Acrylic Fiber | Properties and Uses | Synthetic Fiber | The Stricker |

Acrylic Fiber | Properties and Uses |

Acrylic fibers are synthetic fibers made from a polymer (polyacrylonitrile) with an average molecular weight of ~100,000, about 1900 monomer units. To be called acrylic in the U.S; the polymer must contain at least 85% acrylonitrile monomer. Acrylic fibers are produced by two basic methods of spinning (extrusion); dry and wet. In the dry spinning method; the material to be spun is dissolved is a solvent.

  • Acrylic is defined as a refers to a fiber contain at least 85% acrylonitrile monomer; while in modacrylic, the percentage of acrylonitrile must be less than 85% but greater than 35%.
  • Acrylic Fiber has replaced wool as it gives the same properties as wool fiber like warmth, etc..
  • The Acrylic monomer =(CH2=CH-CN) made by the following reaction.
  • Acrylic Fiber has replaced wool. It gives the same properties as wool fiber like warmth, etc..
  • Acrylic monomer =(CH2=CH-CN) made by the following reaction
CH=CH       +            HCN ———>-(CH2=CH-CN)

Properties of Acrylic Fiber:


  • Structure: – Normal C/s Of dog bones.
  • Density :-1.17 gm/cc ( light weight).
  • Crystallinity:-65 to 85%.
  • Moisture Regain- 2.5.
  • Tenacity :-2.0 to 3.6 Gpd.
  • Nature:- Thermoplastic.
  • Elasticity :- at 2% extension 35%.
  • Appearance:- Slightly wavy.
  • M. P.:- 232 to 255′ C.
  • Chemically: – Resistance to weak alkali, less resistance to acid; no damage due to sunlight, no attraction to moth larva, and microorganisms.


Effects of chemical


  • Acid: It has good resistance to mineral acid.
  • Alkali: The resistance to weak alkali is fairly good but hot strong alkali damages this fiber.
  • Solvent: It has excellent resistance to common solvents; oils, greases, and natural salts.
  • Water:moisture regain of this fiber varies from 1.5% to 3%. Easy to wash and quick drying.


Effect of heat and sunlight


This fiber has very good thermal stability. The safe ironing temperature is at 1600C. At 230 – 2350C acrylic sticks with the iron i.e. melting occurs. High temperatures may sometimes cause yellowing of this fiber.


Effect of Biological agents


This fiber is unaffected by mildew, molds, leaves, and insects.


Uses of Acrylic Fiber


Acrylic is lightweight, soft, and warm, with a wool-like feel. It can also be made to mimic other fibers; such as cotton when spun on short staple equipment.

Some acrylic is extruded in colored or pigmented form; other is extruded in “ecru”; otherwise known as “natural,” “raw white,” or “undyed.”

Pigmented fiber has the highest lightfastness. Its fibers are very resilient compared to both other synthetics and natural fibers. Some acrylic is used in clothing as a less expensive alternative to cashmere; due to the similar feeling of the materials.

Some acrylic fabrics may fuzz or pill easily, though there are low-pilling variants. Acrylic takes color well; is washable, and is generally hypoallergenic.

End-uses include socks, hats, gloves, scarves;  sweaters, home furnishing fabrics, and awnings. Acrylic can also be used to make fake fur and to make many different knitted clothes.

As acrylic is a synthetic fiber the larvae of clothes moths are unable to digest it. However, acrylic fibers that are blended with wool or soiled may be eaten as a consequence of having blended fibers.



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