What are meta-aramids? Nomex®, Conex®, and more, explained!

Steel worker wearing Protective clothing in a high temperature environment - yarn wholesale uk - SageZander

Meta-aramids are a highly versatile class of materials, with some well-known brands like Nomex®, Conex®, and NEWSTAR®. Meta-aramids are a type of aramid, a shortening of aromatic polyamide. Para-aramids are another form of aramid with exciting applications that you can read about here, with well-known brand names like Kevlar® and Technora®. Whereas para-aramids are particularly sought after for their high tensile strength, abrasion resistance, and cut resistance, meta-aramids are characterised by their outstanding properties like low thermal conductivity, low electrical conductivity, and that they do not melt at high temperatures. Meta-aramids are used in a large number of applications; firefighting garments, flight suits, racing suits, on hot air balloons, and it is even used in a paper form!

These properties of meta-aramids make them fantastically suited towards high temperature applications, electrical applications, and chemical applications. Not all meta-aramid fibres are equal; while DuPont’s Nomex® may be the appropriate fibre for one application, Teijin’s Conex® may be the appropriate fibre for another. You will find a number of meta-aramids below, with their examples of their applications. 

If you think that meta-aramids would suit your application, please do not hesitate to contact SageZander and we will endeavour to find a meta-aramid that will work for you. We are available at sales@sagezander.com and +44 (0)1260 295264.

DuPont Nomex®

Nomex® was the first meta-aramid developed and is also the most well-known, having been invented in the early 1960s. Nomex® is a relatively easy meta-aramid to dye, so it has been especially suited to use in clothing. Nomex® has been used in fire-resistant clothing for use in many settings. It is particularly well-known, for its use in fire-resistant clothing used on a daily basis by firefighters worldwide. Nomex® also protects the skirt of a hot air balloon from the intense heat and flames that come out of a burner. Most unexpectedly, Nomex® is even used in some guitars!

For continuous hot gas filtration, the maximum recommended temperature is 204°C. At 254°C, where polyester and nylon would melt, Nomex retains half of its original room temperature strength. 1000 hours of exposure to 260°C air only reduces the room temperature Nomex® strength by one third. You can read more about the technical specifications of Nomex® here.

Tayho NEWSTAR®

Tayho’s NEWSTAR® meta-aramid fibre is available as a raw white fibre, a dyed fibre, or as a filament in raw white and sage green. While it displays the same general properties of all meta-aramids, Tayho’s NEWSTAR® provides exceptional electrical insulation, providing 20kV/mm in paper form. NEWSTAR® can also be used to produce conveyor belts that operate in high temperature environments. NEWSTAR® is also a suitable fibre for use in high-temperature gas filtration. You can read more about Tayho NEWSTAR® here.

Teijinconex®

While Teijinconex® is also used in personal protective clothing, there are a myriad of innovative uses that have been found for this fibre; Teijinconex® is used to reinforce rubber parts in high temperature and chemical environments, making it incredibly well-suited to use in engines, machinery, and as high temperature filters. It replaces plastic additives like carbon and glass, which add much more friction and wear to the plastics compared to Teijinconex®. It is resistant to temperatures up to 400°C. With 100 hours of continuous exposure to 230°C, Teijinconex® retains all of its original strength. You can read more about this product here.

Filidea Meta Yarns

MetaFine is a meta-aramid that can be easily dyed. It is available as a pure meta-aramid, or in two blends; it is available with 5% para-aramid to ensure protection from any thermal shrinkage, and also in a yarn with 5% para-aramid and 2% anti-static fibres. Meta HT is a high tensile strength meta-aramid that is great for those applications where strength and heat resistance over extended timeframes are needed. MetaMicro is a Filidea meta-aramid fibre that is available in very fine counts, meaning that it is suitable for the production of very light fabrics with heat and fire-resistant properties, meaning that MetaMicro is well suited to use in fire resistant garments for racing drivers. It has been used to protect racing drivers in both the Formula 1®, and the World Rally Championship®.

Tay

Tay offer a variety of regenerated spun meta-aramid yarns, which are available in their natural colour, and in a variety of dyed options. These are available between Nm 4 and Nm 14. They will twist up to 10 threads.

Tay offer Nomex®, Conex®, and NEWSTAR® yarns in a variety of blends and colours with counts as fine as Nm 100 covering applications in high performance garments and industrial fabrics.