Types of Man-Made Fibers Used in Textiles

Man-Made Fibers

Any fiber or filament which is manufactured by human efforts is called Man-Made Fiber. The chemical, physical, thermal and optical properties of Man-Made Fibers are significantly modified during their manufacturing process. The consumption of Man-Made Fibers in textiles are sharply increasing day by day. Now its market share is above 60% of the total fiber consumption. There are some distinct properties of Man-Made Fibers than those one is synthesized naturally.

Types of Man-Made Fibers:
Man-Made Fibers may be classified indifferent ways. It is broadly categorized into two major classes as follows:

types of man-made fibers
Fig: Types of man-made fibers

A. Organic man-made fiber:
Man-Made Fiber made from organic materials which has hydrocarbon on its main chain, is known as Organic Man-Made Fiber. These fibers are very popular for using at daily products like clothing. Organic Man-Made Fibers may be two types on the basis of their origin of sources, these are-

a) Regenerated Man-Made Fiber: If a Man-Made Fiber is synthesized by the regeneration of natural organic natural polymers, this is called Regenerated Man-Made Fiber. It follows the regeneration process on which the natural polymer is modified and regenerated. Regenerated fiber is divided into four groups-

  1. Cellulosic fiber: Cellulosic Fibers are regenerated from cellulosic materials like wood pulp and particles collected from eucalyptus, beech and pine, as well as bamboo, soy, sugar cane etc. It is also synthesized from Cellulosic short fibers. Cellulosic regenerated fibers are popular for their better uniformity, strength, moisture content and other benefits. Example: Viscose Rayon, Cupro, Modal etc.
  2. Cellulosic ester: Cellulosic esters are regenerated from cellulosic materials like cotton linters during reaction with an acid anhydride which yields a carboxylic acid and a cellulose ester. Example: Acetate, triacetate etc. These fibers are very popular for low cost and fair draping properties. Trade names of some acetate fibers are Acele, Avisco, Celanese, Estron etc.
  3. Protein-based fiber: Protein-based regenerated fibers are manufactured from animal or vegetable proteins. The non-fibrous form of protein is converted into fibrous form through regeneration of polymer chain. Example: Casein, Zeir, Azlon etc.
  4. Miscellaneous: There are some other regenerated fibers as- Alginate, Rubber etc.

b) Synthetic Man-Made Fiber: If a Man-Made Fiber is synthesized from synthetic polymers based on petrochemicals, this is called Synthetic Man-Made Fiber. Synthetic Man-Made Fibers are divided into six groups-

  1. Polyamide: Polyamide refers to the fiber having amide bonds on its main polymer chain. It may be aliphatic, semi-aromatic or aromatic chain polymer. Most popular polyamides are Nylon and Aramid.
  2. Polyester: Chemical name of Polyester is polyethylene terephthalate or simply PET. Polyester is the fiber having ester group in every repeat unit of the polymer chain. It is mostly synthesized from petroleum. Example: Dacron, Terylene, Kodel etc.
  3. Polyvinyl derivative: Two types of Polyvinyl derivatives are very popular for textile fibers as Acrylic and Mod acrylic. Chemical name of Acrylic is Polyacrylonitrile.
  4. Polyolefin: Polyolefin fibers are chemically the aliphatic polymeric hydrocarbons. It is generally composed of ethene, propene or other olefin units in its polymeric chain. These are popular for having high tensile strength, abrasion resistance and chemical resistance. Example: Reevon, Courlene etc.
  5. Polyurethane:  Polyurethane fiber is rubber like elastomeric in nature. It has high elasticity that can be stretched several times of its actual length and can retain quickly and completely with the removal of loads. It is popularly known as Lycra or Spandex.
  6. Miscellaneous: There are some other special and distinct types of synthetic fibers. Example: Core spun etc.

B. Inorganic Man-Made Fiber:
Man-Made Fiber made from inorganic materials which has no hydrocarbon on its main chain, is known as Inorganic Man-Made Fiber. These fibers are specially used for technical and functional textiles. These fibers are often used to reinforce plastics to form composites. Example: Fibers made from glass, metal, carbon or ceramic.

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