Acrylic fibers are synthetic fibers made from a polymer (Polyacrylonitrile) with an average molecular weight of ~100,000. Synthetic fibers are the result of extensive research by Scientists to improve upon naturally occurring Animal and plant Polyacrylonitrile ( PAN) is a Resinous fibrous, or Rubbery organic Polymer. To be called acrylic in the U. S, the polymer must contain at least 85% acrylonitrile monomer. Acrylonitrile is the Chemical compound with the formula CH2CHCN Typical comonomers are vinyl acetate or methyl acrylate. Vinyl acetate is an Organic compound with the formula CH3COOCH=CH2 Methyl acrylate is a volatile alpha beta unsubstituted Methyl ester used in the preparation of Polyamidoamine (PAMAM dendrimers typically by Michael addition
The polymer is formed by free-radical polymerization. The fiber is produced by dissolving the polymer in a solvent such as N,N-dimethylformamide or aqueous sodium thiocyanate, metering it through a multi-hole spinnerette and coagulating the resultant filaments in an aqueous solution of the same solvent. Dimethylformamide is the Organic compound with the formula ( CH3)2NC(OH Sodium thiocyanate is the Chemical compound with the formula NaSCN Washing, stretching, drying and crimping complete the processing. Acrylic fibers are produced in a range of deniers, typically from 1 to 15. End uses include sweaters, hand-knitting yarns, rugs, awnings, boat covers, and beanies; the fiber is also used as a precursor for carbon fiber. Production of acrylic fibers is centered in the Far East, declining in Europe and now shut down (except for precursor) in the U. S. Former U. S. brands of acrylic were Acrilan (Monsanto). Creslan (American Cyanamid) and Orlon (DuPont).
Acrylic is lightweight, soft, and warm, with a wool-like feel. It dyes very well and has excellent colorfastness. It is resilient, retains its shape, and resists shrinkage and wrinkles. It is quite varied in form and sometimes has an appearance similar to wool or cotton. Wool is the fiber derived from the specialized skin cells called follicles of animals in the Caprinae family principally sheep, but the hair of certain species Cotton is a soft staple Fibre that grows around the seeds of the cotton plant ( Gossypium sp
Acrylic has recently been used in clothing as a cheaper alternative to cashmere, due to the similar feeling of the materials. Cashmere wool, usually simply known as cashmere, and sometimes known as Pashmina, is a fiber obtained from the Cashmere goat. The disadvantages of acrylic is that it tends to fuzz (or pill) easily and that it does not insulate the wearer as well as cashmere. Many products like fake pashmina or cashmina use this material to create the illusion of cashmere to the consumer. Pashmina refers to a type of fine Cashmere wool and the Textiles made from it
Acrylic is resistant to moths, oils, and chemicals, and is very resistant to deterioration from sunlight exposure. A moth is an Insect closely related to the Butterfly, both being of the order Lepidoptera. However, static and pilling can be a problem.