Every application demands for its own specific fiber, based on the technical properties like strength, abrasion resistance, stretch and commercial properties like availability and price. SWIFT is the one stop shop for high performance yarns from multiple manufacturers. Today we are able to choose from many sources, various manufacturers of man-made yarns like the widely spread polyester and polyamide yarns to the more specific carbon, para-aramid and polyarylate yarns. SWIFT Fiber sources, imports, stocks and converts yarns into semi-finished products for your application.
We define the following inorganic fibers and organic fibers either from a mineral source or from a synthetic source.
Mineral Fibers (Inorganic)
Carbon fiber – is basically the carbon backbone of acrylic fibers after the yarns have been carbonized in a furnace. After the production a nice black fiber is what is left with high strength and a low elongation – very rigid. Carbon fiber is for instance used for the production of composites like carparts, sportsgoods and aviation and finds its way in more and more applications like hose and belt reinforcements.
Glass fiber – is made of molten sand (like ordinary flatglass) and share a lot of properties with carbon. Fiberglass is the most commonly used fiber in composites like windmills, pressure vessels, boats and cars. Fiberglass has twice the specific gravity of carbon but the cost is around 1/8 of the price of carbon. An ideal candidate for composites where weight is less of a concern.
Synthetic Fibers (Organic)
Aramid – is a family of yarns which can be divided in para-aramid and meta-aramid fibers. Both types are heat-resistant and chemical resistant. In terms of mechanical properties both fibers are completely different. Para-aramid is used in ballistic applications and is appreciated for the toughness of the yarn; it is difficult to cut. Meta-aramid is used in filtration, electrical insulation and frequently used in flame resistant applications - Read more about aramid
LCP or polyarylate - is a relative new fiber produced in Japan. LCP has a high strength, good flex/fatigue resistance and hardly creeps. The material does not absorp water and works excellent in extrusion (sheating). The high strength and low moisture content makes it a good candidate for cable and umbilical reinforcement. The good abrasion resistance is also recognized in high performance ropes, but it needs to be protected from UV.
Fluor – inside the family of fluor fibers, PTFE is the most known with Teflon® as the most recognized brand. But also PVDF is a branch of the family worth looking at. PTFE is appreciated for its non-stick character, high chemical and temperature resistance and good strength and abrasion resistance. The inherent flame resistance is also applicable to the PVDF fiber. Typical applications include mechanical packing, sewing thread, filtration and outdoor fabrics.
PBO - is an abreviation of polybenzoxazole and is known under the brandname Zylon®. PBO is a fiber with an extremely high tensile strength combined with a very low elongation resulting in a very high modulus. The fiber is inherently fireresistant and with an LOI of > 65 it has the best fireresistance among the various organic fibers. The fiber is good in heat transfer (high thermal conductivity) and is used in various applications where heat is a concern.
Polypropylene – is a very clean polymer with a low weight, good strength and a decent melting point. Due to the these properties PP is used in big ropes, nets and as concrete reinforcement. Standard PP has a poor UV resistance which could be altered by additives. The good chemical resistance makes it perfect for a lot of “dirty jobs”. Multifilament PP yarn with a higher filament count, offers some new opportunities in cut resistant applications.
Polyethylene – in standard strength is a nice fiber with various applications. Ropes of PE are the most standard form you will come across this fiber. The high modulus and high strength version of this fiber is mostly known under the brandname Dyneema® or Spectra®. Nowadays there is a an abundance of suppliers of this so called HMPE, HPPE or UHMWPE fibers and yarns and SWIFT Fiber can help you choose the right product for your application. It is difficult to adhere to, so the fiber is difficult to color (aftermarket). SWIFT Fiber is able to offer a range of standard colors which provides nice design opportunities.
Polyester – is the workhorse fiber which is available is so many types, colors and sizes that is should fit almost anywhere. Polyester is relatively cheap and available by the truckload with a high strength, good UV resistance, either with low or high stretch, low or regular shrinkage and available in various functionalized versions for even better performance.