Modacrylic

How is Modacrylic made?

Modacrylic is a synthetic fibre derived from copolymers. It was first produced commercially in the US in 1949. Modacrylic is very similar to regular Acrylic, but with a lower melting point and a higher chemical and flame resistance.

Modacrylic Manufacture

Modacrylic is made up of 35-85% of its total weight being Acrylonitrile which is also known as Vinyl Cyanide. The word ‘Modacrylic’ is a contraction of ‘Modified’ and ‘Acrylic.’ It was produced mainly as an improvement to Acrylic with some of the properties being adapted to makes its overall performance better.

Modacrylic is manufactured by polymerising the components. A copolymer is produced. This is then dissolved in acetone and the liquid solution is pumped into a column of warm air. During this time the solution coagulates and begins to become slightly solid again. Whilst it is hot, it can be stretched to form fibres.

These fibres are produced in both staple and tow forms. They can also be made in various lengths, crimp levels and deniers. The shrinkage of Modacrylic can also be controlled so that good imitations of ‘Fake Fur’ can be made where all of the fibres are slightly different lengths.

Properties of Modacrylic

  • Soft
  • Strong
  • Resilient
  • Dimensionally Stable
  • Properties are similar to those of Acrylic
  • Flame Retardant
  • Do not combust
  • Moderate resistant to abrasion
  • Low tenacity
  • Poor Conductor of heat
  • Warm to wear
  • Prone to Pilling and Matting
  • Good shape retention
  • Will not crease
  • High elastic recovery
  • Resistant to Acids and Alkalis
  • Resistance to sunlight, moth and Mildew
  • Can be machine washed

End uses of Modacrylic

  • Fake fur fabrics
  • Fleece fabrics
  • Paint Rollers
  • Industrial fabrics
  • Non woven fabrics
  • Stuffed toys
  • Filters
  • Protective Clothing
  • Fabrics that require fire retardant properties
  • Furnishings
  • Draperies
  • Outdoor fabrics


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Kelly Mitchell

Written by Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, extremely competent and reliable, she is currently in her third year at the University of Lincoln UK, studying Fashion. Kelly is responsible for the Fabrics, Fibers and Leathers sections of our Dictionary


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