First U.S. Commercial PBI Fiber Production: 1983, Celanese Corporation

Current U.S. PBI Fiber Producers: PBI Performance Products

Federal Trade Commission Definition for PBI Fiber: A manufactured fiber in which the fiber forming substance is a long-chain aromatic polymer having recurring imidazole groups as an integral part of the polymer chain. (Complete FTC Fiber Rules here.)

Basic Principles of PBI Fiber Production — PBI is prepared from tetra-aminobiphenyl and diphenyl isophthalate spun via a dry spinning process using dimethyl acetamide as the solvent.

PBI Fiber Characteristics

  • No melting point
  • Will not ignite
  • Retains fiber integrity and suppleness upon flame exposure
  • High char yield
  • Dyeable to dark shades with basic dyes following caustic pretreatment
  • Mildew and age resistant
  • Abrasion resistant

Major PBI Fiber Uses — PBI is suitable for high-performance protective apparel such as firemen’s turnout coats and astronaut space suits and in applications where fire resistance is important.