News / Press Release

Rayon Triumphs Steel; National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center Unveils the Critical Microstructure of High-Strength Fiber

Industrial high-strength fiber has been extensively used in daily lives. In addition to the well-known carbon fiber, “aramid fiber” has become the most comprehensive application and the largest production for the high-strength, flame retardant, and corrosion resistant fiber. Thus strong fiber is considered irreplaceable in fields such as national defense, aerospace, automotive, and energy materials. For flourishing market demand, an annual output of aramid fiber is nearly 100K tons in the word. Only several countries, including the US, Japan, Russia, and South Korean, however, are capable of mass production. Among them, the US and Japan occupy 90% market share.

Developing by DuPont company, “Kevlar” is an aramid fiber with currently the world’s leading high-strength fiber. Their strength is 5 times stronger than steel, with merely 1/5 the density of steel. In fact, the light-weight bullet proof clothing is mostly made by Kevlar.

Coordinating with the policy of the MOST for national technology development, the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center (NSRRC) is not only dedicated to establishing advanced scientific facilities, but also actively promotes the scientific and industry researchs with Taiwan companies. The NSRRC has cooperated with the Far Eastern New Century Co. for developing the new aramid fiber. This new aramid fiber, featuring light and high strength, as well as resistant to high temperature and chemical corrosion, could be widely used in high-strength composite materials to replace the traditional heavy metals, such as tires, vehicle bodies, light aircrafts, suspension ropes for large machinery, and submarine cables.

Taiwan Photon Source has a high-brightness synchrotron X-ray source for advanced technique of X-ray scattering and diffraction; therefore, we can directly observe important microstructural information of the fiber, including the degree of orientation, crystallinity, and crystal size etc. in-situ, Dr. Chuang Wei-Tusng, an associate research scientist of the NSRRC, said. The understanding microstructural information further help the industry to control parameters of fiber spinning process for optimizing the fiber performance, as well as drastically reducing the developing duration of products.     
The synthetic fiber must undergo complex and multiple procedures of extending and annealing before potentially achieving the high-strength property. Past studies have used end products for testing and analysis, which results in difficulties in clarifying on the effects of each procedure on the physical characteristics of the fiber and requires much time and work with uncertain process adjustments.

In addition, the NSRRC has customized a “mini wet-spinning machine” for the industry at the End-Station of synchrotron X-ray scattering and diffraction in order to simulate the actual process status, and instantly monitor the dynamic changes of the microstructure from the fiber formation to each processing procedure through the brightness X-rays. The mini spinning machine has successfully helped the industry to locate the optimized process parameters and reinforce the stability of the process, which drastically reduces the development duration of products.

In order to accelerate on the transformation and upgrade of Taiwanese industries, the government has utilized the core values of “innovation, employment, and allocation” on pursuing for a new pattern of sustainably developed economy, and stimulates innovative sentiment and energy among industries through the 3 major policies of “future connection, global connection, and local connection”.

The high-brightness light source and advanced technology of the NSRRC not only helps local Taiwanese industries in obtaining critical microstructures, but also assists the industries in elevating market values and actuating innovative upgrades, which further expands on the global market. In addition to the textile industry, the particular technology has also infused new dynamics into industries such as automotive, aerospace, as well as green energy and 5G material R&D.