Special Issue "Novel Synthetic Fibers for Textile Applications"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Advanced Composites".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Rudolf Hufenus
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory for Advanced Fibers, Empa-Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, St. Gallen, Switzerland
Interests: polymer processing; melt spinning of fibers; multicomponent fibers; technical textiles
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Although synthetic fibers and textiles have a long history, their potential as innovative products is far from being exhausted. The development of high-tech textiles relies on enhancements of fiber raw materials and processing techniques. Today, melt and wet spinning of polymers are the most commonly used methods for manufacturing commercial synthetic fibers, due to high spinning velocities and the simplicity of the production line. Ongoing research efforts have ensured that fibers and textiles remain high value-added products.

This Special Issue aims to collect contributions on the most recent advances in the field of fiber melt and wet spinning. Topics of interest are novel polymers, additives and processes to be used in melt and wet spinning; multicomponent spinning; exceptional design of feeding line, spinneret, or drawdown unit; spinning instabilities; physical and chemical characterization; as well as applications of synthetic fibers. In addition to experimental results, theoretical contributions and simulation studies that elucidate the physics of fiber spinning and answer fundamental questions regarding fiber morphologies—from the nanoscale to the macroscale—are also welcome.

I hope this Special Issue will provide readers with a selection of papers that represent the current state of knowledge on synthetic fibers.

Dr. Rudolf Hufenus
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • synthetic fibers
  • filaments
  • melt spinning
  • wet spinning
  • bicomponent fibers
  • fiber formation
  • spinnability
  • orientation
  • instabilities
  • technical textiles

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Melt-Spun Photoluminescent Polymer Optical Fibers for Color-Tunable Textile Illumination
Materials 2021, 14(7), 1740; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14071740 - 01 Apr 2021
Viewed by 343
Abstract
The increasing interest in luminescent waveguides, applied as light concentrators, sensing elements, or decorative illuminating systems, is fostering efforts to further expand their functionality. Yarns and textiles based on a combination of distinct melt-spun polymer optical fibers (POFs), doped with individual luminescent dyes, [...] Read more.
The increasing interest in luminescent waveguides, applied as light concentrators, sensing elements, or decorative illuminating systems, is fostering efforts to further expand their functionality. Yarns and textiles based on a combination of distinct melt-spun polymer optical fibers (POFs), doped with individual luminescent dyes, can be beneficial for such applications since they enable easy tuning of the color of emitted light. Based on the energy transfer occurring between differently dyed filaments within a yarn or textile, the collective emission properties of such assemblies are adjustable over a wide range. The presented study demonstrates this effect using multicolor, meltspun, and photoluminescent POFs to measure their superimposed photoluminescent emission spectra. By varying the concentration of luminophores in yarn and fabric composition, the overall color of the resulting photoluminescent textiles can be tailored by the recapturing of light escaping from individual POFs. The ensuing color space is a mean to address the needs of specific applications, such as decorative elements and textile illumination by UV down-conversion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Synthetic Fibers for Textile Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Melt-Spun Fibers from Bio-Based Polyester–Fiber Structure Development in High-Speed Melt Spinning of Poly(ethylene 2,5-furandicarboxylate) (PEF)
Materials 2021, 14(5), 1172; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14051172 - 02 Mar 2021
Viewed by 452
Abstract
Poly(ethylene 2,5-furandicarboxylate) (PEF) is regarded as a bio-based alternative or complementary polyester for the widely used fossil resource-based polyester, poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET). High-speed melt spinning of PEF of low and high molecular weight (L-PEF, H-PEF) was conducted, and the structure and properties of [...] Read more.
