What is Vectran™?

Vectran Fiber.jpgVectran™ is a manufactured fiber used to make specialty fabric and typically only those with a specific product application know much about it. This multifilament yarn is spun from a liquid crystal polymer (LCP) and is the only commercially available melt-spun LCP fiber in the world. Vectran™ fiber presents exceptional strength and rigidity because the material is five times stronger than steel and ten times stronger than aluminum. There are no real alternatives when it comes to working with Vectran™ as the qualities it brings to the table are distinctive and highly beneficial.

Due to its strength and unique properties this material is used in many diverse industries. Vectran™ is applied in everything from ropes and cables to deep sea exploration and military products.

Properties and Characteristics

The average tensile strength for Vectran™ is 26 grams/denier (HT grade). Vectran™ is more resistant to abrasion than a similarly sized aramid yarn. In addition, Vectran™ is more resistant to flex fatigue while also being a vibration dampener. Along with its favorable tension and chemical resistant properties, Vectran™ also has a wide thermal stability range when exposed to both cryogenic and highly elevated working temperatures. Vectran™ is unaffected by high levels of radiation and is transparent to microwave energy.

Moreover, Vectran™ as a fiber and a specialty fabric is a very durable material. It maintains its original dimensions when subjected to change in temperature with minimal creep and shrinkage. It will also retain its strength after repeated bending or flexing.

Vectran™ Is Resistant To:

  • Chemical and organic solvents
  • Acids (<90% conc.)
  • Bases (<30% conc.)
  • Impacts
  • Cuts/slashes/abrasions

Vectran™ has excellent offgassing (or outgassing) characteristics, which means the fiber has a strong ability to properly dissolve or release gas vapors rather than absorbing it into the material - avoiding potential lasting damage.

Applications

Once you have such a high-performing fiber, what do you do with it? This superfiber has been used everywhere from deep sea to deep space.

Because of its sturdy nature this material is perfect for products used in unsympathetic environments. Vectran™ is used in deep sea winch systems and subsea mooring lines. NASA uses Vectran™ as a layer for certain space suits. Vectran™ was also used for all the airbag landings on Mars as it helped the Mars Pathfinder and the twin Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity land safely. Opportunity, who launched in 2003, is still exploring to this day long outlasting its 90-day mission.

Vectran™ can be used in things a little closer to home as well. When the fiber is raw it can be dyed and because of this, it is often used in sporting goods such as paragliders, sailcloth, bike tires and snowboards. The fiber truly offers product manufacturers a wide variety of features in regard to design and functionality.

More common applications would be:

  • Ropes and cordage
  • Cut-resistant gloves
  • Webbing and slings
  • Medical devices/actuators
  • Hose/tube/pipe reinforcements
  • Textiles and composites
  • Electronic circuit boards
  • Fiber optic strength members

The Vectran™ fiber family is available in a range of deniers for textile processing which offers many selections of design and use. If you have a product application that requires a yarn or thread fiber that can withstand the toughest environmental challenges, Vectran™ could be the highest-performing material for your product needs.

Not sure if Vectran™ is the right solution for your application? Contact us to learn how Service Thread's experienced material specialists can make recommendations and improve the performance of your product.

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