Each type of fiber has its own unique properties that are taken into account in making a decision for a particular requirement. For example, reinforcing fibers need to have superior mechanical properties, and fibers for apparel/textiles applications would have different requirements from fibers for industrial or medical use.
Prior to making a fiber, the initial choice of a material is governed by a complete suite of material characterization tests to establish baseline properties.
Some of the essential parameters that are measured to characterize a fiber could include:
- Elongation at break.
- Recovery from elongation.
- Modulus of elasticity.
- Moisture absorbency: 2 - 5%.
- Zero strength temperature (excessive creep and softening point): above 215°C.
- High abrasion resistance (varies with type fabric structure).
Rheometry, Imaging (microscope-based technique), GPC, Light Scattering, and DSV, are some of the techniques that can be applied to help in the selecting of a base material and also in subsequent qualification of the fiber.