Poly(ethylene 2,5-furandicarboxylate) (PEF) is regarded as a bio-based alternative or complementary polyester for the widely used fossil resource-based polyester, poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET). High-speed melt spinning of PEF of low and high molecular weight (L-PEF, H-PEF) was conducted, and the structure and properties of the resultant as-spun fibers were investigated. The occurrence of orientation-induced crystallization was confirmed for the H-PEF at the take-up velocity of 6.0 km/min, the highest speed for producing PET fibers in the industry. Molecular orientation and crystallinity of the as-spun fibers increased with the increase of take-up velocity, where the H-PEF fibers always showed a higher degree of structural development than the L-PEF fibers. The tensile modulus of the high-speed spun H-PEF fibers was relatively low at 5 GPa, whereas a sufficiently high tensile strength of approximately 500 MPa was measured. These values are adequately high for the application in the general semi-engineering fiber field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Synthetic Fibers for Textile Applications)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Poly(Ethylene Furanoate) along Its Life-Cycle from a Polycondensation Approach to High-Performance Yarn and Its Recyclate
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1044; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041044 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 543
Abstract
We report on the pilot scale synthesis and melt spinning of poly(ethylene furanoate) (PEF), a promising bio-based fiber polymer that can heave mechanical properties in the range of commercial poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) fibers. Catalyst optimization and solid state polycondensation (SSP) allowed for intrinsic [...] Read more.
We report on the pilot scale synthesis and melt spinning of poly(ethylene furanoate) (PEF), a promising bio-based fiber polymer that can heave mechanical properties in the range of commercial poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) fibers. Catalyst optimization and solid state polycondensation (SSP) allowed for intrinsic viscosities of PEF of up to 0.85 dL·g−1. Melt-spun multifilament yarns reached a tensile strength of up to 65 cN·tex−1 with an elongation of 6% and a modulus of 1370 cN·tex−1. The crystallization behavior of PEF was investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and XRD after each process step, i.e., after polymerization, SSP, melt spinning, drawing, and recycling. After SSP, the previously amorphous polymer showed a crystallinity of 47%, which was in accordance with literature. The corresponding XRD diffractograms showed signals attributable to α-PEF. Additional, clearly assignable signals at 2θ > 30° are discussed. A completely amorphous structure was observed by XRD for as-spun yarns, while a crystalline phase was detected on drawn yarns; however, it was less pronounced than for the granules and independent of the winding speed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Synthetic Fibers for Textile Applications)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Flexible Phase Change Material Fiber: A Simple Route to Thermal Energy Control Textiles
Materials 2021, 14(2), 401; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14020401 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 441
Abstract
A flexible hollow polypropylene (PP) fiber was filled with the phase change material (PCM) polyethylene glycol 1000 (PEG1000), using a micro-fluidic filling technology. The fiber’s latent heat storage and release, thermal reversibility, mechanical properties, and phase change behavior as a function of fiber [...] Read more.
A flexible hollow polypropylene (PP) fiber was filled with the phase change material (PCM) polyethylene glycol 1000 (PEG1000), using a micro-fluidic filling technology. The fiber’s latent heat storage and release, thermal reversibility, mechanical properties, and phase change behavior as a function of fiber drawing, were characterized. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) results showed that both enthalpies of melting and solidification of the PCM encased within the PP fiber were scarcely influenced by the constraint, compared to unconfined PEG1000. The maximum filling ratio of PEG1000 within the tubular PP filament was ~83 wt.%, and the encapsulation efficiencies and heat loss percentages were 96.7% and 7.65% for as-spun fibers and 93.7% and 1.53% for post-drawn fibers, respectively. Weak adherence of PEG on the inner surface of the PP fibers favored bubble formation and aggregating at the core–sheath interface, which led to different crystallization behavior of PEG1000 at the interface and in the PCM matrix. The thermal stability of PEG was unaffected by the PP encasing; only the decomposition temperature, corresponding to 50% weight loss of PEG1000 inside the PP fiber, was a little higher compared to that of pure PEG1000. Cycling heating and cooling tests proved the reversibility of latent heat release and storage properties, and the reliability of the PCM fiber. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Synthetic Fibers for Textile Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Antibacterial Textile Based on Hydrolyzed Milk Casein
Materials 2021, 14(2), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14020251 - 06 Jan 2021
Viewed by 495
Abstract
