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Aramid fiber home
Aramid history
Aramid applications
Hybrid aramid applications
Aramid in composites

Fiber structure: A series of synthetic polymers in which repeating units containing large phenyl rings are linked together by amide groups. Amide groups (CO-NH) form strong bonds that are resistant to solvents and heat. Phenyl rings (or aromatic rings) are bulky six-sided groups of carbon and hydrogen atoms that prevent polymer chains from rotating and twisting around their chemical bonds.

Fiber properties: They are characterized by medium to ultra-high strength, medium to low elongation and moderately high to ultra-high modulus with the densities ranging from 1.38g/cm3 to 1.47g/cm3. Heat-resistant and flame-resistant aramid fibers contain high proportion or meta-oriented phenylene rings, whereas ultra-high strength high-modulus fibers contain mainly para-oriented phenylene rings.

Chemical properties: All aramids contain amide links that are hydrophilic. However, not all aramid products absorb moisture the same. The PPD-T (poly-phenylene terephthalamide) fiber has very good resistance to many organic solvents and salt, but strong acids can cause substantial loss of strength. Aramid fibers are difficult to dye due to their high Tg. Also, the aromatic nature of para-aramid is responsible for oxidative reactions when exposed to UV light, that leads to a change in color and loss of some strength.

Thermal properties: Aramid fibers do not melt in the conventional sense but decompose simultaneously. They burn only with difficulty because of Limited Oxygen Index (LOI) values. It should be mentioned that at 300oC some aramid types can still retain about 50% of their strength. Aramids show high crystallinity which results in negligible shrinkage at high temperature.

Mechanical properties: Aramid yarn has a breaking tenacity of 3045 MPa, in other words more than 5 times than this of steel (under water, aramid is 4 times stronger) and twice than this of glass fiber or nylon. High strength is a result of its aromatic and amide group and high crystallinity. Aramid retains strength and modulus at temperatures as high as 300oC. It behaves elastically under tension. When it comes to severe bending, it shows non-linear plastic deformation. With tension fatigue, no failure is observed even at impressively high loads and cycle times. Creep strain for aramid is only 0.3%.

To sum up, aramid general characteristics are:
  - High strength
  - Resistance to absorption
  - Resistance to organic solvent, good chemical resistance
  - No conductivity
  - No melting point
  - Low flammability
  - Excellent heat, and cut resistance
  - Sensitive to acids and ultraviolet radiation

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