Fibers are filiform elements, which present a high length ratio with respect to their maximum transverse dimension. They are characterized by flexibility and fineness.

Fibers are made of macromolecules referred as polymers. In turn, these polymers are composed of a sequence of monomers. Polymers are chemically stable while monomers are chemically unstable, which explains the reaction of the union of monomers in the formation of a polymer.

The polymer length is a very important factor, since almost all fibers have very long polymer chains. Regarding the molecular arrangement, fibers can be highly or slightly oriented. When they are highly oriented, they conform a crystalline region, which means that the polymers are longitudinally aligned and in order, more or less parallel. In the case of fibers being slightly oriented, amorphous regions are formed, where the polymers do not have a defined orientation.

Highly orientated polymers confer fibers high tensile strength, low elongation, heat resistance and chemical resistance. On the contrary, the amorphous areas of slightly oriented polymers give fibers features such as: flexibility, softness and comfort.

Fibers can be classified attending to several aspects:

  • With respect to the length, fibers can be classified as discontinuous, when they are limited to a few centimeters length; or continuous, when they have a very high length, which is only limited by technical reasons;
  • With respect to its origin, they can be classified as natural or man-made fibers. Within the latter group, artificial, synthetic and inorganic fibers can be found. Natural fibers exist as they are found in nature, and can be of animal, vegetable or mineral nature.
Fibras Naturais

Natural Fibers

The natural fibers can be of animal, vegetable or mineral origin. In recent years there has been a renewed interest in natural fibers considering the issues related to the sustainability of the planet.

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Non-Natural Fibers

The non-natural fibers have been developed with the aim of improving various properties such as mechanical efficiency, thermal stability and electrical conductivity, to natural fibers.

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fibras inorgânicas

Inorganic Fibers

Inorganic fibers, also sometimes called high performance fibers or super-fibers, have characteristics and properties that differ from other man-made fibers.

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fibras funcionais

Functional Fibers

Functional fibers are fibers which perform a specific function, may be defined as being unique, in that each is able to respond to a given situation.

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Nanosciences and nanotechnology led to the nanofibers and is currently the main focus of research, development and innovation, where investments have been significant.

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fibras multicomponentes

Multicomponent Fibers

It is hoped that in the future, the possibility of combining the properties of the base polymer, the bicomponent fibers are assumed to be engineered materials in areas as diverse as medicine, architecture, agriculture and even fashion.

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