The group of polyester fibres represents the largest proportion of synthetically produced fibres worldwide. Although many different polymers can be assigned to this group, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is by far the largest part of this group. As the name suggests, polyesters are formed by polycondensation of carboxylic acid derivatives and alcohols to form ester groups. The great success of polyester fibres is due to their very good processability, excellent tailor-made properties and the low material price. Fibre properties, such as thermal and dimensional stability, and the mechanical properties can be very well controlled by the crystal formation during fibre production. The fibres are primarily produced using the melt spinning process.
As already explained above, polyesters are formed by polymerisation (or, more precisely, polycondensation) between carboxylic acid derivatives and alcohols. In the case of PET which is produced in high quantity, these are terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol. The water formed during the reaction must be removed to achieve high molecular weights and thus satisfactory product properties. The fibres are produced in a further step by means of a melt spinning process. Filaments are formed with the aid of a spinneret, which can then be processed directly into fibres.
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