New Millennium Fibers | Tatsuya Hongu, Glyn O. Phillips and Machiko Takigami


New Millennium Fibers
By Tatsuya Hongu, Glyn O. Phillips and Machiko Takigami

New millennium fibers


Preface ix
Author contact details xii
1 Searching the roots of fibers 1
1.1 The importance of fiber in human life 1
1.2 What is high-tech fiber? 4
1.3 Natural versus synthetic fiber 10
1.4 Artificial fiber by biomimetics 12
1.5 Definition of fibrous materials 15
1.6 Fiber: characteristics and shapes 16
1.7 Fibers as hierarchical structures 18
1.8 What should we investigate in the field of fiber and textiles? 19
1.9 Bibliography 28
2 The new frontier fibers? 32
2.1 Enlargement of the frontier in a fiber competition age 32
2.2 ‘Selection’, ‘concentration’ and ‘originality’ development on a world-wide scale 35
2.3 New fibers for the next generation have arrived 43
2.4 The distinction between high-tech fiber, frontier fiber, and new frontier fiber 47
2.5 Key words for the near future 47
2.6 How to develop new application fields 49
2.7 New frontier field now growing 51
2.8 Bibliography 63
3 Superfibers 65
3.1 Description of superfibers 65
3.2 Development of superfiber in Europe, the United States and Japan 68
3.3 Superfiber as a reinforcing material 69
3.4 Frontiers of superfiber applications 76
3.5 Nanofiber (carbon nanotube) 91
3.6 High polyketone fiber 92
3.7 Bibliography 95
4 Carbon fiber expands towards the twenty-first century 99
4.1 PAN-based and pitch-based carbon fiber lead the world 99
4.2 A step of development of carbon fiber 103
4.3 The future of PAN-based carbon fiber 127
4.4 Bibliography 128
5 High function fiber 130
5.1 Prospects for high function fiber development 130
5.2 Sportswear using the high function fiber 144
5.3 Comfort function fiber 151
5.4 Biomimetic and intelligent fibers 158
5.5 The new areas 166
5.6 Bibliography 168
6 Frontier of health and comfort fibers 173
6.1 Fibers for health 173
6.2 Development of medical care materials to learn from ‘smart fiber’ 179
6.3 Development trend of comfortable fiber for health 184
6.4 Trend to seek for cleanliness and comfortableness 186
6.5 Fiber to guard environment and health 204
6.6 Technical concentration to achieve comfort 212
6.7 Bibliography 216
7 Polymer fibers for health and nutrition 218
7.1 The concept and effects of dietary fiber 218
7.2 Hydrocolloid fibers 221
7.3 The main hydrocolloids 227
7.4 Dietary fiber – in health and disease 243
7.5 The appropriate molecular features to achieve 244
7.6 Bibliography 245
8 Fibers in medical healthcare 247
8.1 Nonwoven 247
8.2 Alginate fibers 248
8.3 Superabsorbent fibers 250
8.4 Wound healing and polysaccharide fibers 251
8.5 Hyaluronan – a new medical fiber 255
8.6 Other fibrous scaffolds for tissue engineering 261
8.7 Collagen: medical applications 261
8.8 Medical textiles 263
8.9 Bibliography 268
9 Developments in nanofibers for the new millennium 269
9.1 Background 269
9.2 Nanotechnology, materials and nanofiber 271
9.3 Creation of new industries 283
9.4 Researches and global developments of nanofiber 286
9.5 Further reading 287
9.6 References 287

Looking forward into the twenty-first century, it is becoming clear that the narrow concept of a fiber as something capable of being used for clothing and related areas is becoming outmoded. Fibers in biological systems are driving the new fiber science and technology, which is flourishing in Asia and particularly in China. No longer can there be reliance on products based on petroleum, which is already proving unreliable in maintaining guaranteed supplies. Alternatives must be found, preferably from renewable sources. Energy saving, securing the environment along with personal health and safety will call for a greater emphasis on quality rather than quantity. It is the climate in which the nanofibers have appeared. Japan has been a pioneer in combining fiber design with biological function (biomimetics) and has pioneered this bottom-up type of development, but now more top-down type investigations are also called for and are slowly gaining momentum. One practical result of this approach has been the market launch of ‘Morphotex®’ with the layered structure of nanofiber as in the MORPHO butterfly.

