Learn more about Synthetic Fiber
Natural lightweight hybrid composites for aircraft structural applications
Synthetic fibers are made from raw materials such as petroleum, based on chemicals or petrochemicals. These materials are polymerized into a long, linear chemical with different chemical compounds and are used to produce various types of fibers. Synthetic fibers account for about half of all fiber usage, with applications in every field of fiber and textile technology. Many classes of fiber based on synthetic polymers have been evaluated as potentially valuable commercial products, three of them are nylon, polyester, and acrylic, which dominate the market. There are several methods of manufacturing synthetic fibers, but the most common is the melt-spinning process. It involves heating the fiber until it begins to melt, then fiber must be drawn out of the melt with tweezers as quickly as possible. The next step would be to align the molecules in a parallel arrangement. This brings the fibers closer together, and allows them to crystallize and orient. Another method used is heat-setting. Synthetic fibers are more durable than most natural fibers, and will readily pick up different dyes. In addition, many synthetic fibers offer consumer-friendly functions, such as stretching, waterproofing, and stain resistance. Sunlight, moisture, and oils from human skin cause all fibers to break down and wear away. Natural fibers tend to be much more sensitive than synthetic blends. This is mainly because natural products are biodegradable. In general, synthetic fibers are created by extruding fiber-forming materials through spinnerets into air and water, forming a thread. Before synthetic fibers were developed, artificially manufactured fibers were made from polymers obtained from petrochemicals.