Overview of solution-dyed acrylic fiber Currently, there are three common production methods for colored acrylic fiber: pre-spinning solution dyeing, wet bundle dyeing (i.e. gel dyeing), and continuous bundle dyeing for filament. In the textile market, acrylic fiber dominates the field of outdoor decoration (including not only awnings but also general outdoor products such as sun umbrellas, sunbeds, cushions, car covers, boat covers, and other outdoor activities) due to its outstanding sun resistance and weather resistance. Practical outdoor textiles must meet the following requirements:
- Excellent resistance to the sun and weather, unaffected by the environment;
- High strength, anti-mold and non-corrosive;
- Bright colors, with high color fastness to sunlight.
In recent years, due to the continuous expansion of the use of acrylic fiber in the outdoor market, especially in developed countries, the solution-dyed acrylic fiber has been further developed.
There are many ways to describe solution-dyed acrylic fiber, such as solution-dyed acrylic fiber, pigmented-dyed acrylic fiber, mass-dyed acrylic fiber, and dope-dyed acrylic fiber.
When synthetic fibers first appeared on the market, outdoor products were mainly made of cotton. Among various synthetic fibers such as acrylic, nylon, polyester, and polypropylene, acrylic has rapidly grown into the most suitable fiber for outdoor use. This is because acrylic has the following characteristics compared to cotton:
- Excellent brightness and the highest color fastness;
- Higher light resistance (meaning longer use cycle);
- Very good performance/price ratio.
After great success, acrylic fibre producers have developed special fibers for different outdoor uses. The main difference between this fiber and cotton and polyester is the excellent properties of acrylic fiber itself: although cotton and polyester require post-treatment on woven fabric to provide the necessary light and weather fastness, acrylic fiber already has these properties. Therefore, for acrylic fabrics, post-treatment that can affect the performance and quality of the fabric is no longer necessary, as with cotton and polyester.
Advantages of solution-dyed acrylic fiber Solution-dyed acrylic fiber has a very high color fastness. Generally speaking, according to the application, solution-dyed acrylic fiber can be divided into two categories: land-use solution-dyed acrylic fiber and water-use solution-dyed acrylic fiber.
- Color fastness requirements for ground-use solution-dyed acrylic fiber After being irradiated with UVA340 light in a controlled state for 2000 hours, the color difference is required to be less than 5 DeCMC, measured by a ULTRA SCAN XE spectrophotometer with a xenon lamp.
- Color fastness requirements for water-use solution-dyed acrylic fiber After irradiation with UVA340 light in a controlled state for 5000 hours, the color difference is required to be less than 5 DeCMC, measured by a ULTRA SCAN XE spectrophotometer with a xenon lamp.
From the test results of the light and weather resistance of solution-dyed acrylic fiber and polyester fabrics, after nearly 400 hours of aging tests, the strength of various colors of solution-dyed acrylic fiber has hardly changed, while the strength of polyester fabrics has decreased by about 50%.
In summary, the solution-dyed acrylic fiber has the following advantages:
- Excellent light and weather fastness;
- Sufficient strength for outdoor use;
- Resistance to UV degradation;
- Good mold resistance, resistance to chlorine and other chemicals, bright colors, and complete color spectrum;
- Can be used for all types of weaving and knitting equipment;
- Good sewing performance and fabric size stability.