 300 ºC
  3. Melting point: 540ºC
  4. Low creep
  5. Excellent dimensional stability
  6. High specific strength and modulus
  7. High kinetic energy
  8. Good environment stability in sea water, oil, solvent
  9. Good thermal insulation
  10. Poor abrasion resistance
  11. Poor resistance to UV rays

Applications of Kevlar Fiber

  • Armor system
  • Rubber reinforcement
  • Ropes and cables
  • Composites
  • Bio-medical and Electronic applications
TypeDenierWeave  EPI PPI GSM No. Of plies

High Performance Polyethylene

  • It is a thermo plastic fiber.
  • It has extremely long chains, with molecular weight numbering in the millions, usually between 3.1 and 5.67 million
High performance yarn
Fig: High performance yarn
  • Produced by gel spinning technique
  • UHMWPE is synthesized from monomers of ethylene bonded together to form ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene.
  • UHWMPE molecules tend to have 100,000-250,000 monomers each.

Trade mark ………………. Company

Dyneema ………………………………Toyobo
Spectra ………………………………….Honywell

Structure And Properties:

  • Weak Vander Waals bonds between its molecules.
  • Appearance circular and smooth.
  • Tensile properties 25-35 gpd 10-15 times more than steel
  • Density-0.91g/cc so specific strength is more
  • Breaking length is very high (400 km)
  • Good Kinetic energy absorption.

Ballastic Standards
Light wt. body armor for protection from

1. Common handguns 350 m/s
2. Heavy terrorist threats 850m/s
3. Piercing rifle 900m/s

  • Very high fatigue resistance.
  • High abrasion resistance
  • Biologically inert.
  • Good Cut and puncture resistance.
  • Resistance to light is poor
  • Low LOI
  • No moisture absorbency
  • Tenacity and modulus decrease drastically at high temperature

Applications of High-Performance Fibers:
High performance fiber can be used for innovative diversified high tech applications because of its high strength and temperature stability. Applications of high performance fibers include uses in the aerospace textile, biomedical, civil engineering, construction, protective clothing, geotextiles and electronic areas. The resistance to heat and flame is one of the main properties of interest for determining the working conditions of these fibers.

Applications of high performance fiber
Fig: Applications of high performance fiber

High performance fibers are used for the following reason:

  • Ballistic protection-resistance to impact, high sonic velocity, mechanism of energy absorption
  • Gloves, twines, nets-cut resistance, reduced drag resistance
  • Heavy duty ropes-reduced backlash on breaking, low elongation

Forecast of Carbon Fiber Demand:

Forecast of Carbon Fiber Demand
Fig: Forecast of Carbon Fiber Demand

When compared with the conventional fibers, most of the high performance fibers are expensive but contribute high added value to the final products. In spite of the high production costs, the high-performance fibers are still mainly confined to Europe, America and Japan.

You may also like:

  1. Recent Developments in High Performance Fibers
  2. Application of High Performance Fibres for Special Purposes
  3. Comparison of Normal Fibers and High Performance Fibres
  4. High Performance Polyethylene Fibers – An Overview
  5. Aramid Fibers: Types, Properties, Manufacturing Process and Applications
  6. Kevlar Fiber: Types, Properties, Manufacturing Process and Applications

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