E:\Documents and Settings\S A Dobrowski\My Documents\University Files\FS3 FAPPF\2002-2003\Polymers and
Fibres\3 (lecture notes) Modern synthetic textile fibres.doc
Modern Synthetic Textile Fibres
First Commercial Acetate Fibre Production: 1924, Celanese Corporation.
Current Acetate Fibre Producers: Celanese Acetate; Eastman Chemical Company.
Definition for Acetate Fibre: A manufactured fibre in which the fibre forming substance is
cellulose acetate. Where not less than 92% of the hydroxyl groups are acetylated, the term
triacetate may be used as a generic description of the fibre.
Basic Principles of Acetate Fibre Production — Acetate is derived from cellulose by reacting
purified cellulose from wood pulp with acetic acid and acetic anhydride in the presence of
sulphuric acid. It is then put through a controlled, partial hydrolysis to remove the sulphate and a
sufficient number of acetate groups to give the product the desired properties. The
anhydroglucose unit, is the fundamental repeating structure of cellulose, has three hydroxyl
groups which can react to form acetate esters. The most common form of cellulose acetate fibre
has an acetate group on approximately two of every three hydroxyls. This cellulose diacetate is
known as secondary acetate, or simply as “acetate”.
After it is formed, cellulose acetate is dissolved in acetone for extrusion. As the filaments emerge
from the spinneret, the solvent is evaporated in warm air (dry spinning), producing fine filaments
of cellulose acetate.
Acetate Fibre Characteristics
Luxurious feel and appearance
• Wide range of colours and lustres
Excellent drapability and softness
Relatively fast drying
Shrink, moth and mildew resistant
Special dyes have been developed for acetate since it does not accept dyes ordinarily used
for cotton and rayon. This dye selectivity makes it possible to obtain multi-colour effects in
fabrics made from a combination of fibres (cross-dyeing). In cross-dyeing, yarns