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First U.S. Commercial Polyester Fiber Production: 1953, DuPont Company
Current U.S. Polyester Fiber Producers: Color-Fi; Dak Fibers; Fiber Science, Inc.; Foss Manufacturing Co.; INVISTA LLC; Nan Ya Plastics Corp.; Palmetto Synthetics; Performance Fibers Inc.; Premiere Fibers, Inc.; Universal Fiber Systems LLC; Wellman, Inc.
Federal Trade Commission Definition for Polyester Fiber: A manufactured fiber in which the fiber forming substance is any long-chain synthetic polymer composed of at least 85% by weight of an ester of a substituted aromatic carboxylic acid, including but not restricted to substituted terephthalic units, p(-R-O-CO- C6H4-CO-O-)x and parasubstituted hydroxy-benzoate units, p(-R-O-CO-C6H4-O-)x. (Complete FTC Fiber Rules here.)
Basic Principles of Polyester Fiber Production — The most common polyester for fiber purposes is poly (ethylene terephthalate), or simply PET. This is also the polymer used for many soft drink bottles and it is becoming increasingly common to recycle them after use by remelting the PET and extruding it as fiber. This saves valuable petroleum raw materials, reduces energy consumption, and eliminates solid waste sent to landfills.
PET is made by reacting ethylene glycol with either terephthalic acid or its methyl ester in the presence of an antimony catalyst. The reaction is carried out at high temperature and vacuum to achieve the high molecular weights need to form useful fibers. PET is melt spun. For a detailed production flowchart, go here.
Polyester Fiber Characteristics
Some Major Polyester Fiber Uses
General Polyester Fiber Care Tips
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