What is Man-Made Fibres? | Manufacturing Man-Made Fibres

What is Man-Made Fibres?

The term synthetic was related to denote all chemically produced man-made fibres. Chemists began to experiment with synthetic fibers as early as 1850. Yet in the world market today the term synthetic covers only the non-cellulosic fibres. The textile industry belongs to all chemically produced fibres together as man-made or produced fibres. 

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We can represent man-made fiber in the following way, Man-made fibres are fibers in which both the basic chemical units have been developed by chemical synthesis followed by fiber formation or the polymers from natural sources have been dissolved and regenerated after passage through a spinneret to produce fibers. Those fibers made by chemical synthesis are usually called synthetic fibers. Manmade fibers are used throughout for apparel, fabrics, home furnishing, industrial types of equipment, medical equipment, fire blocking, filtering, auto industry, etc.

Man-Made Fibre
Man-Made Fibres

Manmade fibers are not an insignificant alternative to natural fibers but are new materials of high functionality and high performance. 

Basic chemical systems of man-made fibers have been formed by chemical synthesis succeeded by fiber formation or the polymers from natural sources have been dissolved and regenerated after passage through a spinneret to form fibers. Man-made fibers are produced by combining polymers or small molecules.

Process Flow Chart of Man-Made Fiber Production

Fiber forming polymer/Raw materials

Spinning (conversion to the polymer to fiber)

Drawing/Stretching (To improve strength )

Texturing (To perform bulk and more absorbency)

Intermingling (For sticking out protruding filament ends)

Heat setting (To develop dimensional stability)

Finished filament

Man-made fibres examples

man-made fibers examples
man-made fibres examples

Principles of manufacturing man-made fibers:

The production process for all man made fibers is essentially the same. The raw materials are arranged chemically, and in some cases melted by heat to create a viscous liquid, which is then extruded through very fine holes in a nozzle called a spinneret, and the filaments created are crystallized in different ways.

Types of man made fibres

There are three methods of spinning man-made fibers which are given below.
  1. Wet spinning 
  2. Melt spinning
  3. Dry spinning

Other techniques of spinning, viz. , electrostatic spinning, gel spinning, etc. are also utilized in the spinning of fibres.

Viscose rayon, acrylic, spandex fibres are produced by wet spinning processes. Here the raw material is terminated by chemicals; fibre is then spun into a chemical bath. Fibre solidifies when hardened by the bath.

Triacetate, Acetate, certain of acrylics, and mono-acrylic fibres are produced by the dry spinning process. Here the paste solids are dissolved in a solvent. Fiber is spun into warm air and the fibre hardens by evaporation of the solvent. Nylon, polyester, polyamide, olefin, and saran fibers are spun by melt spinning. Here the resin solids are melted in the autoclave. Fiber is spun out within the air. Fiber hardens on cooling.

Wet spinning is a difficult process. Washing, bleaching, etc. of the fibre is needed before use.

Dry spinning is a straightforward process. Here a solvent and a solvent recovery plant are needed. Washing is not made in this process.

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Melt spinning is the tiny expensive of all the above techniques of spinning. It is a straightforward process. The high spinning speed is achievable. It does not require washing. Fibres can be developed by having different shapes of spinneret holes.

These filaments depending on the techniques of spinning are drawn and lightly twisted together to form what is called continuous filament yarn. Such yarns are used in the weaving or knitting industry.

Various manmade fibers are also manufactured in the staple form. A large number of filaments are consolidated together (tow) and cut into short staple lengths, and the result is a soft fibrous mass known as staple fibers. These fibers are later combed, drawn, (in other words the tow is converted to top or sliver) and spun into yarn, known as spun or staple yarn, in a comparable way to natural fibers. Staple fibers are also combined and with natural fibers before they are spun, to design combined yarns.

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Gel spinning is a type of wet spinning in which the polymer solution is managed very dilute to allow low complexity density. Although the material is having a very high molecular weight, viscosity is quite high, and hence melt spinning is not performed. This polymer solution is arranged at a temperature where it is flowable and so spun into a spinneret. In the solution, the molecules shift disentangled and abide in that state after the solution is spun and finally extruded to situations where it forms a gel composition. Because of its enough low degree of entanglement the gel spun material can be drawn to a high extent (super drawn). Gel spun fibres are thus ultra-strong, high modulus fibres described by high orientation and high crystallinity, for example, Dyneema (Gel spun polyethylene fibres).

Chemical Composition And Molecular Structure Of Man Made Fibre

Linear, branched, and network polymers

One of the features common to all the fiber-forming polymers is a linear structure. As described in the article industrial polymers, the chemistry of, polymers is made up of the joining together, through powerful covalent bonds, of tinier molecular units known as monomers. When these monomers are connected end-to-end like links along a chain, a polymer with a simple linear structure is formed. In some polymers, more precise chains grow off the long chain at certain periods, so that a branched structure is formed. In other polymers the branches become numerous and cross-link to other polymer chains, therefore forming a network structure.

Classification of Man-Made Fibers

classification of man-made fibers
classification of man-made fibres

classification of man-made fibers
classification of man-made fibers

Advantages of manmade fibers:

Manmade fibers are manufactured in factories, which must not be too far from textile manufacturing fields. Particular qualities of fibers can be composed independently and quickly under the requirement.

The filaments can be presented as fine or as coarse as needed, staple lengths can be cut specifically to order. Fibers can be produced with a high degree of luster, with a reduced or dull luster, as needed. Unlike natural fibers, the outcome of manmade fibers does not need cleaning.

Most of the fibres are pure white or colorless when manufactured, but if required, color can be consolidated during the composition of the manmade fibres.

The controls of quality and volume that can be utilized inbuilt manmade fibres tend to hold prices constant.

Manmade fibres have, accordingly, been formulated through the desire to make possible a wider choice of fibers from which textile manufacturers can select, occurring in a wider choice of fabrics for the customer.

Disadvantages of man-made fibres:

Some people are often inclined to skin disease, because of the dermatological effect of manmade fibres. This puts restrictions on its use (such obstacles do not appear in the case of natural fibres).

In general, the manmade fibers are generally hydrophobic; this is certainly a disadvantage when their outcomes have to be worn attached to the skin. These fabrics fail to absorb the exudation, thus the user feels discomfort in the hot climate.

Manmade fibre fabrics are a little tricky to sew. Seams do not hold strong as in natural fibre fabrics. So, stitching charges were more expensive. But this is recompensed for by stability and wash and wear characteristics.

Most of the manmade fibre fabrics produced before the 1970s failed to implement warmth to the wearer.

In general positive properties overbalance the negative features of the manmade fibres. To get improvement or modification in aesthetics, performance, and distribution, the man-made fibres are blended with natural fibres.

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