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 dihydric alcohol and terephthalic acid (Federal Trade Commission definition). The first viable polyester fiber (Terylene) was developed by English chemists, J. R. Whinfield, and J.T. Dickson, in 1941. It was first sold in the U.S. as Dacron in 1951 and is now the most widely used fiber, even surpassing cotton. Polyester is strong and resistant to shrinking, stretching, creasing, insects and most chemicals. The specific properties, however, vary significantly depending on the type of polyester fiber. Many are modified to increase flame, crush or oil resistance. The fiber cross section is often made into different shapes to change the feel and appearance of the fibers. Polyester is primarily used in clothing and home furnishings. It is often blended with wool, cotton, rayon, or flax.
Synonyms and Related Terms
polyester fibre; Dacron (originally called Fiber V) [DuPont]; Terylene [ICI]; Avlin; Beaunit; Tergal [Rhone-Poulenc]; Teteron; Trevira; Crimplene; Diolene; Fortrel [Wellman]; Grilene; Terital; Pellon; Reemay; Kodel [Eastman Chemical]; polyethylene terephthalate; PET; Encron; Spectran; Zephran; Polyester (Deut.); polister (Esp.); polyester (Fr., Sven.); poliestry(Pol.);
Resistant to weak acids, weak alkalis, bleach and most organic solvents. Degrades in strong alkalis, strong acids, cresol. Fibers are smooth. Cross section = circular, trilobal or polygon. Moisture regain 0.1-0.4%; Tenacity = 2.2-9.5 g/denier; Elongation = 10-50%
Polyester is difficult to ignite. Burns with a shiny, yellow-orange, sooty flame and sweet smell. Self-extinguishing when flame source is removed. Ash is hard.
|Refractive Index||1.54, 1.72|
Hazards and Safety
Degrades in direct sunlight. Resistant to insects and microorganisms. Absorbs and holds oils. Builds up static charge.
M. Joseph, Introductory Textile Science, Holt Reinhold & Winston, Fort Worth, 1986, p. 135. G.Cook, Handbook of Textile Fibres:II. Man-made Fibres, 5th edition, Merrow Publishing Co., Durham, England, 1984. p.328
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