The Complete History of Polyester
Sometimes, hearing the word polyester can make people cringe. Immediately, they think of old, outdated fabric and tacky leisure suits from the seventies. But the history of polyester is a rich and complex story. It is a fiber for which there are many benefits and useful applications.
Here is an overview, the history and benefits of polyester:
What is Polyester?
First, let’s go over the basics. Polyester is a synthetic fiber derived from coal, air, water, and petroleum. It is formed from a chemical reaction between acid and alcohol when two or more molecules combine to create a large, strong, and stable molecule.
Polyester is the third most-produced plastic material with a market share of 18%, after polypropylene (20%) and polyethylene (33%). Natural polyesters are generally biodegradable, but most synthetic polyesters are not. Today, the material is used extensively in clothing and fabrics.
Polyester was developed in the 20th century by a number of American and British scientists. Here’s a timeline of how they did it.
History of Polyester
1926: American scientist Wallace Carothers first discovered that alcohols and carboxyl acids could be mixed to create synthetic fibers. Unfortunately, his work on polyester was temporarily shelved to focus on nylon.
1939: British scientists John Winfield and James Dickson continued Carother’s work. By 1941, they patented polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE), which would form the basis for synthetic fibers like Dacron and Terylene. In the same year, with the aid of W.K. Birtwhistle and C.G. Ritchie, Winfield and Dickson created the first polyester fiber, Terylene, under the manufacturer Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI).
1946: American conglomerate DuPont purchased all of the legal rights from ICI. In 1950, they produced the polyester fiber, Dacron, and in 1952, Mylar.
1951: Polyester was first introduced to the public as a miracle fabric that could be worn, pulled, and washed without any wrinkling or signs of wear-and-tear.
1958: Eastman Chemical Products, Inc developed the polyester fiber, Kodel. At this time, polyester was experiencing fervent popularity. Textile mills exploded around the country as many were eager to reap the benefits of producing this inexpensive yet durable fiber.
1970s: The polyester industry continued to expand rapidly until the 1970s, at which time the fiber developed the ill reputation as a cheap fabric that was uncomfortable to wear. While polyester remains an effective, durable, and inexpensive fiber, its reputation in the clothing industry has suffered. Fortunately, the material also has many other important applications.
Benefits of Polyester
While polyester is no longer considered the most appealing material for clothing, its durability and resistance make it ideal for industrial purposes.
Specifically, polyester is an excellent fiber for rope and cordage. Polyester rope provides similar strength to nylon rope, but has less stress and better abrasion resistance. For tasks that require UV resistance and a high or low stretch, polyester is the go-to.
Polyester Ropes and Bungee Shock Cord at QNR
The ⅛ inch polyester rope at QNR is a premium grade, solid braid style polyester rope. It may be used for indoor and outdoor applications and is available in over a dozen colors. More specifically, the fact that this rope is mold, mildew, and chemical resistant makes it a great option for any outdoor job.
Shop for the ⅛ inch polyester rope in both short lengths and bulk spools.
For tough, demanding applications, the polyester bungee shock cord is the perfect choice. This bungee cord has a marine grade polyester jacket that can withstand strenuous industrial or outdoor use. Additionally, this polyester jacket serves to protect the bungee from abrasion and UV damage.
See the polyester bungee shock cord in a variety of diameters and colors at QNR.
At QNR, you can also find polyester ropes with wires cores, like the ¼” polyester rope with wire core. This premium grade rope has a 1/16” 7X7 galvanized steel core that affords it added strength and durability. As a low stretch, tamper-proof rope, the ¼” polyester rope with wire core is commonly used as a flag halyard.
Find the ¼” polyester rope with wire core at QNR, available in more size options.
At Quality Nylon Rope, we deliver you the best quality products to support all of your needed tasks. Polyester rope and bungee shock cord continually rank among our most popular products as it is the ideal pick for strength, durability, and resistance.