Antimicrobial textile structures are developed based on polypropylene (PP) and a natural material, hydrolyzed casein. The casein, from bovine milk, is subjected to acid hydrolysis in aqueous media, then blended into the PP matrix in the melt phase by extrusion. The obtained blend, [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial textile structures are developed based on polypropylene (PP) and a natural material, hydrolyzed casein. The casein, from bovine milk, is subjected to acid hydrolysis in aqueous media, then blended into the PP matrix in the melt phase by extrusion. The obtained blend, containing 5 wt.% of hydrolyzed casein, is then processed by a melt spinning process to get multifilaments, leading to the production knitting structures. Thanks to the addition of the hydrolyzed casein, the obtained textile showed a strong antibacterial activity towards both Gram (+) and Gram (−) bacterial strains. The addition of 5 wt.% hydrolyzed casein does not significantly impact the mechanical properties of PP in the dumbbells form, but a small decrease was observed in the tenacity of the filaments. No moisture retention was observed after the addition of hydrolyzed casein, but the rheological behavior was slightly affected. The obtained results can contribute to addressing concerns regarding nonrenewable antibacterial agents used in textile materials, particularly their effects on the environment and human health, by offering antibacterial agents from a biobased and edible substance with high efficiency. They are also promising to respond to issues of wasting dairy products and recycling them, in addition to the advantages of using melt processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Synthetic Fibers for Textile Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Structure and Properties of Poly(ethylene terephthalate) Fiber Webs Prepared via Laser-Electrospinning and Subsequent Annealing Processes
Materials 2020, 13(24), 5783; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13245783 - 18 Dec 2020
Viewed by 358
Abstract
Melt-electrospinning is an eco-friendly method for producing ultra-fine fibers without using any solvent. We prepared webs of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) through melt-electrospinning using CO2 laser irradiation for heating. The PET webs comprised ultra-fine fibers of uniform diameter (average fiber diameter = 1.66 [...] Read more.
Melt-electrospinning is an eco-friendly method for producing ultra-fine fibers without using any solvent. We prepared webs of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) through melt-electrospinning using CO2 laser irradiation for heating. The PET webs comprised ultra-fine fibers of uniform diameter (average fiber diameter = 1.66 μm, coefficient of variation = 19%). The co-existence of fibers with high and low molecular orientation was confirmed through birefringence measurements. Although the level of high orientation corresponded to that of commercial highly oriented yarn, crystalline diffraction was not observed in the wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) analysis of the webs. The crystallinity of the webs was estimated using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The fibers with higher birefringence did not exhibit any cold crystallization peak. After annealing the web at 116 °C for 5 min, a further increase in the birefringence of the fibers with higher orientation was observed. The WAXD results revealed that the annealed webs showed crystalline diffraction peaks with the orientation of the c-axis along the fiber axis. In summary, the formation of fibers with a unique non-crystalline structure with extremely high orientation was confirmed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Synthetic Fibers for Textile Applications)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Melt-Spinning of an Intrinsically Flame-Retardant Polyacrylonitrile Copolymer
Materials 2020, 13(21), 4826; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13214826 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 708
Abstract
Poly(acrylonitrile) (PAN) fibers have two essential drawbacks: they are usually processed by solution-spinning, which is inferior to melt spinning in terms of productivity and costs, and they are flammable in air. Here, we report on the synthesis and melt-spinning of an intrinsically flame-retardant [...] Read more.
Poly(acrylonitrile) (PAN) fibers have two essential drawbacks: they are usually processed by solution-spinning, which is inferior to melt spinning in terms of productivity and costs, and they are flammable in air. Here, we report on the synthesis and melt-spinning of an intrinsically flame-retardant PAN-copolymer with phosphorus-containing dimethylphosphonomethyl acrylate (DPA) as primary comonomer. Furthermore, the copolymerization parameters of the aqueous suspension polymerization of acrylonitrile (AN) and DPA were determined applying both the Fineman and Ross and Kelen and Tüdõs methods. For flame retardancy and melt-spinning tests, multiple PAN copolymers with different amounts of DPA and, in some cases, methyl acrylate (MA) have been synthesized. One of the synthesized PAN-copolymers has been melt-spun with propylene carbonate (PC) as plasticizer; the resulting PAN-fibers had a tenacity of 195 ± 40 MPa and a Young’s modulus of 5.2 ± 0.7 GPa. The flame-retardant properties have been determined by Limiting Oxygen Index (LOI) flame tests. The LOI value of the melt-spinnable PAN was 25.1; it therefore meets the flame retardancy criteria for many applications. In short, the reported method shows that the disadvantage of high comonomer content necessary for flame retardation can be turned into an advantage by enabling melt spinning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Synthetic Fibers for Textile Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Surface Structured Polymer Blend Fibers and Their Application in Fiber Reinforced Composite
Materials 2020, 13(19), 4279; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13194279 - 25 Sep 2020
Viewed by 464
Abstract
Melt-spun surface structured fiber could be a large-scale versatile platform for materials with advanced surface function and local properties. Fibers with distinct surface and bulk structures are developed by tailoring the viscosity ratio and blend ratio of polymer component using the melt-spinning method. [...] Read more.
