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Application of Contemporary Fibers in Apparels Melamine Fibre

Application of Contemporary Fibers in Apparels Melamine Fibre

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Published by Vasant Kothari

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Published by: Vasant Kothari on Dec 06, 2011
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s per federal trade commission Melamine fibre is defined as, a manufacturedfibre in which the fibre-forming substance is a synthetic polymer composedof at least 50 per cent by weight of a cross-linked Melamine polymer and it is mainlyproduced by Basofil fibres LLC, Enka, NC and marketed under the trade name, Basofilfibre. Basofil is an advanced technology Melamine fibre designed to enhancecommodity fibres and synergistic high-temperature fibres to deliver cost-effective,engineered heat insulating and flame-resistant solutions and that the fibre, which iswhite and dyeable, can be processed on standard textile manufacturing equipmentfor the production of woven, knitted, and nonwoven fabrics.
Production of Melamine fibre
The production process Melamine fibre is proprietary. It is based on a uniqueMelamine chemistry that results in a cross-linked, non-thermoplastic polymer ofMelamine units joined by methylene and dimethylene ether linkages. In thepolymerization reaction, methylol derivatives of Melamine react with each otherto form a three-dimensional structure. This network structure of Melamine fibreproduces unique fibres with excellent inherent characteristics for fire protection,heat stability and low flammability – that is also durable and resistant to chemicalsand ultraviolet light. Further, Melamine’s most outstanding physical propertiesare its high Limiting Oxygen Index (LOI), low thermal conductivity and the fact thatit does not shrink, melt or drip when exposed to a flame.
Fibre properties
Melamine fibre is a cost effective heat resistant fibre with a 400°F (200°C)continuous operating temperature. Melamine fibres are flame resistant, haveoutstanding heat/dimensional stability, and are self-extinguishing.Below are some important characteristics of Melamine fibre:
Inherent, non-toxic protection -
Fabrics made with Melamine are proven to benon-toxic and non-irritating through vigorous and extensive evaluation of VOCoff-gassing, smoke density and skin irritation
Highly insulating -
Melamine is the most thermally insulating fibre available,boasting the industry’s highest Thermal Protective Performance (TPP) ratings
Attractive finish -
Melamine is white in colour and dyeable to support manydifferent fabric finishes
Durable and protective -
With a superior dimensional stability, Melamine willnot shrink, melt or drip, making it an excellent choice for protection in electricarc, flash fire, molten metals and hot gas environments
Cool and breathable -
Elliptically-shaped Melamine fibres allow fabrics tobreathe better and keep wearers cooler• Melamine retains its protective qualities and durability through repeatedlaunderings • Chars without shrinking • Low thermal conductivity• High heat dimensional stability • Processable on standard textile equipment• Unparalleled ultraviolet (UV) resistance • Melamine is insoluble• Improve durability through fibre blending
Optimised design includes:
Minimising apparel weight and thickness
Maximising durability and minimising lifecycle costs through fibre blending
Blending with other fibre
Melamine fibres can be blended with both synergistic high temperature fibres andcommodity fibres for peak performance.• Melamine/cellulose• Melamine/polyesterMelamine/aramidMelamine/meta-aramidBecause of its variable denier and staple length, low tensile strength, anddifficulty in processing, Melamine is generally blended with stronger fibressuch as aramids. It is more often used in needled products or yarns made fromwrapped spinning techniques, though recent advances have led to satisfactoryring spun yarns, blended with other fibres, such as para-aramids, suitable forweaving into firemen’s turnout gear. This development may lead the way to itsadoption in other areas.
Faster, stronger, lighter, safer... these demands are constantly being pushed upon by today's researchers and manufacturers,including protective clothing - routine or specialised. High performance and high temperature resistant fibres aid enormously in allowing products to meet these challenges. The markets and products, which are facilitated by the use of these fibres, gofar beyond the scope and awareness of most people. Melamine fibre has recently entered the high temperature fibremarket, one of the newest fibres, and has made a rapid impact. Melamine fibre is an advanced synthetic fibre havingsuperior heat and flame resistance with decomposition temperature above 350°C
Self-extinguishing behaviour of model paper with 35 per cent WF series Melamine fibre.
Uses and applications
Apparel made with Melamine provides superior comfort, softness andbreathability while protecting people who work in hazardous environments.Melamine is suitable for competitive and compliant protective apparel solutionsthose are well-suited to industrial, military and fire service professions. In theevent of a fire, protective apparel must resist flame exposure and protect thewearer. Fabrics made with Melamine retain flexibility and dimensional stabilitywhen exposed to direct flame, ensuring that protective garments will not breakopen or shrink away during fire exposure.Fabrics made with Melamine add insulation and protection in technical apparel.Following are the major application of Melamine fibre in apparel:Fire fighter turnout gear, including gloves and hoodsMilitary and law-enforcement protective gearIndustrial garments and protective workwearRacing apparelApart from apparel, Melamine is also used for below application in industry:Mattresses, home furnishings/nonwovensSpeciality flame resistant papersElectrical papersTransmission/friction papers
Measurement Units Typical values
ColourIvory whiteAverage diametreµm15Average denierg/9000m2.2 - 2.4Specific gravityg/cm31.4Tensile strengthksi36Tenacityg/den2.0ModulusMsig/den1.055Elongation at breakPer cent11Moisture regain Per cent5(23°C, 65 per cent RH)Shrinkage at 200°CPer cent<1(1 hr exposure)Limiting oxygen indexPer cent32Maximum continuous°C200operating temperatureMaximum use temperature°C260-370°C (500-698°F)Melting temperature°CDoes not melt or dripHot air shrinkage, 1 hr. @ 200°CPer cent<1Resistance to mildew, aging, sunlightExcellentResistance to solvents, alkalisExcellentUV resistanceNo strength lossafter 200 hrs. xenon
Important properties of Melamine fibre
Melamine – Fibre cross section, longitudinal view, fabric and yarn
Protective converalls made with a Basofil/aramid firber blend hold up to flash-fire conditionsBeginning of testMid-testEnd of test
Heat Dimensional Stability
(A) Basofil (B) Para-aramid (C) Meta-aramid (D) Rayon (E) Polyester (F) Modacrylic
 By Vasant R Kothari, Assistant Professor, NIFT, Bangalore(Author can be contacted @ www.vasantkothari.com)
Filtration mediaEngineered materials/Short-fibre compositesAdhesives/FillersTire sealantsTruck/Rail brakes
Fire blocking fabrics:
Aircraft seating, fire blockersfor upholstered furniture in high-risk occupancies
Filter media:
High capacity, high efficiency, hightemperature bag house air filters.
High performance fibres and high temperature resistant fibres offer numerousadvantages over traditional fibres. Higher strength, lighter weight, higher operatingtemperatures and flame-retardant ability are some of the most prominent featuresof these fibres. These outstanding properties create opportunities to manufactureproducts that historically could not be made due to technical constraints. Theprotective clothing area is one of those markets.High performance fibres allow companies to enter niche markets, which typicallyprovide higher profits as well as strong barriers to entry for the competition. Evenin the high performance area, many markets have become "commodity"applications, particularly them Melamine in protective clothing, specifically fireresistance. The protective clothing market will continue to bring new opportunitiesfor high performance fibres as the fibre manufacturers expand their current productlines as well as create new and exciting specialised materials.Having only recently been introduced, Melamine has a limited range, but rapidlygrowing, of on-going applications. Potential looks promising for this highperformance, low cost fibre to find its way into a number of existing areas, especiallyas processing difficulties are overcome

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