Textile Fibers and Their Properties

What is Textile Fiber?
Textile fibers are the materials at natural or artificial origin which has a high length to width ratio and with suitable characteristics which can be converted into yarn and fabric for clothing by interlacing or interloping; may be natural or manufactured; the smallest component, hair like in nature, that can be separated from a fabric. In simple words, a slender filament or fine strand of sufficient length, pliability, fineness, flexibility and strength to be spun into yarns and woven into cloth is called textile fiber.

Properties of Textile Fibres:
All fibers are not textile fiber. To become a textile fiber it should have some characteristics. One important characteristic is length; to become a textile fiber it should have at least 5 mm length then it will be spin able and it must be supple, flexible and strong enough.

Different textile fibers
Fig: Different textile fibers
Classification of Fiber Properties:
Commonly textile fiber can be classified in two ways:

   A. Primary properties of textile fibers
   B. Secondary properties of textile fibers

A. Primary properties of textile fibers:
  • High length to width ratio
  • Tenacity
  • Flexibility
  • Spinning quality (Cohesiveness)
  • Uniformity
B. Secondary properties of textile fibers:
  • Physical shape
  • Elastic recovery and elongation
  • Resiliency
  • Flammability and other thermal reactions
  • Density
  • Luster
  • Colour
  • Moisture regain
In broadly, properties of textile fibers can be classified in following way:
  1. Physical Properties
  2. Chemical Properties
  3. Mechanical Properties
  4. Electrical Properties
  5. Thermal Properties
  6. Structural Properties
  7. Biological Properties
  8. Optical Properties
  9. Acoustic Properties
  10. Radiological Properties
  11. Environmental Properties
  12. Torsional Property
1. Physical Properties of Fiber:
I have given the physical properties name with their unit. A textile fiber should have the following physical properties. They are as follow:
  • Tenacity / Specific Strength (g/den)
  • Length (cm/inch)
  • Fineness (mic-value)
  • Moisture Regain (MR %) and Moisture Content (MC %)
  • Specific Gravity (g/cc)
  • Elongation (cum/inch)
  • Elastic Recovery (%)
  • Initial Young Modulus (g/den)
  • Breaking Length (km)
  • Extension (%)
  • Maturity
  • Swelling R Water Relation %
  • Static Electrification
  • Glass-Transmission Temperature (T9)
  • Crystalline Melting Point (Tm)
  • Discoloration
  • Specific Heat
  • Burning Behavior
  • Thermal Conductivity
  • Pilling Behavior
  • Limited Oxygen Demand (LOI %)
  • Degradation
2. Chemical Properties of Textile Fiber:
To identify a textile fiber, following properties plays an important role. Chemical properties are-
  • Chemical Composition
  • Effects of Acids
  • Effects of Alkalis
  • Effects of Organic Solvents
  • Effects of Insects
  • Effect of micro-Organism
3. Mechanical Properties of Fiber:
The properties that describe a material's ability to compress, stretch, bend, scratch, dent, or break
  • Young's modulus / Stiffness
  • Tenacity
  • Specific modulus
  • Tensile strength
  • Compressive strength
  • Shear strength
  • Yield strength
  • Elasticity, etc.
4. Electrical Properties of Fiber:
  • Electrical conductivity or specific conductance is a measure of a material's ability to conduct an electric current
  • Conductivity is the reciprocal (inverse) of electrical resistivity, ρ (Greek: rho), and has the SI units of siemens per metre (S·m-1)
  • Resistance –Ohms (e.g. Resistance of Dyneema is > 1014 Ohm)
5. Thermal Properties of Fiber:
  • Thermal conductivity
  • Flammability
  • Glass transition temperature
  • Melting point
  • Coefficient of linear thermal expansion
  • Specific heat capacity
6. Structural Properties of Fiber:
All of textile fibers have its own structure by which it can be identify.
  • Fine Structure and Appearance
  • Micro Structure
          -X-Sectional View
          -Longitudinal View

7. Biological Properties of Fiber:
  • Toxicity
  • Ability to protect from biological weapons
  • Bio-compatibity
  • Anti-microbial properties
  • Fungal resistance
8. Optical Properties of Fiber:
  • Absorbance
  • Reflectivity
  • Refractive index
  • Optical density
  • Transmittance
  • Colour
  • Photosensitivity
  • UV visibility
  • IR & NIR visibility
  • Radar visibility
9. Acoustic Properties of Fiber:
  • Sonic velocity
  • Sound absorption
10. Radiological Properties of Fiber:
  • Ability to protect from atomic/nuclear radiations
11. Environmental Properties of Fiber:
  • Photo-stability
  • UV stability
  • Weathering
  • Oxidation
12. Torsional Property of Fiber:
It is the property of fiber or material when a torsional force is applied on it. Here Torsional force is a twisting force that is applied on the two ends of the material in two opposite direction. The behaviors which are shown by a textile material when it is subjected to a torsional force is called torsional property.
  • Torsional rigidity
  • Breaking twist
  • Shear modulus
You can also like:
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  2. Identification of Cotton, Jute, Flax, Wool and Silk Fiber
  3. Most Important Textile Fibers and Their Densities