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What is aramid fiber?

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Aramid fibers are aromatic polyamide fibers that belong to the family of synthetic fibers characterized by higher strength and heat-resistant properties. The word aramid comes from a blend of two words which are “aromatic” and “polyamide”. These manufactured fibers are made up of a long chain synthetic polyamide that contains more than 85% amide bonds (-CO-NH-) which are directly connected with the aromatic rings. As compared to other synthetic fibers in the aramid fibers, a higher proportion of the chemical bond contributes more to fiber strength because the chain molecules are highly oriented along the fiber axis.

The tensile strength of aramid fibers is approximately five times the tensile strength of steel. Aramid fibers were developed originally as a substitute for steel in radial tires. But in the present times, aramid fibers are used in many applications such as composites, ballistics, aerospace, military applications, automotive, protective clothing against heat/radiation/chemicals, asbestos substitute, telecommunications (optical fiber cables), and many others.

Like other synthetic fibers, aramid fibers are also produced by extruding a hot concentrated solution of the polymer through a spinneret. Aramid fibers have a very high melting point (>500 °C). In the global market of aramid fibers, a few of the popular brand names of aramid fibers are Kevlar and Nomex in the US; Technora and Twaron in Japan; Heracron in South Korea; and Fibermax in Europe.

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