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a thermogenic liquid crystal polyaryl ester fiber

Thermogenic refers to the liquid crystal state formed with the temperature increasing, existing in a certain temperature range. In addition to lyogenic liquid crystal (such as aramid fiber), refers to the liquid crystal state with the solvent, when the molecular concentration increased to a certain critical concentration.

Liquid crystal refers to the state of polymer aggregation, its molecular arrangement has characteristics of both liquid fluidity and solid arrangement in order.

Polyaryl ester refers to the chemical properties of Vectran, also known as aromatic polyester, which is a special polymer.

Vectran is considered to be the second generation of artificial super fiber after Kevlar and Twaron. Vectran was industrialized by Kuraray in 1990. Kevlar, the first generation star product of artificial super fiber, is the representative product of aromatic polyamide fibre also known as aramid fiber, which belongs to lytropic liquid crystals high performance fiber.
Vectran fiber and aramid fiber perform quite similar at mechanical properties and thermal stability. However, the resistance to creep properties, wear resistance, chemical corrosion resistance and strength retention rate at high/low temperature perform significantly better than those of aramid fiber.

Mechanical properties
Elongation at break
Filament number
Wetting Intensity
Breaking strength
Wet-dry strength ratio
Young modulus
Water absorption
Thermal properties
Limit oxygen index
Melting point
Dry-heat shrinkage rate
Wet-dry strength ratio
Initial thermal decomposition
(5% weight reduction temperature)

Reason to choose Vectran

Vectran's highly oriented fiber structure gives it excellent mechanical properties. Vectran is thinner than human hair but five times stronger than steel and 10 times stronger than aluminum. Its specific strength (strength/weight) is much higher than that of traditional metals with lighter materials to achieve higher strength, with obvious lightweight advantages.
High impact resistance
Vectran has impact resistance that similar materials cannot achieve. Using the Dynatup impact test, the aramid fiber was penetrated at impact energies up to 50 Vectran can withstand up to 125
High wear resistance
Vectran and aramid fiber were tested on the tribometer together, and the experimental results showed that the wear resistance of Vectran was about 10 times that of aramid fiber in both wet and dry conditions.
High resistance to bending
When tested on a bending tester with 1500D yarn, it took between 1,000 and 40,000 times to break an aramid fiber, and 115,000 times to break a Vectran.
Excellent cutting resistance
In both knitted and woven fabrics, Vectran™ has higher cutting resistance compared to aramid fibers.
Vibration reduction
Vectran™ has excellent damping characteristics. After being impacted, Vectran has good shock absorption and fast vibration attenuation, which can better reduce vibration. Aramid fiber, carbon fiber and other materials' vibration are reduced and slow.
Excellent creep resistance
Creep describes the phenomenon that the deformation of a material increases with time when the temperature and external force are constant. Vectran has excellent creep resistance and was once called zero creep material. Experiments showed that Vectran was four to five times more resistant to creep than aramid fibers.
Excellent thermal performance
Vectran has excellent thermal performance, including low thermal shrinkage rate, low thermal expansion coefficient, good thermal protection performance and outstanding thermal aging resistance. The cyclic thermal load test at a higher temperature showed that the strength retention rate of Vectran HT was always above 90%, while the strength retention rate of aramid fiber gradually decreased to below 60% with the increase of the number of cycles.
Excellent low temperature resistance
The Vectran maintained excellent strength at -60℃. That's one reason ILC Dover, the company that made the airbags for NASA's Mars rovers in 1997, finally chose Vectran as its material. Mars has an average temperature of -62°C, and the airbag must be able to withstand impacts at low temperature.
Resistance to chemical corrosion
In both knitted and woven fabrics,Vectran™ has higher cutting resistance compared to aramid fibers.
Low hygroscopicity
Low hygroscopicity Vectran has no hydrophilic groups in its chemical structure, so it does not absorb moisture at all. Vectran has an extremely low equilibrium moisture return regain compared to aramid fibers and does not lose toughness or cause dimensional changes when get wet.
Flame retardance
Vectran's molecular chain is composed of a large number of aromatic rings, and the flame suffocates due to the formation of a layer of bubbling carbon on the surface of the flame, so it is self-extinguishing without adding flame retardant.
Resistance to radiation damage
Vectran is transparent to microwave energy, does not absorb microwave energy, is almost unaffected by high levels of radiation, and remains stable in environments with high X-ray exposure.
Environmental protection
Vectran belongs to thermogenic liquid crystal fiber, which is manufactured by melt spinning. There is no complicated process to recover organic solvent and waste sulfuric acid, and there is no corrosion of concentrated sulfuric acid on the equipment, so the production is more environmentally friendly.

Field of Application

Mars Landing

Vectran™ was used as the core material for the soft landing of Mars Rovers by NASA's Mars Pathfinder (MPF) program in 1997 and Mars Exploration Rover (MER) program in 2004.

Extravehicular Activity( EVA )

The Vectran™ is being used by ILC Dover as the I-Suit for the Space suit model.

Deep Space Habitation

Used as a fabric layer of the expandable Activity Module (BEAM) to test and validate expandable habitat technology, the Vectran™ may become a material for future expandable dwelling structures for deep space travel.

A small piece of Vectran™ is still being tested by the Martian atmosphere, and it could be the material for a Mars space suit for a future human landing on the Red Planet.