Acrylic Tow Fiber
Acrylic Staple Fiber
First U.S. Commercial Acrylic Fiber Production: 1950, DuPont Company
Current U.S. Acrylic Fiber Producers: Sterling Fibers
Federal Trade Commission Definition for Acrylic Fiber: A manufactured fiber in which the fiberforming substance is any long-chain synthetic polymer composed of at least 85% by weight of acrylonitrile units (-CH2-CH[CN]-)x. (Complete FTC Fiber Rules here.)
Basic Principles of Acrylic Fiber Production Acrylic fibers are produced from acrylonitrile, a petrochemical. The acrylonitrile is usually combined with small amounts of other chemicals to improve the ability of the resulting fiber to absorb dyes. Some acrylic fibers are dry spun and others are wet spun. Acrylic fibers are used in staple or tow form. For a detailed production flowchart (wet and dry spun), go here.
Acrylic fibers are modified to give special properties best suited for particular end-uses. They are unique among synthetic fibers because they have an uneven surface, even when extruded from a round-hole spinneret.
Acrylic Fiber Characteristics
Some Major Acrylic Fiber Uses
- Apparel: Sweaters, socks, fleece wear, circular knit apparel, sportswear and childrens wear
- Home Furnishings: Blankets, area rugs, upholstery, pile; luggage, awnings, outdoor furniture
- Other Uses: Craft yarns, sail cover cloth, wipe cloths
- Industrial Uses: Asbestos replacement; concrete and stucco reinforcement
General Acrylic Fiber Care Tips
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