The world production of textile fibers has risen to 57.7 million tons in the year 2000. This corresponds to per capita consumption of 9.5 kg/year. A production volume of 77 million tons has been predicted for the year 20101. Technical textiles are generally recognized to be one of the most dynamic and promising areas for the future of textile industry. They are mostly defined as the textile materials and products manufactured primarily for their technical performance and final properties rather than their aesthetic or decorative characteristics.
The application of high performance textiles is increasing drastically because of their versatile properties. The necessary properties engineered into these fibers include those of antibacterial, deodorant, temperature control, elasticity, absorbency, and sensitivity to light and heat. This paper focuses on some of the important high performance and unconventional textiles, which finds specialized uses in the present scenario 2, 12 The tensile strength of the textile fibres is the most important for their industrial applications. The strength characteristics of the textile fibres can be improved by various developments in the manufacturing processes and the processing stages, e. g. The breaking length of the Aramid fibre was 190 Km in 1990, but it was improved to 223 Km in 1996. This is possible because of continuous research and developments in the field of manufactured fibres. The lightweight construction potential of fibres for the reinforcement of plastics is shown in Fig: 1 Fig. 1. The lightweight construction potential of fibres for the reinforcement of plastics
Some of the most widely used high performance textile fibres have been discussed below in brief:
The most important property of these industrial purpose fibers is their resistance to the actions of various chemical agents. They are distinguished by their good resistance to dilute acids and bases, while better chemical resistance is seen in Kevlar fibers. The common drawback of the aramid fibers is their low resistance, which is caused by absorption of ultraviolet radiation. Amongst aramid poly (p -phenylene terephthalamide) is the most successful high performance fiber. They are particularly used in reinforcement of radial tires both in the belt where the modulus contributes to tire performance and is the characteristics where the strength contributes to the durability. The tire system should have impact and fatigue resistance, durability and high-speed performance.
The necessary reinforcing fiber properties are high strength and modulus strength retention after fatigue and adhesion to rubber 3. They are used in filter bags for hot state gases, press cloths for industrial presses (e.g.: application of permanent press finishes to cotton and cotton/polyester garments) and insulation papers for electrical motors and transformers.
P-aramid fiber excels in these applications as compared to steel because in order to impart same strength as that of aramids, steel has to be 3-4 times heavier than the corresponding fiber. The combined attributes of low density, high strength, and stiffness of Kevlar fiber has led to numerous current aerospace composite uses, including exterior structure of aircraft and helicopters, interior aircraft structure, missile and space application.