Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Polymer and Fiber Science


Brown, Philip

Committee Member

Lickfield, Gary

Committee Member

Sharp, Julia

Committee Member

Mefford, Olin


A composite fiber system consisting of a sheath core bicomponent polymer fiber loaded with hard ceramic particles was developed and characterized for use in cut protective clothing. The core component was comprised of a copolyaramid in order to provide high base cut resistance. An acrylic-copolyaramid polymer blend was used for the sheath component to improve processability and provide potential benefits such as dyeability. Lastly, aluminum oxide particles were incorporated into the fiber core to deflect and deform the cutting edge, further improving cut resistance. A series of designed experiments was used to explore the effects of the wet spinning and heat treatment processes on the structure and properties of the bicomponent fiber. Cut strength of the as-spun fibers was highest when the coagulation rate was slow, promoting the formation of a dense, macrovoid free fiber structure. Upon drawing, fibrillar domains developed within the fiber, further improving cut performance. Cut strength was greatly improved by the heat treatment process despite the fibers becoming highly anisotropic. Addition of the hard particle fillers to the bicomponent fibers showed a decrease in cut strength at the fiber level but nearly doubled the cut strength of resulting fabrics. Finally, the processability of the particle loaded bicomponent fibers was evaluated.