Acrylic is a material used to manufacture many types of products. One of them is the Acrylic fiber which is used in making various clothing materials. But what basically is Acrylic fiber, what properties does it have, and how is it manufactured? All of these questions are answered in this blog.
What is Acrylic fiber?
Acrylic fiber is artificially created fiber made by polymerization. Acrylic fiber usually consists 85% acrylonitrile or vinyl cyanide. DuPont was the first producer of acrylic fibers, inventing it in 1941.By 1950 it was being manufactured commercially. DuPont soon trademarked the fiber as Orlon. It is now manufactured in many factories and is created by either dry spinning method or by wet spinning.
Properties of Acrylic Fiber
- Acrylic fiber is easily washable
- It can withstand direct sunlight without experiencing wear
- The fiber threads are highly flexible and lightweight. They are soft to the touch and good at retaining warmth
- Acrylic fiber does not react with most harsh chemicals and is resistant to chemical erosion
- This fiber shows great color absorbing and retaining properties. Thus, it can be dyed with various brilliant hues
Popular Acrylic FiberProducts
- Clothing material: Because of its warm properties it is typically used in fleece wear, sweaters, children’s wear and socks are made from Acrylic fiber
- Household textiles: Blankets, carpet, rugs, pile fabrics, etc.
- Outdoor uses: Boat covers, car tops, outdoor furniture
- Industrial products: Reinforcement materials, Filtration materials
Types of Acrylic Fibers
The Acrylic fiber can be divided into three types:
- Traditional Acrylics
- Vinyl fibers created with the inclusion of cyanide groups as side-chain
The Modacrylic is modified form of acrylic fiber. It contains at least 35% and a maximum of 85% acrylonitrile monomer.
Making of Acrylic Fiber
Acrylic Fiber is manufactured by either dry spinning or wet spinning.
In the dry spinning process, the polymers that have been dissolved in the solvent are exposed to warm air. As a result, these fibers then solidify by evaporation.
While in wet spinning the polymers are first dissolved and then extruded into a solution. After that, they are dried off.
In certain ways, acrylic resembles wool. It is warm and soft like wool but does not absorb any liquid.
Acrylic fibers are manufactured mostly in the Eastern countries including India, Fiber production Turkey, and China. It is also heavily produced in South America and Mexico. There are some European producers of the fiber too such as Fisipe and Dralon. Most of the American producers have Fiber production(except for some specialty uses like in gaskets, stucco and frictional objects).
The Manufacturing Process
Acrylic Fiber is created by a polymerization process called free radical polymerization:
- The production process involves dissolving of polymer in a solvent like aqueous sodium thiocyanate or N, N-dimethylformamide (DMF).
- Then it is metered through a multi-hole spinneret
- The resultant filaments are then solidified, by either:
- Wet spinning: Indulging them in an aqueous solvent
- Dry spinning: Evaporating the solvent by blowing heated inert gas on the fiber
- The complete process is washing, drying, stretching and crimping.
Acrylic fiber is formed in deniers, ranging from 0.9 to 15, as cut staple, and as a 400,000 to one million filament tow.Because of its wool-like properties and resistance to absorption, it often replaces wool. It is also used in clothing materials that require protection against chemical damages like a lab coat.
Because of its wool-like properties and resistance to absorption, it often replaces wool. It is also used in clothing materials that require protection against chemical damages like a lab coat.
Acrylic fiber is an amazing material that is being used for manufacturing a wide range of products. If you are looking for further information regarding the material, get in touch!