Melt-spun surface structured fiber could be a large-scale versatile platform for materials with advanced surface function and local properties. Fibers with distinct surface and bulk structures are developed by tailoring the viscosity ratio and blend ratio of polymer component using the melt-spinning method. Spherical bulge and fibril groove structured fibers are obtained in different viscosity ratio and blend ratio systems. The interfacial bonding between fiber and matrix is improved due to the mechanical interlocking between the structured surface and matrix. The low-viscosity second phase stays as a spherical droplet even in high content. The second phase in matched- and high-viscosity ratio cases is deformed into fibril like droplet which causes an in-situ fibration of the second phase in polymer blend fiber with an enhanced mechanical property. This method provides a simple route to developing polymer materials with surface structure and appropriate mechanical properties to apply in textile and polymer fiber-reinforced composite materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Synthetic Fibers for Textile Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Antistatic Fibers for High-Visibility Workwear: Challenges of Melt-Spinning Industrial Fibers
Materials 2020, 13(11), 2645; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13112645 - 10 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 834
Abstract
Safety workwear often requires antistatic protection to prevent the build-up of static electricity and sparks, which can be extremely dangerous in a working environment. In order to make synthetic antistatic fibers, electrically conducting materials such as carbon black are added to the fiber-forming [...] Read more.
Safety workwear often requires antistatic protection to prevent the build-up of static electricity and sparks, which can be extremely dangerous in a working environment. In order to make synthetic antistatic fibers, electrically conducting materials such as carbon black are added to the fiber-forming polymer. This leads to unwanted dark colors in the respective melt-spun fibers. To attenuate the undesired dark color, we looked into various possibilities including the embedding of the conductive element inside a dull side-by-side bicomponent fiber. The bicomponent approach, with an antistatic compound as a minor element, also helped in preventing the severe loss of tenacity often caused by a high additive loading. We could melt-spin a bicomponent fiber with a specific resistance as low as 0.1 Ωm and apply it in a fabric that fulfills the requirements regarding the antistatic properties, luminance and flame retardancy of safety workwear. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Synthetic Fibers for Textile Applications)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Melt-Spun Fibers for Textile Applications
Materials 2020, 13(19), 4298; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13194298 - 26 Sep 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1503
Abstract
Textiles have a very long history, but they are far from becoming outdated. They gain new importance in technical applications, and man-made fibers are at the center of this ongoing innovation. The development of high-tech textiles relies on enhancements of fiber raw materials [...] Read more.
Textiles have a very long history, but they are far from becoming outdated. They gain new importance in technical applications, and man-made fibers are at the center of this ongoing innovation. The development of high-tech textiles relies on enhancements of fiber raw materials and processing techniques. Today, melt spinning of polymers is the most commonly used method for manufacturing commercial fibers, due to the simplicity of the production line, high spinning velocities, low production cost and environmental friendliness. Topics covered in this review are established and novel polymers, additives and processes used in melt spinning. In addition, fundamental questions regarding fiber morphologies, structure-property relationships, as well as flow and draw instabilities are addressed. Multicomponent melt-spinning, where several functionalities can be combined in one fiber, is also discussed. Finally, textile applications and melt-spun fiber specialties are presented, which emphasize how ongoing research efforts keep the high value of fibers and textiles alive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Synthetic Fibers for Textile Applications)
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