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First U.S. Commercial Olefin Fiber Production: 1958, olefin monofilaments for various specialized uses; 1961, Hercules Incorporated, textile grade multifilament polypropylene
Current U.S. Olefin Fiber Producers: American Fibers and Yarns Company; American Synthetic Fiber, LLC; Color-Fi; FiberVisions; Foss Manufacturing Co., LLC ; Drake Extrusion; TenCate Geosynthetics; Universal Fiber Systems LLC
Federal Trade Commission Definition for Olefin Fiber: A manufactured fiber in which the fiberforming substance is any long-chain synthetic polymer composed of at least 85% by weight of ethylene, propylene, or other olefin units, except amorphous (non-crystalline) polyolefins qualifying under category (1) of Paragraph (I) of Rule 7. (Complete FTC Fiber Rules here.)
Basic Principles of Olefin Fiber Production — Olefin fibers (polypropylene and polyethylene) are products of the polymerization of propylene and ethylene gases. For the products to be of use as fibers, polymerization must be carried out under controlled conditions with special catalysts that give chains with few branches. Olefin fibers are characterized by their resistance to moisture and chemicals. Of the two, polypropylene is the more favored for general textile applications because of its higher melting point; and the use of polypropylene has progressed rapidly since its introduction. The fibers resist dyeing, so colored olefin fibers are produced by adding dye directly to the polymer prior to or during melt spinning. A range of characteristics can be imparted to olefin fibers with additives, variations in the polymer, and by use of different process conditions.
Olefin Fiber Characteristics
Some Major Olefin Fiber Uses
General Olefin Fiber Care Tips
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