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Polymer Fibers. Polymer Processing Shaping Polymers Extrusion Molding Fibers Coatings.

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Presentation on theme: "Polymer Fibers. Polymer Processing Shaping Polymers Extrusion Molding Fibers Coatings."— Presentation transcript:

1 Polymer Fibers

2 Polymer Processing Shaping Polymers Extrusion Molding Fibers Coatings


4 Product Shaping / Secondary Operations EXTRUSION Shaping through die Final Product (pipe, profile) Preform for other molding processes  Blow molding (bottles),  Thermoforming (appliance liners)  Compression molding (seals) Secondary operation  Fiber spinning (fibers)  Cast film (overhead transparencies,  Blown film (grocery bags)

5 Fibers A Fiber is a long, thin thing! –Aspect ratio >100 –At diameters > 75 , the fiber is a rod Long means: –> 1 kilometer At a density of 1.4 and a denier of 5, 1 kilometer weighs less than 5 grams –> 1 kilogram 1.5 kilograms at 5 dpf is 20,000 miles Few commercial fibers are produced at a scale of less than 500 tons –The length at 5 dpf is ~.01 lightyear Typical melt spinning speeds are in excess of 100 miles/hour –To be viable, polymer to fiber conversions must be ~ 90% Minimum property CVs are < 10% Real fibers are hard to make!!

6 MACROSCALE vs MICROSCALE Griffith’s experiments with glass fibers (1921) FIBER DIAMETER (micron) Strength of bulk glass: 170 MPa Extrapolates to 11 GPa TENSILE STRENGTH (GPa)

7 Griffith’s equation for the strength of materials a = length of defect  = surface energy Thus, going from the macroscale to the atomic scale (via the nanoscale), defects progressively become smaller and/or are eliminated, which is why the strength increases (see equation). Note that the Griffith model predicts that defects have no effect on the modulus, only on strength But note: the model also predicts that defects of zero length lead to infinitely strong materials, an obvious impossibility!

8 Fibers 1000 X longer than diameter Often uniaxial strength Kevlar-strongest organic fiber Melt spinning technology can be applied to polyamide (Nylon), polyesters, polyurethanes and polyolefins such as PP and HDPE. The drawing and cooling processes determine the morphology and mechanical properties of the final fiber. For example ultra high molecular weight HDPE fibers with high degrees of orientation in the axial direction have extremely high stiffness !! Of major concern during fiber spinning are the instabilities that arise during drawing, such as brittle fracture and draw resonance. Draw resonance manifests itself as periodic fluctuations that result in diameter oscillation.

9 TABLE 4.2. Fiber Properties a Fiber Type Natural Cotton Wool Synthetic Polyester Nylon Aromatic polyamide (aramid) c Polybenzimidazole Polypropylene Polyethylene (high strength) Inorganic c Glass Steel Tenacity b (N/tex) d Specific Gravity a Unless otherwise noted, data taken form L. Rebenfeld, in Encyclopedia of Polymer Science and Engineering (H. f. Mark, N. M. Bikales, C. G. Overberger, G. Menges, and J. I. Kroschwitz, Eds.), Vol. 6, Wiley-Interscience, New York, 1986, pp b To convert newtons per tex to grams per denier, multiply by c Kevlar (see Chap. 3, structure 58.) d From Chem. Eng. New, 63(8), 7 (1985). e From V. L. Erlich, in Encyclopedia of Polymer Science and Technology (H.F. Mark, N. G. Gaylord, and N. M. Bikales, Eds.), Vol. 9, Wiley-Interscience, New Uork, 1968, p. 422.

10 Polymer fibers Organic polymers Flexible molecules Stiff molecules Melt spinning Wet spinning Melt spinning Wet spinning Normal spinning Super stretching Nylon PP, PE UHMW PE HMW PE Aromatic polyesters Aramides Dy spinning Cellulose Acetate

11 Fibers Dry Spinning: From solution Melt Spinning: From Melt Nylon 6,6 & PETE Cellulose Acetate Wet Spinning: From solution into solution Kevlar, rayon, acrylics, Aramids, spandex

12 Fiber Spinning: Melt Fiber spinning is used to manufacture synthetic fibers. A filament is continuously extruded through an orifice and stretched to diameters of 100  m and smaller. The molten polymer is first extruded through a filter or “screen pack”, to eliminate small contaminants. It is then extruded through a “spinneret”, a die composed of multiple orifices (it can have 1-10,000 holes). The fibers are then drawn to their final diameter, solidified (in a water bath or by forced convection) and wound-up. Bobbin Extruded Fiber Cools and Solidifies Here Metered Extrusio n (controll ed flow) Melting Zone Polymer Chips/Beads Pump Filter and Spinneret Air Diffuser Heating Grid Po ol Lubricati on by oil disk and trough Packagi ng Bobbin drive Yarn driver Feed rolls Moisture Conditioning Steam Chamber Nylon 6,6 & PETE

13 Dry Spinning of Fibers from a Solution Cellulose Acetate

14 Wet Spinning (e.g. Kevlar) Kevlar, rayon, acrylics Aramids, spandex feed line take-up godet filaments spinneret drawing elements coagulation bath plastisizing bath


16 Melt spinning

17 Acrylic Fibers 85% acrylonitrile Wet spun Acrylic's benefits are: – ・ Superior moisture management or wickability ・ –Quick drying time (75% faster than cotton) ・ –Easy care, shape retention ・ –Excellent light fastness, sun light resistance ・ –Takes color easily, bright vibrant colors ・ –Odor and mildew resistant


19 Nanotube effecting crystallization of PP Sandler et al, J MacroMol Science B, B42(3&4), pp ,2003

20 Why are strong fibers strong? The source of strength: van der Waals forces Flexible molecules, normally spun Flexible molecules ultra stretched Rigid molecules liquid crystallinity

