Types Of Synthetic Fibers

Synthetic Fibers

Fibres are fine filaments that either occurs naturally or can be synthesized. Synthetic fibres are man-made fibres produced from chemical substances and are used for making clothes and other useful things. These are made by the process of polymerization. Synthetic fibres can either be completely synthetic or semisynthetic. Fibres that are purely synthetic like nylons, polyesters, acrylics are made from chemicals whereas semisynthetic fibres such as rayons are produced with the utilization of natural polymers as raw material.

Also Read: Fibre to fabric

Types of Synthetic Fibers

Synthetic fibres are of four types, namely:

  • Rayon
  • Nylon
  • Polyester
  • Acrylic

Rayon

  • Rayon has properties similar to those of silk.
  • It is a man-made fibre and cheaper than silk.
  • It is obtained from wood pulp.
  • It is infused with cotton or wool to prepare bedsheets and carpets respectively.
  • It is also known as artificial silk and can be dyed in a wide variety of colours.

Also Read: Variety in Fabric

Nylon

  • These are strong elastic and light, lustrous and easy to wash fibres made from water, coal, and air initially.
  • The fibre is completely synthetic and stronger than steel wire.
  • It is used to make socks, ropes, toothbrushes, tents, seat belts, curtains, etc.
  • Used to make ropes for rock climbing and parachutes.

Polyester

  • Polyester is made up of many units of an ester.
  • It is suitable for making dress material because it is easy to wash and stays crisp and wrinkle-free.
  • Terylene is a known polyester.
  • PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) is used to make many useful products like bottles, utensils, films, wires.

Acrylic

  • Many sweaters and blankets are not created from natural wool but from a kind of synthetic fibre known as acrylic.
  • The clothes prepared from acrylic are cheaper and more durable.
  • Acrylic is more prevalent than natural wool.

However, synthetic fibre melt on heating. If they catch fire, it could be really dangerous. The fabric sticks to the body of the person wearing it. Therefore, one should avoid acrylic clothes while in the kitchen or a laboratory.

Synthetic Fibres vs Natural Fibres

Synthetic fibres are man-made. Natural fibres, on the other hand, are obtained from plant, animal resources and geological processes and can be utilized in places where the orientation of fibres has an impact on its properties such as composite materials. In natural fibres, the length of the fibres is given whereas, in synthetic fibres, the length of the fibre is controlled by man.

As opposed to natural fibres, filament production in synthetic fibres is brought about by the spinning process which is either wet or dry. For the production of yarn, a chemical solution is used in synthetics fibres. When it comes to comfort, natural fibres are far more comfortable as clothing, compared to synthetic fibres.

Some of the fibres that occur naturally are:

  • Silk
  • Cotton
  • Hemp
  • Jute
  • Cashmere
  • Camel hair
  • Ramie

Also read: Fibre Crops

To learn more about the Synthetic Fibers, its types, and their examples, visit BYJU’S Biology.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are synthetic fibres?

Synthetic fibres are the fibres made by humans by the chemical synthesis and not derived directly from the living organisms.

What are the different types of synthetic fibres?

The different types of synthetic fibres include:

  • Rayon
  • Acrylic
  • Nylon
  • Polyester

How are synthetic fibres different from natural fibres?

Natural fibres are the fibres that are obtained by plants and animals, whereas, artificial fibres are the fibres that are synthesised by humans. Some of the natural fibres include wool, cotton, jute, silk, etc. Nylon and rayon are synthetic fibres.

What are the uses of synthetic fibres?

The synthetic fibres are used for:

  • Making ropes,
  • Making fishing nets,
  • Seat belts

For eg., polyester is a wrinkle-free fibre obtained from coal and petroleum and is used for making jackets, raincoats and ropes.

Name the strongest synthetic fibres in the world.

Ultra-high molecular weight polyethene fibres are the strongest fibres in the world. These include nylon, kevlar, spectra and Dyneema.

What do you understand by the tensile strength of synthetic fibres?

The tensile strength can be described as the measure of the maximum resistance of longitudinal stress before it breaks.

What are synthetic fibres made of?

Synthetic fibres are made from polymers of small molecules. The compounds used to make these fibres are obtained from raw materials such as petrochemicals. These materials are polymerized into chemicals.

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