Kevlar Aramid Fiber

Topics: Aramid, Polymer, Kevlar Pages: 3 (752 words) Published: May 26, 2005

Kevlar Aramid Fiber is a synthetic (man-made) material known as a Polymer. A polymer is a chain that is made up of many similar molecular groups, better known as ‘monomers' that are bonded together. ‘Monomers' are made up of fourteen Carbon atoms, two Nitrogen atoms, two Oxygen atoms and ten Hydrogen atoms. A single Kevlar polymer chain could possibly have anywhere from one to five million monomers bonded together.

A group of polymer chains can be organised together in a fiber. How the polymer chains are put together is important, as it improves the properties of the material. The flexibility, strength and stiffness of Kevlar fiber, is dependent on the orientation of the polymer chains. Kevlar fiber is an arrangement of molecules, orientated parallel to each other. This orderly, untangled arrangement of molecules is described as a "Crystalline Structure". A manufacturing process known as ‘Spinning' is needed to achieve this Crystallinity structure. Spinning is a process that involves forcing the liquefied polymer solution through a ‘die' (small holes).

The Crystallinity of Kevlar Polymer strands, contributes to the unique strength and stiffness of the material. Kevlar is very similar to other common synthetic polymers, including Nylon, Teflon and Lycra. In all Polated to strength. Aromatic refers to the Carbon atoms attached in a ring, and Amides refers to a group of Carbon, Nitrogen and Hydrogen atoms. Kevlar fiber is therefore a "Polyaromatic amide", as it has a high breaking strength.

Polymer chains are long, individual chains, although they behave as if they are attached to each other. The individual chains are actually held together by ‘Electrostatic Forces' between molecules, also known as ‘Hydrogen Bonds'. Scientists discovered this, by using a special type of X-ray microscopy called ‘XANES'. This was able to reveal the orientation of molecules in materials. It has also been discovered that the components of Kevlar fiber, have a...
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