Superabsorbent Fibers

Uçar N., Karagüzel Kayaoğlu B.

in: Handbook of Fibrous Materials, Jinlian Hu,Bipin Kumar,Jing Lu, Editor, Wiley-VCH Verlag Weinheim GmbH , Berlin, pp.315-334, 2020

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Vocational Book
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Publisher: Wiley-VCH Verlag Weinheim GmbH
  • City: Berlin
  • Page Numbers: pp.315-334
  • Editors: Jinlian Hu,Bipin Kumar,Jing Lu, Editor
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Superabsorbent polymer (SAP) is a commodity product used in a variety of

industries over the last 30 years, from hygiene to filtration and from agriculture

to sportswear and food packaging [1]. These materials have added great value

to their product applications and improved the lives of millions of people every

day. They serve for holding and retaining extremely large volumes of water

and aqueous solutions inside, relative to its own mass [1–3]. Highly absorbing

polyelectrolyte polymer-based materials are able to absorb up to 50 g of fluid

per gram of dry mass; on the other hand, superabsorbent fibers can absorb 100

times its own weight in water [4].

As the population grows, the global demand for absorbent products increases

that triggers the growth in global SAPs market. According to Future Market

Insights’ report [5], by 2020, the value of global SAP market is projected to be

slightly over US$9 billion and reach 2,892,400 tons by volume. Another report

addresses the expected growth of global SAPs market to reach US$11.03 billion

by 2022. BASF SE, Nippon Shokubai, and Evonik Industries are the key

manufacturers of SAPs employing 51% of the production [6].

There are many ways to use SAPs such as SAP powder, SAP granule, and

SAP fiber. Among these, superabsorbent fiber can be handled easily during

processing and may have higher absorption speed than SAP powder/granule,

due to their fibrous shape. Thus, superabsorbent fiber can be transformed into

yarn to be knitted or woven in single or blended form with other fiber types in

order to meet end use expectations. Superabsorbent fiber can also be produced

in micro- or nanoscale that provides higher surface area, leading to improvement

in absorption and vapor transmission properties.