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Issue 05/2017

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Fibers & Textiles

Fibers & Textiles Comfort beyond words SOLOTEX ® , a partly biobased polyester-fibre (polytrimethylene terephthalate – PTT) by Teijin Frontier Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, provides a soft, stretchy texture with gentle cushioning and offers vivid colors. These advantages could never be achieved with conventional polyester, polyurethane, or nylon alone. The many superb characteristics of Solotex derive from its spring-like, helical molecular structure. The material is also easy to combine with other fibers, bringing out the characteristics of the other fiber while adding a new texture and new functionality. Solotex is a fiber with unlimited potential to make textile products more comfortable to wear or Fossil-fuel derived Bio-derived use. Seven defining characteristics of Solotex derive Terephthalic acid from the unique molecular structure of the fiber. The molecules form a flexible spring-like helix that makes the fiber soft, light, stretchy, and shape-stable. Plant-based eco-friendly ingredients Biomass-derived, plant-based ingredients are used for 37% of the polymers (Fig 1) that make up Solotex. The fabric thus reduces consumption of fossil fuels, and helps cut down on greenhouse gases. Solotex is an eco-friendly fiber that is kind to people and on the environment. Super soft feel and smoothness for comfort The touch of the PTT fibres feels even softer than luxury cashmere wool. Smooth against the skin, it is more comfortable to wear than any fiber that has come before. Blending with other fibers does not affect its superb softness, while maintaining the beneficial qualities of the blended fibers. Keeps its shape to look great A spring-like, helical molecular structure provides form stability to spring back into shape even with movement. The fiber resists wrinkles and does not easily get stretched out from repeated bending at the knee or elbow, maintaining a beautiful shape at all times. There is also little shrinkage or stretch even after repeated machine washings and tumble drying, demonstrating superb dimensional stability. Stretchiness that feels great, with no stress Solotex is surprisingly free of any feeling of pressure, even following the lines of the body. It expands and contracts in any direction with the body’s movement, feeling truly comfortable and allowing for free movement. The fibre is ideal for tightfitting bottom wear and active clothing. HOOC COOH + HOCH2CH2CH2OH OOC COOCH2CH2CH2 n 1,3-propanediol (PDO) Fig.1: 37% bio-derived. *Testing performed using radiocarbon 14 C dating. Harmonizes well with other fibers for even greater potential Teijin’s PTT fibres are easy to combine with other fibers. They are highly compatible with both synthetic and natural fibers, for blending as desired. The fiber will add a soft texture to improve the feel against the skin, and it provides superb stretch and recovery from elongation. It is possible to add new texture and new functionality while bringing out the characteristics of the blended fiber. The ideal cushioning with fluffy rebound Maintains bounce even after repeated compressions and quickly recovers its fluffy volume. Because of its high durability, Solotex retains its unique texture for a long time. These characteristics are best utilized in insulated coats, pillows, futons, and other items with filling. Deep, vivid colors that last Outstanding color development is a key element for fashion applications. Solotex is very easy to dye, producing deep, vivid colors with a high-grade feel even when processing at lower temperatures than conventional methods. Extremely colorfast for long-lasting dyed color that won’t fade. MT Polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT) Table 1 Solotex Polyester Nylon 6.6 The Positioning of SOLOTEX ® Polyester Shape-Retention Tenacity (cN/dtex 2.8-3.5 3.7-4.4 4.1-4.5 Elongation (%) 45-53 30-38 32-44 Initial Young’s modulus (cN/dtex) 20 97 31 Tensile recovery (%) 67-88 29 62 Boiling water shrinkage (%) 7-9 7 13 Melting point (°C) 230 254 253 Deterioration of strength due to weather exposure Negtigible Negligible Slight deterioration, some yellowing Stretch Polyutethane Nylon Soft Texture 16 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/17] Vol. 12

Fibers & Textiles Advances in textile applications for biobased polyamide By: Howard Chou Director of R&D Cathay Industrial Biotech, Shanghai, China, Cathay Industrial Biotech (CIB), Shanghai, China, developed proprietary technology to commercially produce biobased pentamethylenediamine (DN5), in order to address the growing demand for innovative new materials. DN5 is a unique five-carbon platform chemical and an alternative to hexamethylenediamine (HMDA), a six-carbon platform chemical used in the production of polymers, such as polyamide 66 and hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI). Although DN5 and HMDA only differ by one carbon length, this difference creates significant potential for the development of new polymers with innovative properties. One polymer CIB developed using its DN5 technology is a biobased polyamide PA56 named Terryl ® . The Terryl polymer consists of an odd-numbered repeating unit, instead of the even-numbered repeating unit found in polyamides 6 and 66. However, the crystalline structure of Terryl prefers an α-like structure that is more similar to polyamide 66 than polyamide 6, which exists in both an α and a γ-form. As a result, Terryl shares many of the stiffness, tensile and flexural modulus, and wear resistance advantages found in polyamide 66. Unlike polyamide 66 where 100 % of the interchain hydrogen bonds can form, Terryl forms a structure where at most 50% of the inter-chain hydrogen bonds can form. Another difference of importance is that Terryl has a unique ratio of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen (CNOH). The CNOH ratio found in Terryl contains a higher proportion of nitrogen compared to polyamides 6 and 66, which have the same CNOH ratio. The higher nitrogen content increases the limiting oxygen index of Terryl fibres, making them more flame retardant. The scientists at CIB and its collaborators discovered that the differences in the molecular structure described above translate to fibres with novel properties. For example, Terryl has a lower initial modulus compared to the traditional fibres made from polyamide 6 and 66 (Figure 1). A monofilament of Terryl with a denier per filament (dpf) 1 of 1.5 has an initial modulus similar to that of wool, which means that Terryl feels significantly softer than traditional synthetic fibres. Furthermore, the elastic recovery rate of Terryl is higher than that of traditional PA6/PA66 fibres on the market (Figure 2). Lastly, Terryl shows improved dyeing capabilities, and can be dyed at lower temperatures and with less dye (Figure 3) without sacrificing any dyeing performance. The unique properties of Terryl has garnered a significant amount of interest from the market. As a result, Terryl was voted as the “Most Popular Fibre Product” at the Yarn Expo in Shanghai on March 2017, receiving 39% of the votes casted. In addition to Terryl, CIB is also exploring other new fibres by combining DN5 with its long-chain dicarboxylic acid platform. The successful trials with local textile spinners recently makes CIB confident that it will bring a new class of materials to the market, following the opening of its new production plant at Xinjiang, which will have an annual capacity of 50,000 tonnes of DN5 and 100,000 tonnes of polyamides. 1: denier = gram per 9000 meter, so dpf 1.5 means one filament weighs 1.5 gram per 9000 m 48 — 46 — 44 — Initial Modulus (cN/dtex) Elastic Recovery (%) Elastic Recovery (%) 100 — 25 — 80 — 20 — 42 — 40 — 38 — 36 — 60 — 40 — 20 — 15 — 10 — 5 — 0 — 0 2 3 4 8 34 — Terryl PA6 PA66 0 — Terryl PA6/PA66 Terryl PA6/PA66 10% elongation 20% elongation Terryl PA6 PA66 Figure 1: Terryl is softer than existing synthetic fibers Figure 2: Terryl has better elastic recovery than existing synthetic fibers Figure 3: Terryl uses less dye to achieve the same dyeing performance bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/17] Vol. 12 17

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