When it comes to man-made fibers, they can usually be strong or tough, but not both,media reported. However, a new material developed by scientists at the University of Bayreuth in Germany is said to have both properties.
In short, strength is the ability to withstand without permanent deformation, while toughness is the ability to withstand without breaking. It is reported that the new fiber not only combines both characteristics, but is also very lightweight and fully recyclable.
Each fiber is about the width of a hair and consists of up to 4,000 smaller fibers made of an industrial polymer called polyacrytril. These smaller fibers, called primary fibers, are produced through an electro-spinning process. They are bonded together vertically using a small amount of polyglycol bi-stackn nitride.
The result is that a single fiber consists of many connected raw fibers. Stretch and heat the fiber, then cool it for a few hours – still stretched. The finished product is said to have a similar quality to spider silk. A short fiber (less than a fruit fly) can be used to repeatedly lift a substance of 30 grams of weight without breaking or permanently stretching. Now researchers hope that once the technology is further developed, “multi-fiber polyacryl fibers” can be used in textile, aerospace or pharmaceutical applications.
Lead scientist Professor Andreas Greiner said: “We can confirm that our findings open the door to new, forward-looking materials. These are expected to be applied in industry in the near future. In polymer science, our fibers will be able to provide valuable services for further research and development of high-performance functional materials. “
A paper on the study was recently published in the journal Science. Scientists from Martin Luther Hallewienberg University in Germany, The University of Technology at Aachen, the Ulrich Research Center, the Fraunhofer Institute of Materials and Systems Microstructures, Jiangxi Normal University in China and the Federal Institute of Technology zurich in Switzerland also participated in the study.