Aramid fibers are a class of heat-resistant and strong synthetic fibers. They are used in aerospace and military applications, for ballistic-rated body armor fabric and ballistic composites, in bicycle tires, and as an asbestos substitute. The name is short for "aromatic polyamide". They are fibers in which the chain molecules are highly oriented along the fiber axis, so the strength of the chemical bond can be exploited.
Aromatic polyamides were first introduced in commercial applications, with a meta-aramid under the trade name Nomex. This fiber, which handles similarly to normal textile apparel fibers, is characterized by its excellent resistance to heat, as it neither melts nor ignites in normal levels of oxygen. It is used extensively in the production of protective apparel, air filtration, thermal and electrical insulation as well as a substitute for asbestos. Later followed by para-aramid fiber with much higher tenacity and elastic modulus called Kevlar by DuPont and Twaron by Teijin/Akzo. Para-aramid fibers are used in many high-tech applications, such as aerospace and military applications and for "bullet-proof" body armor fabric.
After production of the polymer, the aramid fiber is produced by spinning the dissolved polymer to a solid fiber from a liquid chemical blend. Para-aramid fibers show outstanding strength-to-weight properties, - have high elasticity modulus, - high tensile strength, - low creep and low elongation at break (typically 3,5%), - high resistance to abrasion, - high impact resistance, - low flammability, - good resistance against elevated temperatures.
Aramid fiber parts can be applied in various composite end-uses and applications:
- body armor (protective clothing and inlays)
- aerospace and military applications
- sail cloth, ropes
- sporting goods (surfboards, hockey sticks, golf clubs, motorbike parts, helmets)
- canoes, kayaks, boat-hulls
Source: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia