Friday, July 31, 2009




Fibre is a class of materials that are continuous filaments or are in discrete elongated pieces, similar to lengths of thread. They can be spun into filaments, string or rope, used as a component of composite materials, or matted into sheets to make products such as paper or felt. Fibers are often used in the manufacture of other materials.

Different kinds of fibres are available now-a-days.These fibres are mainly divided into two categories natural an man-made.They are also categorized by the generations as they were produced in the different years and known as first generation, seond generation, third generation and fourth generation fibre. Synthetic fibers can be produced very cheaply and in large amounts compared to natural fibers, but natural fibers enjoy some benefits, such as comfort, over their man-made counterparts.


Natural fibers are made from plant, animal and mineral sources. Natural fibers can be classified according to their origin
Vegetable fiber
Vegetable fibers are generally comprised mainly of cellulose: examples include cotton, jute, flax, ramie, sisal, and hemp. Cellulose fibers serve in the manufacture of paper and cloth. This fiber can be further categorized into the following:
§ Seed fiber: Fibers collected from seeds or seed cases. e.g. cotton and kapok
§ Leaf fiber: Fibers collected from leaves. e.g. sisal and agave.
§ Bast fiber or skin fiber: Fibers are collected from the skin or bast surrounding the stem of their respective plant. These fibers have higher tensile strength than other fibers. Therefore, these fibers are used for durable yarn, fabric, packaging, and paper. Some examples are flax, jute, kenaf, industrial hemp, ramie, rattan, soybean fiber, and even vine fibers and bananafibers.
§ Fruit fiber: Fibers are collected from the fruit of the plant, e.g. coconut (coir) fiber.
§ Stalk fiber: Fibers are actually the stalks of the plant. E.g. straws of wheat, rice, barley, and other crops including bamboo and grass. Tree wood is also such a fiber.
The most used natural fibers are cotton, flax and hemp, although sisal, jute, kenaf, and coconut are also widely used.
Hemp fibers are mainly used for ropes and aerofoils because of their high suppleness and resistance within an aggressive environment. Hemp fibers are, for example, currently used as a seal within the heating and sanitary industries.
Animal fiber
Animal fibers generally comprise proteins; examples include silk, wool, angora, mohair and alpaca.
§ Animal hair (wool or hairs): Fiber or wool taken from animals or hairy mammals. e.g. sheep's wool, goat hair (cashmere, mohair), alpaca hair, horse hair, etc.
§ Silk fiber: Fiber collected from dried saliva of bugs or insects during the preparation of cocoons. Examples include silk from
.§ Avian fiber: Fibers from birds, e.g. feathers and feather fiber.


Synthetic fibers are the result of extensive research by scientists to improve upon naturally occurring animal and plant. In general, synthetic fibers are created by forcing, usually throughextrusion, fiber forming materials through holes (called spinnerets) into the air, forming a thread. Before synthetic fibers were developed, artificially manufactured fibers were made fromcellulose, which comes from plants.
The first artificial fiber, known as artificial silk from 1799 onwards, became known as viscose around 1894, and finally rayon in 1924. A similar product known as cellulose acetate was discovered in 1865. Rayon and acetate are both artificial fibers, but not truly synthetic, being made from wood.
Nylon, the first synthetic fiber, made its debut in the United States as a replacement for silk,
Common synthetic fibers include:
§ Rayon (1910) (artificial, not synthetic)
§ Acetate (1924) (artificial, not synthetic)
§ Nylon (1939)
§ Modacrylic (1949)
§ Olefin (1949)
§ Acrylic (1950)
§ Polyester (1953)
§ PLA (2002)
Specialty synthetic fibers include:
§ Vinyon (1939)
§ Saran (1941)
§ Spandex (1959)
§ Vinalon (1939)
§ Aramids (1961) - known as Nomex, Kevlar and Twaron
§ Modal (1960's)
§ PBI (Polybenzimidazole fibre) (1983)
§ Sulfar (1983)
§ Lyocell (1992)
§ Dyneema/Spectra (1979)
§ M-5 (PIPD fibre)
§ Orlon
§ Zylon (PBO fibre)
§ Vectran (TLCP fiber) made from Vectra LCP polymer
Other synthetic materials used in fibers include:
§ Acrylonitrile rubber (1930)
Modern fibers that are made from older artificial materials include:
§ Glass Fiber is used for:
§ industrial, automotive, and home insulation (Fiberglass)
§ reinforcement of composite and plastics
§ specialty papers in battery separators and filtration
§ Metallic fiber (1946) is used for:
§ adding metallic properties to clothing for the purpose of fashion (usually made with composite plastic and metal foils)
§ elimination and prevention of static charge build-up
§ conducting electricity to transmit information
§ conduction of heat

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