Present Situation Of R&D  For Functional Chemical  Fiber

Ghazanfar Abbas

Definition of functional fiber
• Functional fiber refers to the fibers which can exhibit some special functions while remain the traits of ordinary fibers. • The fiber can show various functions such as soft, dyeing, antistatic, flame retardant, absorptive etc. It can resemble the traits of natural fiber.

Production methods
• Fabric treatment • Produce functional fibers directly

Functional fiber types
• • • • Sanitarian fiber Defendable fiber Comfortable feeling fiber Functional fiber for medical use

1. Sanitarian fiber
• For this type of fiber, there are antibacterial fiber, negative ion fiber, miticidal, odor removable fiber etc.

 Antibacterial fiber

• Currently, there are two approaches to process antibacterial fiber and fabric.  Finishing  Modification

A contrast sheet between two processing methods
Processing method Application scope
Be applied to various fabric types. Especially for natural fiber, it is exclusive way to give fiber antibacterial effect. Be applied to synthetic fiber




With padding or coating, the fiber can show good effect.

Simple process, low cost and easy application.but product can’t bear washing and last long. Some organic agents is toxic and volatile. Long lasting effect, wash wear and steady quality fiber. Good touch and healthy fabric.


Physical and chemical modification, composite spinning

Antibacterial theory
• Modification gives synthetic fiber antibacterial activity. • The activity comes from the special active group in the molecule chain of fiber or introduces antibacterial active group to react with germ and kill germ in the end.

• According to different process and application, various antibacterial agents can be applied in high quality antibacterial fiber production. There are three types of antibacterial agents. Natural agent: such as chitosan Organic agent: such as quarternary ammonium salt Inorganic agent: such as silver ion

• Silver agent is most wide-spectrum antibacterial agent with very low toxity . • CTA has developed a silver antibacterial master batch and fibers.

Negative ion fiber
• In 1880, French scientists firstly found tourmaline has a very good effect on people’s health and environment. • In 1986, after more than 1 year’s research, two scientists in Tokyo University processed tourmaline into super tiny crystal (0.1µm) and mixed it into spinning dope to produce negative ion functional fiber.

The principle of negative ion’s sanitarian effect
• Negative ion can neutralize the acidic matter on human’s body. • The tiny power current passes through people’s skin and transmits to nerve center from nerve ending. • The blood circulation and pain restraint effect are produced by thus way.

• There are three materials to produce negative ion textiles. Ancient deposit ore on the seabed,such as diatomite . Natural ore such as tourmaline. Radioactive ore with low radioactivity.

Negative ion textiles process
• There are three methods to process negative ion textiles: Add superfine negative ion powder into spinning dope to produce negative ion fiber.

Process superfine negative ion powder into slurry and coat on fabric. Connect active group in new negative material with hydroxyl and amino group on fiber to form covalent bond which lead to good quality anion fabric.

• Negative ion textiles can emit low radioactivity which contact with oxygen and carbon dioxide and water molecule to lead ionization and emit negative ion continually.

Negative ion textiles evaluation standard
• It is believed to be a healthy space only when negative ion amount can reach 4000. • For bed gown, 5000/cm3 emission amount of negative ion is available when for old people, over 15000/cm3 is better.

Negative ion products application
• Negative ion products are processed into high grade fabrics, shirt and underwear. • They are also can be used in furnishing, such as window curtain, bedding and sofa cloth etc.

• Car inside furnishing fabrics and sanitarian goods such as kneepad, shoulder protector also use negative ion products.

2. Defendable fiber
• This category includes anti static fiber, radiation resistant fiber, flame retardant fiber and antimosquito fiber etc.

Antistatic fiber
• It is found that when adding conducting matter such as carbon black, carbon fiber or metal ramification into polymer, and then by composite spinning technology, the conducting fiber with excellent conductivity and long lasting effect is produced.

The development of antistatic fiber
• metal fiber • carbon fiber • conducting packing fiber • conducting composite fiber

Fiber types
Metal fiber

Good conductivity

Bad integration with ordinary fiber and high cost for superfine fiber.
High modulus and low bending strength, lack of tenacity. Conducting matter is easily stripped after washing and friction.

Carbon fiber

Low resistance

Conducting packing fiber

Low resistance

Conducting composite Low cost carbon black and good conductivity with fiber adjustable conduction scope

Conducting fiber development history
• In 1974, Du Pont firstly developed CB type sheath core conducting composite fiber Antron Ⅲ. • In 80th, the conducting composite fiber products in Japan had reached about 200 tons.

• CTA have formed the whole set of conducting composite fiber production technology and produced good quality composite conducting fiber products.

Conducting fiber application
• It is mainly used in military equipment, overalls, high grade wool products etc.

• It can also be used in information and precision manufacture industry, sanitarian field, hotel and oil station.

Anti-mosquito fiber
• There are usually two ways to prevent from sting. chemical or biological method personal protection by different equipments

• As a traditional and cheap mosquito equipment,mosquito net is most popular in the market. • Traditional mosquito net can only prevent a few mosquitoes, it can’t prevent attacks of large numbers mosquitoes and eradiate them.

• In order to offset these deficiency, CTA has developed anti-mosquito polyester net.

• Next are its traits:  a slow release effect  the long lasting effect of mosquito lethality  not harmful to people’s health  high anti-mosquito and mosquito lethality

Antimosquito fiber application fields
• mosquito net • military • curtain products • geological investigation • crude oil exploration

3. Comfortable feeling fiber
• This type of fiber includes moisture absorptive, sweating and temperature adjustable functional fiber.

