Synthetic Fibres: Nylon, Polyester, Acrylic, Polyolefin Edited by J. E. McIntyre


Synthetic Fibres: Nylon, Polyester, Acrylic, Polyolefin
Edited by J. E. McIntyre

Synthetic fibres- nylon, polyester, acrylic, polyolefin


Contributor contact details viii
1 Historical background 1
J. E. McINTYRE, formerly University of Leeds, UK
1.1 Introduction 1
1.2 Fibres from chain-growth polymers 2
1.3 Fibres from step-growth polymers 8
1.4 Elastomeric fibres 12
1.5 Brief overview 14
1.6 References 15
2 Nylon fibres 20
A. F. RICHARDS, formerly Bolton Institute, UK
2.1 Introduction 20
2.2 Chemical structures 21
2.3 Polymerisation 23
2.4 Fibre production 33
2.5 Fibre properties 44
2.6 Fibre modification 72
2.7 Coloration 80
2.8 Applications 84
2.9 Recycling 87
2.10 References 88
3 Polyester fibres 95
A. J. EAST, Brooklake Polymers, USA
3.1 Introduction 95
3.2 Brief history of polyesters 96
3.3 PET polymer: raw materials, intermediates, polymer 100
synthesis and polymer properties
3.4 Cyclohexanedimethanol polyesters 111
3.5 Poly(butylene terephthalate) (PBT) 115
3.6 Poly(trimethylene terephthalate) (PTT or PPT) 117
3.7 Biodegradable polyester fibres 123
3.8 Melt-spinning polyester fibres and associated processing 129
3.9 Modification of polyester fibres 139
3.10 Dyeing polyesters 146
3.11 Bicomponent fibres and microfibres 151
3.12 World markets, future trends and conclusion 155
3.13 Acknowledgments 157
3.14 References 157
4 Acrylic fibres 167
R. COX, Acordis Acrylic Fibres, UK
4.1 Introduction 167
4.2 Chemical intermediates 168
4.3 Polymerisation techniques 171
4.4 Fibre production techniques 182
4.5 Physical properties and structure of fibres 199
4.6 Chemical variants 210
4.7 Fibre variants 222
4.8 End-use survey 225
4.9 References 231
5 Polyolefin fibres 235
R. R. MATHER, Heriot-Watt University, UK
5.1 Introduction 235
5.2 Molecular configuration 238
5.3 Production of polyolefins 238
5.4 Polyolefin structures 244
5.5 Fibre production 247
5.6 Additives 253
5.7 Coloration of polyolefin fibres 260
5.8 Properties of PP and PE fibres 261
5.9 Hard-elastic fibres 262
5.10 Processing–structure–property relationships 263
5.11 Applications 273
5.12 Recycling 278
5.13 Future trends 279
5.14 Conclusion 286
5.15 Acknowledgment 287
5.16 References 287
Index 293

Historical background
J . E . Mc I N T Y R E
Formerly University of Leeds, UK

1.1 Introduction
This chapter reviews the early development of synthetic fibres, which are defined1 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as fibres manufactured from polymers built up from chemical elements or compounds, in contrast to fibres made from naturally occurring fibre-forming polymers. The definition excludes fibres made from regenerated cellulose, such as viscose rayon and cuprammonium rayon, and from cellulose esters, such as secondary cellulose acetate and cellulose triacetate. These fibres manufactured from cellulose became established commercially many years before the first synthetic fibres were discovered and developed. There was therefore quite a considerable amount of information already available to the developers of fibres from new polymeric materials about the production of fibres from solutions of high polymers by extrusion into non-solvents, i.e. by wet-spinning, and into evaporative atmospheres, i.e. by dry-spinning, and also about filament orientation by stretching and about subsequent downstream handling. There was, however, only a very limited understanding of the nature of polymers and of their macromolecular structure and synthesis.

A major step forward in developing this understanding was taken in the 1920s, when it was convincingly demonstrated, notably by Hermann Staudinger at the Technische Hochschule in Zürich, that polymers were not colloidal assemblies of molecules of low molecular weight, as many believed, but consisted of molecules of high molecular weight. Staudinger was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1953 for his work on this subject. A major factor in convincing the chemical community was work on polymer synthesis directed by W. H. Carothers in the early 1930s at the Experimental Station of the DuPont company in Wilmington, Delaware.

The terms addition polymerisation and condensation polymerisation were introduced by Carothers.2 Addition polymerisation was defined as the chemical union of many similar molecules without the elimination of simpler molecules, and condensation polymerisation as the chemical union of many similar molecules with the elimination of simpler molecules. Carothers recognised and stated that some polymer structures could be made by either polyaddition or polycondensation processes. Consequently the terms addition polymer and condensation polymer should strictly be applied only to samples of known polymerisation history.

An alternative method of classification that depends on the nature of the mechanism of growth of the polymer divides polymerisation reactions into those exhibiting either chain-growth or step-growth mechanisms. Most chain-growth polymerisations are addition polymerisations, and most step-growth polymerisations are condensation polymerisations, but not all. For example, stepwise polymerisations without elimination of a simple molecule, such as the formation of a polyurethane, (–OROOCNHR′NHCO–)n, from a diol, HOROH, and a di-isocyanate, OCNR′NCO, cannot be classed as condensation polymerisations. In the ensuing discussion of the early historical development of synthetic fibre-forming polymers, polymers normally formed by chain-growth polymerisation will be considered before those formed by step-growth polymerisation.

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