Fibrous Materials

What Is Fibrous Material? 

The materials which are made up of fibres are generally known as fibrous materials. The fibres are sticking to each other, which ultimately results in a solid substance. So, the fibrous materials constitute a large number of individual fibres. fibres are the fundamental units that make up textiles and yarns. Fibrous materials can generally be classified into two broad categories: 

  • Natural fibres 

  • Synthetic fibres 

Natural fibres are those which occur on our planet naturally. These fibres come from plant or animal sources. Whereas, Synthetic fibres are those which are made through chemical processes by humans. These do not occur naturally on the planet.

Fibrous Materials Uses

Fibre is the basic unit in making a silk yarn and in the production of fabric. Fibres can occur naturally or synthetically, that is man-made. There are plenty of natural fibres, mostly organic, but some are also inorganic in nature. fibres are generally used in the process of manufacturing several materials. Strong Engineering materials are the ones that have used fibres efficiently accounting for their strength. Examples of natural organic fibres include cotton, jute, sisal, silk, wool, etc., while asbestos, wollastonite, and basalt are inorganic fibres that occur in nature.

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Examples of Fibrous Materials

  • Examples of natural fibres are cotton, wool, jute, linen, silk, and hemp.

  • Examples of synthetic fibres are polyester, nylon, asbestos, basalt, etc.

  • Examples of fibrous materials which are formed through sticking together of natural or synthetic fibres are wood, woollen clothes, yarns, tree trunks, stems, branches, clothes, upholstery, etc. 

What are the Uses of Fibrous Materials? 

Fibrous materials find their use in various applications in day to day lives. Let us find out the most important fibrous materials uses one by one: 

  • Civil Engineering 

In civil engineering, the applications of fibrous materials are both structural and non-structural. Fibres are used for structural reinforcement and in non-structural applications, they are used in geotextiles. For civil engineering applications, fibrous and composite materials analyse the types and characteristics of fibrous textiles and structures and their applications in fortification and construction management.

  • Thermal Insulation 

Fibrous materials are known to encapsulate air within the fibres, so this prevents heat transmission by convection. This reduces the conduction of gaseous heat by reducing collisions between gas molecules. And hence, they are suitable or rather perfect materials for providing efficient thermal insulation.

  • Acoustic Insulation

The fibrous materials have porous structures which enable them to have the property of offering great absorption of sound or noise. Hence, they find their use in various music studios and noise-cancelling rooms by providing good acoustic insulation.

  • Fabrics and Reinforcement materials 

The flexible fibrous materials are made rigid and strong by using various additives. They are morphed into different shapes. The usage of the fibrous materials until the mid of the twentieth century was just restricted to household uses and clothing. But, towards the end of the twentieth century, they were available for use in the form of fabrics or as reinforcements for making composites.

  • Non-textile Usage 

For non-textile operations, synthetic fibres are preferred as they are generally strong and extremely stiff. 

  • Yarns

Fibres are often used in the form of yarn because the multi-filament yarn is much more flexible than the single solid filaments of the very same thickness. Knitting is also another way to produce fibre. It involves interlacing yarn and has a high degree of expandability. Braiding involves interconnecting the fabric in a bias which has high torsional stability.

Production of Fibrous Materials

Production of such fabrics requires a lot of reduced-density fibres. Whether they are being used to produce yarn, cloth, or garments, the fibres can be easily wedged together and stuck between the pleats of the regular cartridge filter making it exceedingly difficult to remove during pulse cleaning and developing the pressure decrease mostly on the filter.

Example Questions 

Q1) Which is the Strongest Fibre? 

Ans. The strongest fibre is rayon which is used for manufacturing high tensile strength ropes.

Q2) Which is the Strongest Naturally Occurring Fibre? 

Ans. The strongest naturally occurring fibre is called Spider silk. It has a tensile strength of 1.3 gigapascals. 

Q3) which is the Cheapest Natural Fabric? 

Ans. Jute is the cheapest naturally occurring fabric. It usually consists of plant materials known as cellulose and lignin.

Q4) Which is the Weakest Natural Fibre? 

Ans. The weakest naturally occurring fibre is wool. It experiences a lot of shrinkages when washed.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Clothes in Natural Fibres?

Ans. The Advantages of Natural Fibres are: 

  • Porous and do not stick to the body 

  • Absorbs sweat easily 

  • Light fabric 

  • Wool makes us warm in winters and cotton makes us feel cool in summers

  • Less costly 

  • Their manufacturing process does not harm nature 

The Disadvantages of Natural Fibres are: 

  • Not extraordinarily strong and lasting 

  • Difficult to iron 

  • Do not dry very quickly 

  • Not crease resistant 

  • Have the possibility of shrinkage 

Q2. Why Did Synthetic Fibres Become so Popular with Time, and What are their Main Advantages? 

Ans. The synthetic fibres became popular due to their advantages over natural fibres like cotton, wool, silk. They are listed below: -

  • They absorb very less water, and hence synthetic fibre fabrics dry very easily after washing. 

  • The fibres which are man-made are extraordinarily strong and last exceptionally long. They are so strong that they are used to make parachutes and ropes used in rock climbing. 

  • They are also stain-resistant and can handle heavy loads without getting broken 

  • One of the main advantages of synthetic fibres is that they can be customised as per our needs by altering their properties.

  • The properties of synthetic fibres can be altered as per needs. Since they are man-made through chemical processes, if we want to use them for a specific purpose, the composition of the fibres can be altered by changing the raw materials or the manufacturing processes. Some examples are nylon, spandex, rayon, aramid, olefin and many more.