Comparison between Synthetic Fibers and Regenerated Fibers

Synthetic Fibers and Regenerated Fibers

Introduction:
Any fiber or filament which is manufactured by human efforts is called Man-Made Fiber. Synthetic fibers and regenerated fibers are two types of man-made fibers used extensively in the textile industry. Both are categorized as the subsets of organic fiber. Both of these have unique chemical, physical, thermal and optical properties and characteristics that make them suitable for distinct applications. In this article, we will compare synthetic fibers and regenerated fibers, highlighting their differences and similarities.

What is Synthetic Man-Made Fiber?
If a Man-Made Fiber is synthesized from synthetic polymers based on petroleum or natural gas, this is called Synthetic Man-Made Fiber. Synthetic fibers are also known as artificial fibers. The most common synthetic fibers include polyester, nylon, acrylic, and spandex. They are synthesized through a process called polymerization, in which the raw materials are liquidified and then passed through a spinneret to create continuous filaments.

Synthetic Fibers

What is Regenerated Man-Made Fiber?
Regenerated fibers are synthesized by the regeneration of natural polymeric materials, including wood pulp, cotton waste, and other plant-based materials. It follows a process called regeneration, in which the natural polymers are chemically treated to break it down into a liquid state and passed through a spinneret to create continuous filaments. The most popular types of regenerated fibers include rayon, modal, and lyocell. These fibers can be used to create a wide range of textiles, including clothing, home furnishings, and industrial fabrics.

Regenerated Fibers

Environmental Impact:
One of the major differences between these two types of organic fibers is their environmental impact. Synthetic fibers are made from non-renewable synthetic resources. That’s why the manufacturing process of synthetic fibers requires more energy and increases greenhouse gases. Additionally, many synthetic fibers are not biodegradable, so they can persist in the environment for many years. Regenerated fibers, on the other hand, are manufactured from renewable resources, and their processing consumes less energy and produces fewer greenhouse gases than that of synthetic fibers. Many regenerated fibers are biodegradable too, so they can break down naturally in the environment.

Environmental Impact of man-made fiber

Manufacturing Cost:
Another difference between synthetic fibers and regenerated fibers is their manufacturing cost. Synthetic fibers are generally less expensive to produce than regenerated fibers. This is because the raw materials used to produce synthetic fibers are more available and easy to access, while the raw materials for regenerated fibers are comparatively limited and require more processing. However the long-term cost of pollution and resource depletion can be significant in case of synthetic fibers.

Properties and Characteristics:
In terms of properties and characteristics, synthetic fibers are popular for their durability, strength, and resistance to wear and tear. They are also easy to care for and maintain, and they can be produced in a variety of colors and textures. Regenerated fibers, on the other hand, are known for their softness, breath-ability, and versatility.

Difference between Synthetic Fibers and Regenerated Fibers:
There are some other differences between synthetic fibers and regenerated man-made fibers. Here is a comparison table summarizing the differences between synthetic fibers and regenerated fibers:

S/lBasisSynthetic FiberRegenerated Fiber
01DefinitionIf a Man-Made Fiber is synthesized from synthetic polymers, this is called Synthetic Fiber.If a Man-Made Fiber is synthesized by the regeneration of natural polymers, this is called Regenerated Fiber.
02Raw MaterialsNon-Renewable synthetic chemicals based on petrochemicals.Renewable natural polymers like cellulose, protein etc.
03Production ProcessPolymerizationRegeneration
04Environmental ImpactEnvironmental Impact is high as it requires more energy and increases greenhouse gases.Environmental Impact is low as it consumes less energy and produces fewer greenhouse gases.
05CrystallinityGenerally Synthetic fibers have more crystallinity.Generally regenerated fibers have less crystallinity.
06SynthesisSynthesized from pure raw materials.Modify the natural polymer to impart some properties.
07StrengthHighLow
08DurabilityMore durableComparatively less durable
09ComfortabilityNot comfortable to wear.Comfortable to wear.
10BiodegradabilityLowHigh
11SoftnessLowHigh
12BreathabilityLess breathableMore breathable
13Color and TextureWide rangeLimited range
14Manufacturing CostLowComparatively High
15Ease of CareEasyDifficult
16VersatilityLimitedWide range
17Types & ExampleSynthetic Fibers are divided into six groups-

Polyamide: Nylon, Aramide etc.

Polyester: Dacron, Terylene, Kodel etc.

Polyvinyl derivative: Acrylic, Mod acrylic etc.

Polyolefin: Reevon, Courlene etc.

Polyurethane: Lycra, Spandex etc.

Miscellaneous: Core spun etc.

Regenerated fibers are divided into four groups-

Cellulosic fiber: Viscose Rayon, Cupro, Modal etc.

Cellulosic ester: Acetate, triacetate etc.

Protein-based fiber: Casein, Zeir, Azlon etc.

Miscellaneous: Alginate, Rubber etc.

Conclusion:
Both synthetic fibers and regenerated fibers have their unique properties and characteristics that make them suitable for various applications. Synthetic fibers are durable, strong, and easy to care for, while regenerated fibers are soft, breathable, and environmentally friendly. Ultimately, the choice between synthetic and regenerated fibers depends on the specific needs of the application and the desired environmental impact.

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