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High Performance Poly(aromatic) Fibers

Fibers are classified into two main groups, commodity and high performance. High performance fibers are designed for specialized technical applications with unique physical properties, including high specific stiffness, high temperature resistance, flame retardancy, and/or chemical resistance. These fibers are continuously designed to be stronger, lighter, and safer, and their unique, specialized attributes are essential for automotive, aerospace, construction, and protection applications compared to high-volume, cheaper commodity fibers.
Poly(aromatic)s, including for example meta- and para-aramid fibers such as Nomex, Kevlar and PBO, are particularly well-known for their highly-oriented rigid structures which contribute to their excellent mechanical properties and high-temperature resistance. They are widely-used in reinforcement, protective, safety, and ballistic applications.
However, many high-strength fibers are difficult to process. Although some types of high performance fibers may have excellent chemical resistance, other types are not that UV stable and display poor chemical resistance but may have superior properties for a specific application such as their strength or limiting oxygen index.
To solve these problems, we are designing novel modified monomers and comonomers that provide these polymeric fibers with improved processing and/or resistance without the sacrifice of mechanical properties. Our goals are to design fibers that outperform the industry standards for strength, density, and thermal and chemical resistance and to facilitate the expansion of their technical applications.

Wet-spinning of fibers:

Fiber structure and orientation: