These fibers are synthetic textile fibres of high polymers which are obtained by esterification of dicarboxylic acids, with glycols or by ester exchange reactions between dicarboxylic acid esters and glycols.
The main raw materials required for the manufacture of polyester fibres are p-xylene ethylene glycol and methanol.
The use of Dimethyl Teraphthalate is preferred instead of Teraphthalic acid as the purity of the reacting chemicals is essential and it is easier to purify DMT than teraphthalic acid.
Production of Polyester Filament Yarn from Polyster Chips
The polymer is made by heating teraphthalic acid with excess of ethylene glycol (Both of high priority) in an atmosphere of nitrogen initially at atmospheric pressure. A catalyst like hydrochloric acid speeds up the reaction.
The resulting low molecular weight ethylene glycol teraphthalate is then heated at 280 deg C for 30 minutes at atmospheric pressure and then for 10 hours under vacuum. The excess of ethylene glycol is distilled off. the ester can polymerise now to form a product of high molecular weight. The resulting polymer is hard and almost white substance, melting at 256 deg C and has a molecular weight of 8000-10000. Filaments are prepared from this.
Spinning of Polyester Fibres
The polymer is extruded in the form of a ribbon. This ribbon is then converted into chips.
The wet chips are dried and fed through a hopper, ready for melting. This molten polymer is then extruded under high pressure through spinnerettes down to cylinder.
Each spinnerette contains 24 or so holes. A spinning finish is applied at this stage as a lubricant and an antistatic agent. The undrawn yarn is then wound onto cylinders.
This yarn goes to the drawing zone, where draw twist machines draw it to about four times their original length. This is hot drawn in contrast to cold drawing of nylon filaments.
For the production of staple fibres, the filaments are first brought together to from a thick tow. These are distributed in large cans. The tow is drawn to get correct strength. Then it is passed through a crimping machines, the crimps being stabilized by heating in ovens. It is then cut into specified lengths and baled ready for dispatch.
Manufacturing process of PET
Crystalline structure of PET
Properties of Polyester
At 65% RH and 70 deg F–> 0.4%
Because of low moisture regain, it develops static charge. Garments of polyester fibres get soiled easily during wear.
Polyester fibres are most thermally stable of all synthetic fibres. As with all thermoplastic fibres, its tenacity decreases and elongation increases with rise in temperature. When ignited, polyester fibre burns with difficulty.
Polyester shrinks approx 7% when immersed in an unrestrained state in boiling water. Like other textile fibres, polyester fibres undergo degradation when exposed to sunlight.
Its biological resistance is good as it is not a nutrient for microorganisms.
Swelling and Dissolving
The fibre swells in 2% solution of benzoic acid, salycylic acid and phenol.
Alcohols, Ketones, soaps, detergents and drycleaning solvents have no chemical action on polyester fibres.
Polyester fibres have a high resistance to organic and mineral acids. Weak acids do not harm even at boil. Similarly strong acids including hydrofluoric acids do not attack the fibres appreciably in the cold.
Uses of Polyester
1. Woven and Knitted Fabrics, especially blends.
2. Conveyor belts, tyre cords, tarpaulines etc.
3. For filling pillows
4. For paper making machine
5. Insulating tapes
6. Hose pipe with rubber or PVC
7. Ropes, fish netting and sail cloth.