Aramid

From Academic Kids

Aramid fiber (1961) is a fire-resistant and strong synthetic fiber. It is used in aerospace and military applications, for "bullet-proof" body armor fabric, and as an asbestos substitute. The term is a shortened form of "aromatic polyamide".

A well-known type of aramid fiber (a para-aramid) is commonly known by its DuPont trade name, Kevlar.

Contents

Aramid fiber characteristics

  • sensitive to degradation from ultraviolet radiation
  • good resistance to abrasion, organic solvents, and thermal degradation
  • sensitive to moisture and salts
  • nonconductive
  • no melting point
  • low flammability
  • good fabric integrity at elevated temperatures
  • para-aramid fibers such as Kevlar and Twaron, which have a slightly different molecular structure, also provide outstanding strength-to-weight properties, high tenacity and high Young's modulus.

Major industrial uses

Production

The Federal Trade Commission definition for Aramid fiber is "A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is a long-chain synthetic polyamide in which at least 85 percent of the amide linkages are attached directly to two aromatic rings."

Aramid fiber is produced by spinning a solid fiber from a liquid chemical blend. This relies on a co-solvent with an ionic component (calcium chloride) to occupy the hydrogen bonds of the amide groups, and an organic solvent (N-methyl pyrrolinidone) to dissolve the aromatic polymer; prior to DuPont's invention of this process, no practical means of dissolving the polymer was known.

First U.S. Commercial Aramid Fiber Production: 1961, DuPont Company.

Current U.S. Aramid Fiber Producers: INVISTA

See also

nl:Aramide

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