PyroTex specialty fiber: An innovation for Covid times
As a fresh wave of Covid-19 virus hits the country, innovative products such as the PyroTex specialty fiber are the need of the hour as it prevents the spread of the deadly virus, says Rajanna L Gotipamul & S B Vhanbatte.
PyroTex, an acrylic fiber by PyroTex GmbH, is modified in various ways in order to create a new safety fiber. PyroTex can be processed on short staple, worsted and OE (open-end) spinning machines. In addition, the fiber is very suitable for the production of nonwovens. Blended with fine Merino wool, PyroTex is used in underwear for people working with molten metal as well as in knitted fabrics that are used for the manufacturing of safety masks, so-called Balaclavas. PyroTex is flame-retardant, heat resistant, and is certified by the Hohenstein Textile Institute as Class 2 of the Oeko-Tex standard 100. PyroTex carbonises instead of melts and,thus, forms a protective layer that provides additional protection against flames and heat. PyroTex is the only fiber, which can equally be used in basic and acidic media.
Chemically modified acrylics, principally the modacrylics, introduce Cl atoms in their molecular structure, which are responsible for their low burning behavior, and have the ability to self-extinguish once the source of ignition has been removed. PyroTex is an inherent flame and heat-resistant PAN fiber with LOI of 43%, and shows good acid and alkaline resistance, UV resistance, good resistance against solvents, hydrolysis, and oxidising agents, and its temperature resistance is up to 250°C. The Hamburg-based company PyroTex Industries, Germany, has succeeded as the first manufacturer worldwide to produce a fiber that has an activity of 99.57% (99% after 14 seconds) against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This result has been confirmed by an independent, ISO certified laboratory according to ISO 18184: 2019.