It is these newer areas, which are likely to appear during the twenty-first century, which are given emphasis in this book. It follows and is meant to supplement our previous two books, both entitled New Fibers. The first edition was published in 1990, then by Ellis Horwood Ltd. It was extremely well received and we were encouraged by Woodhead Publishing Limited (who acquired the assets of Ellis Horwood) to produce a revised edition in 1997. We have named this new volume New Millennium Fibers to preserve the same approach and to follow on from our other two volumes. We hope that it will be received just as enthusiastically. Once again the emphasis is on developments in fiber technology and applications, mainly in Japan. It opens up to Western countries the type of thinking which directs the fiber science and technology industry in Japan, and thus to a global perspective.

The Japanese fiber textile industry is characteristically technology-oriented. Its innovative approach led to Shingosen ultra-fine fiber, and the new target is now high-tech fibers. These are the fibrous materials produced by advanced technology, and include high performance fiber with ultra-strength, high function fiber with various functions for health care, comfort etc., and high touch fiber with superb hand feel.

Fiber textiles science and technology is moving forward positively into the twenty-first century, and the prospect is that the new fiber textile materials will be developed in association with other industrial fields. Fiber textile technology, for example, has closely followed and been greatly influenced by the information technology (IT) and biotechnology revolutions. Tension members for supporting optical fibers, integrated circuit boards for mobile phones, and wearable computers are examples where fiber textile technology has interfaced with the IT revolution. Bacteria are known to produce cellulose and polyester, and soon there could be more industrial bio-plants to produce fibers. Many chemical fibers and textiles in the twentieth century were developed by mimicking the structure of natural fibers, using the approach called ‘biomimetics’. These fibers and textiles could well themselves possess bio-functions in the twenty-first century. This book projects the subject into this exciting future. Chapter 1 describes fibers and textiles in general, and identifies the scope of high-tech fibers. Chapter 2 reviews the present status and prospects of fiber textile technology, into what we have termed ‘new frontier fiber’. Chapter 3 reviews the high performance fiber from its origin to its future application. Carbon fiber is used as an example of a typical high performance fiber in Chapter 4.

Thereafter, attention is focused on health care and the environment. We wish to convince the reader that fiber textile technology can be pivotal in helping to enrich our lives in the twenty-first century. Fibers in the twentieth century were perceived mainly in terms of clothing, ropes or nets by the consuming public. These were the visible areas which people could recognize. In the twenty-first century fibers will enter into novel and unexpected applications. We are approaching the age of the wearable computer and organic electroluminescent wearable displays. New potential is open to fibers by building on traditional fiber engineering which produced fiber composite materials for the amusement and car industries, civil engineering and construction, and the aerospace industry; separation membranes using hollow fibers for artificial organs, plastic optical fibers for information technology, biodegradable fiber for ecological conservation; and fibers with biological functions. A greater integration will ensure their increasing contribution to new aspects of the environment and human life.

The book moves away from a narrow interpretation of fiber. Surely the scope of fibers will be enlarged in the twenty-first century away from the visible fiber cloths of the twentieth century to unseen fiber composite materials, and from fibers for practical conventional use to molecular fiber, and nanofiber which can themselves control operations. It is an exciting future. The ideas have already been advanced in the Japanese language in the books by Dr Hongu: High-Tech Fibers (1999) and New Frontier Fibers (2000). We have received great support in initially transporting these ideas into English by Professor Dr Kanji Kajiwara, Otsuma Women’s University, and valuable information about recent trends in fiber technology were conveyed by Professor Dr Akihiko Tanioka and Dr Masatoshi Tokita, Assistant Professor of Tokyo Institute of Technology. We thank them and also Nikkan Kogyo Sinbun-sha for permission to use information from the books mentioned, and member companies of the publicity committee of the Japan Chemical Fiber Association and other fiber-related companies for valuable photographs and data.

Tatsuya Hongu
Glyn O. Phillips
Machiko Takigami

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