21 Fiber orientation High Tensile Strength at Low Weight Low Elongation to Break High Modulus (Structural Rigidity) Low Electrical Conductivity High Chemical Resistance Low Thermal Shrinkage High Toughness (Work-To-Break) Excellent Dimensional Stability High Cut Resistance Flame Resistant, Self-Extinguishing Kevlar

22 High Tensile Strength at Low Weight Low Elongation to Break High Modulus (Structural Rigidity) Low Electrical Conductivity High Chemical Resistance Low Thermal Shrinkage High Toughness (Work-To-Break) Excellent Dimensional Stability High Cut Resistance Flame Resistant, Self-Extinguishing Kevlar or Twaron

23 Polypropylene elastomers


25 Aramide fibers the complete spinning line H 2 SO 4 80 wt% H2OH2O PPD-T 20 wt% ice machine H 2 SO 4 ice mixer extruder spinneret Washing c < 0.5 % neutralising drying C winding H 2 SO 4 + H 2 O air gap Long washing traject (initially difficult to control) Sometimes post-strech of 1% to enhance orientation

26 Strong fibers from flexible chains Super-stretched polyethylene: M w = 10 5 (just spinnable) conventional melt spinning additional stretching of 30 to 50 times below the melting point Wet (gel) spinning of polyethylene M w = 10 6 (to high elasticity for melt spinning) decalin or parafin as solvent formation of thick (weak) fibers without stretching removal of the solvent stretching of 50 to 100 times close to melting point

27 POLYETHYLENE (LDPE) Molecular Weights: 20, ,000; MWD = 3-20 density = g/cm3 Highly branched structure—both long and short chain branches Methyl groups/1000 C atoms Tm ~ 105 C, X’linity ~ 40% Applications: Packaging Film, wire and cable coating, toys, flexible bottles, housewares, coatings

28 Polyethylene (HDPE) Essentially linear structure Few long chain branches, methyl groups/ 1000 C atoms Molecular Weights: 50, ,000 for molding compounds 250,000-1,500,000 for pipe compounds >1,500,000 super abrasion resistance—medical implants MWD = 3-20 density = g/cm3 Tm ~ C, X’linity ~ 80% Applications: Bottles, drums, pipe, conduit, sheet, film Generally opaque

29 UHMWPE fibers: Dyneema or Spectra Gel spinning process Structure of UHMWPE, with n = 100, ,000

30 Comparison of mechanical properties Strength Modulus stretch (Gpa) (Gpa) (%) Classical fibres nylon glass steel Strong fibres superstretched PE wet spun PE (Dyneema) melt spun PE (Vectran) wet spun aramide idem with post-stretch

31 Aramide fibers the spinning mechanism removal of sulfuric acid platinum capillary 65  polymer in pure sulfuric acid at 85 0 C air gap 10 mm with elongational stretch (6x) coagulation bath at 10 0 C Specific points: solvent: pure H 2 SO 4 polymer concentration 20% general orientation in the capillary extra orientation in the air gap coagulation in cooled diluted sulfuric acid

32 Vectran Vectran fiber is thermotropic, it is melt-spun, and it flows at a high temperature under pressure







39 Carbon Fibers: Pyrolyzing Polyacrylonitrile Fibers Young’s Modulus 325 Gpa Tensile Strength 3-6 GPa


41 Electrospinning of Fibers –Driving force is charge dissipation, opposed by surface tension –Forces are low –Level of charge density is limited by breakdown voltage – Taylor cone formation Fiber diameter  [Voltage] -1 –“Inexpensive” and easy to form nanofibers from a solution of practically any polymer (Formhals 1934) –Only small amount of material required 5-30 kV



44 Human hair (.06mm) Electrospun polymers


46 Fibers 1000 X longer than diameter Often uniaxial strength Kevlar-strongest organic fiber tensile strength 60GPa Young’s modulus 1TPa)

47 Making Carbon Nanotubes


49 Carbon Nanotube Fibers Nature 423, 703 (12 June 2003); doi: /423703a 1cm


51 Fig. 4. Scanning electron micrograph of a dry ribbon deposited on a glass substrate. The black arrow indicates the main axis of the ribbons, which corresponds to the direction of the initial fluid velocity. Despite the presence of a significant amount of carbon spherical impurities, SWNTs bundles are preferentially oriented along the main axis. Scale BAR=667 nm

52 SWNT Fiber after drawing  m

53 Fibers Large aspect ratio (length/diameter) & strong (fewer defects) Common fibers: cellulose acetate, viscous cellulose, polyethylene, polypropylene, acrylics (acrylonitrile copolymers), nylon’s, polyester (PETE), PMMA (optics), urethane (Spandex). High performance fibers: polyaramides (Kevlar), Uniaxially oriented gels (UHMWPE), Liquid crystals (Vectran) Carbon fibers (Black Orlon or pitch based), carbon nanotubes Methods for preparing: -Dry spinning -Wet spinning -Melt spinning -Gel spinning -electrospinning -growing (self-assembly)

54 Polymides (PI) - Vespel®, Aurum®, P84®, and more. Polybenzimidazole (PBI) - Celazole® Polyamide-imide (PAI) - Torlon® Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) - Victrex®, Kadel®, and more. Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) - Teflon®, Hostaflon® Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS) - Ryton®, Fortron®, Thermocomp®, Supec® and more. Polyetherimide (PEI) - Ultem® Polypthalamide (PPA) - Amodel®, BGU®, and more. Aromatic Polyamides - Reny®, Zytel HTN®, Stanyl® Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) - Xydar®, Vectra®, Zenite®, and more. Other Polymers - Nylon, Polyacetal, Polycarbonate, Polypropylene, Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene, ABS, PBT, and mor

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