Polyester Fibre manufacturing process - 3

polyester manufacture

What can spinning mills do to overcome this problem:

One way is to use a Uster Glow meter which measures the reflectance of fibre samples under UV light. We understand that these values lie between 80 and 120 for samples from different bales. so then divide bales with reflectance  values of say 80 to 90 , another 91 to 100, third 101 to 110 and fourth 111 to 120. Then while issuing bales to blow room, issue first group say 80 to 90 then issue the enxt group and so on. Bales from different groups should not be mixed.

Second is to use bales from each truck separately.

Third is to mix up bales from 4/5 trucks to do a blending

Changes in DEG:  The amount of DEG in fibre is directly proportional to dye pick up or dye ability of the fibre. Higher the DEG, higher is the dye ability, so much so that  some filament producers add DEG, but then higher DEG will lower tensile properties. So this practice is not followed for fibre, where tensile properties are critical. So if the CP is run at lower throughout, DEG drops down, so the dyeablity of the fibre goes down. Since fibre production group is keen on maintaining merge, they resort  to lowering of annealer temperatures to maintain dye ability but in the process tensile properties suffer, and mills will notice thread strength falling by 5-7% if annealer temperature is lowered from say 210 degree C to 180 Degree C. If fibre production group does not do this, then they will produce  fibre with a different merge - which normally accumulates in the warehouse and so is not appreciated by both marketing and top management.


Also when CP is run at higher than rated, then higher temperatures have to be used to compensate lower residence time, here "b" colour actually improves

It must be emphasized that the "b"colour changes occur not only due to higher / lower thorugh put but there are several other factors  such as air leakags in valves / polymer lines, failure of pumps to remove product from one reaction vessel to another etc.


There is yet one more problem in CP. It is a sudden increase in oligomer content. When the amount of oligomers increase, it manifests itself in excessive white powder formation  on rings and ring rail.

Oligomers cause problems in spinning of dyed fibres. The surface oligomer content almost doubles on dying dark and extra dark shades. The only way to control oligomers is to use LEOMIN OR in 1 - 1.5 gms/litre in reduction clearing bath. All oligomers will go into suspension in reduction clearing liquor and get removed when the liquor is drained.

Higher annealer temperature also cause higher surface oligomers


Control of C.V%  of Denier: A good international value of C.V.% of denier is 4 to 5. However some fibre manufacturers get value as high as 10 to 12.

Denier is controlled by having uniform flow of polymer through each spinnerette hole. However if a hole is dirty or has polymer sticking to it, its effective diameter is reduced; and the filament that comes out becomes finer. IF the spinneretters have been used for  more than say 6 to 7 years , then some of the holes would be worn out more than others and filament emerging out would be coarser

Currently sophisticated instruments are available to check the cleanliness and actual hole diametrs of each and every hole automatically, but few producers  have them.

Fused Fibres: These are caused mainly at melt spinning either due to breaks of individual filaments or breakages of all the filaments(ribbon break) and polymer and block temperatures are too high. Tying of broken position in the running thread line should be as near to the broken position as possible, failure to do this will result in trailing end leading to fused fibres. Other reasons could be impurities, choking of polymer filters and non-uniform quenching or cooling of filaments.

The only way to control is to ensure that breaks at melt spinning are held at the minimum.


Draw line is the place where the fibre is born. All its major properties denier, tenacity , elongation at break , crimp properties, spin finish, shrinkage and dye ability are all imparted here. For obtaining excellent runnability of the fibre in a blend spinning mill, the two most important properties are - spin finish and crimp.

Spin finish: Finish is applied to the undrawn tow at melt spinning stage essentially to provide cohesion and static protection. On the draw line, a major portion of this finish is washed away, and a textile spin finish is put on the tow by either kiss roll or a spray station. This textile finish consists of two components, one that gives cohesion and lubrication and the other confers static protection, usually these 2 components are used in 70/30 ratio. These spin finishes are complex and each may contain some 18 chemicals to not only control inter fibre friction ( should be high at 0.35 to 0.40), fibre metal friction (should be low at 0.15-0.20), anti bacterial components, anti foaming compund etc.

Finish is made in hot demineralise water and is sprayed on to tow after the crimper by a series of spray nozzles mounted on both sides of the tow. The finish is pumped to  the spray unit by a motor driven metering pump, which is linked to the draw machine such that when the machine stops, the pump motor stops. The percentage of finish on the fibre is based on spin finish manufacturers recommendations and fine tuned by tech service. Once set, the finish and its percentages are normally not changed.

The percentage spin finish is decided by the end use of the fibre. Mills blending polyester with viscose need higher amount of spin finish and also mills running their equipment at high speeds. 60 to 65% of problems faced in mills are due to uneven % of spin finish on the fibre. IF a fibre producer desires to put say 0.120% spin finish on fibre, then ideally the %finish should be maintained @ 0.120 +- 0.005 i.e from 0.115 to 0.125 only; then the fibre will run smoothly.

If the finish is  on the lower side, card web will show high static, web will lap around doffing rolls, sliver will not pass smoothly through coiler tube - causing coiler choking. Sliver could be bulky and will cause high fly generation during drafting. On the other hand if spin finish is on the higher side, fibres will become sticky and lap around the top rollers, slivers will become very compact and could cause undrafted. Thus it is extremely important to hold finish level absolutely constant. The reasons for non uniformity is concentration of spin finish varies; sprayer holes are choked ; the tow path has altered and so the spray does not reach it. Normally fibre producers check spin finish% on the fibre quite frequently- even then in actual practice considerable variations occur.

Crimp: It is the most important to spin finish for smooth running of fibre. There are 3 aspects of crimp.

  • no of crimps per inch or per cm - usually 12 - 14 crimps per inch
  • crimp stability - be 80% plus and
  • crimp take up - be 27% on tow

crimps per inch can be measured by keeping a fibre in relaxed state next to a foot ruler and counting the no of crimps or arcs.

Crimp stability refers to % retention of crimps after subjecting fibre to oscillating straightening and relaxing. We can get an indication on how good crimp stability is in a spinning mill by measuring crimps per inch in fibre from finisher drawing sliver. The crimps per inch of drawing sliver should be atleast 10 to 11, if below this, then the crimps stability is poor , so to compensate may be a cohesive compound like Nopcostatt2151 P or Leomin CH be used in the overspary.

Fibres like trilobal and super high tenacity fibres are difficult to crimp. Trilobal because of its shape and super high tenacity due to very high annealer temperature (220 degree C)  used  which makes the fibre difficult to bend.

Also fibre dyeing particularly dark and extra dark shades reduces crimps per inch from 14 to 10 - 11 and in trilobal, as it is crimps per inch in fibre is 11 to 12, after dyeing it goes further down to 8 to 9. In dyed trilobal fibre, crimps per inch in fibre at finisher drawing may be around 6 to 7 so necessitating using almost 50% of cohesive compound in the overspray.


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