All You Need to Know About Aramid Fiber Material
Aramid fiber was the very first organic fiber with a strong enough tensile modulus and tensile strength to be utilized as support in composite materials. On an equivalent weight basis, they outperform steel and glass fibers in terms of mechanical characteristics. Aramid fibers are heat and flame-resistant by design, and they retain these characteristics at high temperatures.
According to the US Federal Trade Commission, the word "aramid" refers to fibers of the aromatic polyamide type in which at least 85% of the amide bonds (—CO—NH—) are connected directly to two aromatic rings. The para/meta orientation of these bonds is utilized to categorize the polymer.
The characteristics of the resulting fibers vary dramatically when the aliphatic carbon backbone is replaced with aromatic groups. The first fiber of this type was DuPont's Nomex, which was introduced in the 1960s. This yarn has a medium tenacity but is nonflammable and is commonly used to make fireproof apparel, electric insulation, and other items.
However, aramid fibers (also known as Kevlar by DuPont) with chains containing p-disubstituted benzene rings arrived just a few years later. These fibers have excellent mechanical characteristics in addition to strong thermal stability. Their extraordinary potential stems primarily from the anisotropy of their superimposed substructures, which include fibrillar, pleated, crystalline, and skin-core structures.
Due to the existence of hydrogen bonding, aramid fibers are polar. This feature improves aramid fibers' wettability and makes them more chemically active than UHMWPE fibers. On the other hand, in the presence of high temperature and humidity, this is also responsible for the hydrolytic breakdown of aramid fibers. The most common characteristics of aramid fibers include:
- High tenacity and high strength-to-weight ratio.
- Abrasion and cutting resistance is strong.
- Organic solvents are resistant to it, but it is susceptible to acids, bases, and chlorine.
- Under normal conditions, it is nonconductive, although it is susceptible to hydrolytic breakdown at high temperatures and humidity.
- At high temperatures, the fabric maintains its integrity.
- UV rays can cause it to degrade.
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