Moisture absorptive and fast dry fiber
• Natural fiber such as cotton possess a good hydrophilic performance and a bad dry ability while traditional synthetic fiber shows the opposite way.

D f f use area f or di f f erent f i ber i f abri c( i n 30s)

di f f use area( squ are ml l i m i et er)

1000 800 600 400 200 0

680 380 90
PET nyl on cot t on

• In order to modify to fiber and give it adsorptive and fast dry ability, there are chemical and physical methods to change hydrophobic fiber into hydrophilic fiber.

chemical method:adsorptive fiber is produced by react ordinary polymer with reactive matter. physical method:we can make physical treatment on the fiber to facilitate capillary effect and increase adsorptive ability of fiber.

New modified polyester with good hydrophilic ability
hollow tiny porous fiber special section fiber surface tiny groove fiber

Hollow tiny porous fiber

Special section fiber
• It is refer to fibers with non-circular section. • According to section shape, there are:

Cross type

W type

Y type H type U type

• Fast dry ability is improved by :  outside groove  air permeability of fabric and specific area of fiber are increased  capillary effect of fabric are improved

• Among adsorptive and fast dry fiber with special section, cross section fiber is most common.

• In 1986, Du Pont developed cross section fiber CoolMax with four grooves on the surface. • It has been very popular because of its excellent adsorptive and fast dry ability.

• CTA has developed unique sweat-absorption & fast dry yarn and fabric. • With special designed structure and function, It has gain wide market in China.

Surface tiny groove fiber
• The improved adsorptive and fast dry ability of fabric which make skin feel dry and cool is exhibited due to:

 The tiny groove on fiber surface can bring out “capillary phenomenon”.  To mix with hydrophilic matter or composite spinning can also improve the hydrophilic adsorptive ability of fiber.  Finish with hydrophilic matter can change the hydrophilic performance of its surface.

Temperature adjustable fiber and balmy fiber
• Recently, it is reported that scientists in United State has developed a deodorant and anti-bacterial fiber. • The tiny capsule technology is applied in the development of this type of fiber.

• There are many compositions in the tiny capsule. • One is antibacterial matter and essence which can be evaporated to prevent odor.

• The other is phase change matter. The temperature adjustable function can be achieved by the phase change heat of material. • The ultraviolet radiation adsorbent is added into fiber to give fabric multi-function.

• When evenly mixing essence or balmy tiny capsule into chips to spin or placing essence into core by sheath core spinning, balmy fiber is produced. • Balmy fiber and its fabric is a kind of product with high additional value.

4. Functional fiber for medical use
• Functional fiber for medical use is the result from life science and material science. • It should also provide biological compatibility and biological degradation ability besides ordinary performances.

Chitin fiber
• main traits : good biological compatibility strong biological activity the function of antiinflammation, pain ease,haemostasia and antibacterial good biological degradation

• Chitin is a natural glucidamin polymer abstracted from shell of shrimp, crab and insects.

Chitin fiber for clothes
• microorganism restraint and odor adsorption • comfortable wearing and no simulative to skin and adaptive to infants to wear

Chitin fiber for medical use
• wound dressing • materials for bone defection • repair materials for nerve damnification

Alginic fiber
• Alginic fiber includes different compositions such as sodium alginic, calcium alginic, alginic acid, mannose and glucose. • This material has gained wide recognization and application in medical industry of world wide.

Curative effect
• Alginic fiber is fit for gauze, especially in bleeding, suppuration. • Excellent adsorptive ability is one of major features of alginic fiber.When calcified alginic acid can adsorb 17 times of body liquid.

• The fiber can show haemostasia effect in only 5 minutes. Its curative effect for abscess can reach to 80% while ordinary gauze can only reach to 30%. • At present, CTA has developed the production technology of alginic fiber and its nonwoven product and can fully meet various requirements.

The development situation of functional fiber
• The functional textiles account for 39% of all textiles in Japan while output of differential fiber account for 50 % of synthetic fiber.

• New fibers come from natural source that are environmentally friendly and easy processing and can provide high performance and easy care have been developed continuously in China.

Bamboo fiber
• Using bamboo which is uniquely abundant in China, China has developed bamboo fiber. • Bamboo fiber has become increasingly popular at present.

• Bamboo fiber is a long hollow fiber which is antiallergenic and can dye well. • It can be blended with other natural or man-made fiber and can fully satisfy customers’needs.

Bamboo fiber types
• There are two types for bamboo fiber: Viscose:to process bamboo material into slurry and get the regenerated fiber. Fibril:get rid of the lignin in bamboo. It’s a kind of high adsorptive fiber with different sections.

Other types
• Now there are varieties of functional fibers with wide range of properties have been developed. • Among them, flame retardant, far infrared, ultra-UV, antibacterial fiber have formed a certain degree production scale.

Functional fiber development in China
• As the largest manufacturer and customer nation of chemical fiber in the world as well as most rapidly developed country in chemical fiber production scale, China has many advantages and experiences in research, production and equipment.

• However, because of over production of ordinary products while large amounts of high performance, differential fibers and fabrics are still imported every year, reconstruction and modification to chemical fiber industry to develop more functional fiber products have been a primary topic in chemical fiber industry.

R&D have developed various type of functional fibers:

antibacterial conductive flame retardant adsorptive and fast dry biological


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