Polyester is a significant product (material) widely used in industries. Currently, many countries around the world are competing to develop the use of polyester for various purposes. As a result, polyester has become used in all industrial sectors as of 2020.
First, what is polyester?
Its scientific name is poly ester, and it is one type of polymers that contain the ester group in its main chain. Humans have known about this material since the 1970s.
1- Uses of Polyester in Wood Coatings
Liquid clear polyester is used in wood coatings, both in preliminary finishes and final finishes.
Polyester is used to fill the wood pores, providing a smooth surface texture and a high level of efficiency. It also helps protect the wood over the years.
How to use polyester in preliminary wood finishes:
The wood-specific polyester product is non-saturated and is accompanied by another container containing a liquid called a hardener (paraffin-based).
The hardener is mixed with the polyester in specific amounts to control the curing time and strength.
Then, it is professionally applied to the wood surface, not randomly.
After curing, the wood surface is sanded and smoothed, resulting in a level, smooth, and excellent wood surface.
There are two types of polyester used in preliminary finishes:
Transparent polyester, used in ester wood coatings. White polyester, used in Dokou wood coatings.
Polyester is used after the final finish to provide a glossy, water-resistant surface. It is recommended for use in kitchen coatings and bathroom wood.
It is commonly referred to as “polyester lacquer.”
How to use it
The material is diluted with a thinner and then applied to the wood after the staining process. It is used for ester and Dokou coatings.
Polyester is also used in coatings known as “baking varnishes” (Doku Oven). This type of coating is used in wood coatings to provide a surface similar to car finishes. It is applied as a coloring and final finishing stage and is subjected to heat by placing the wood in the specific varnish oven (similar to cars). The polishing stage follows.
2- Polyester in Clothing and Fabrics
The polyester used in fabric manufacturing is the group known as polyethylene terephthalate, which is a heat-resistant material. It is used in the production of durable and flame-resistant clothing.
Polyester is produced in the form of small pellets, which are melted and passed through fine holes. The resulting threads are woven to form fibers. These fibers, known as Terylene or Dacron, can be used alone or blended with other synthetic or natural fibers.
Here is a video illustrating the production process of polyester fabric.
Advantages of Polyester Fabrics
Polyester fabrics resist shrinkage, wrinkles, and abrasion. They are known for their elasticity, durability, and sheen. Additionally, they are easy to clean and quick to dry. Polyester has low water absorption or leakage and retains its shape for extended periods.
Polyester in fabrics
- Polyester-Viscose Blends:Viscose polyester is a blend of rayon silk with polyester, resulting in a soft and smooth fabric. Wearing polyester-viscose will give you a sense of softness, comfort, and an elegant look.
- Polyester Wool:Polyester wool fabric is undoubtedly a strong fabric due to the high resistance properties of both wool and polyester to damage factors. It is suitable for suits and ensures comfort when worn during the summer season.
- Polyester-Cotton Blend: Polyester-cotton blend is a combination of cotton and polyester, resulting in a strong fabric that is easy to maintain and suitable for the summer season.
Uses of these Fabrics
Suits and shirts School bags, with many bag products being made from polyester. Carpets and curtains Dresses Disco clothing in the past Bags Numerous uses in the clothing, spinning, and textile industry. Polyester Recycling in Fabric Manufacturing
One of the significant advantages of polyester is its recyclability. It can be recycled into various polyester products, such as polyester glass and other polyester-based items.
3- Polyester in Plastic Manufacturing
Plastics are synthetic materials derived from organic chemical reactions using petroleum as their primary source, with carbon being the essential element in their composition.
There are two main types of plastics:
- Thermosetting Plastics (Non-Meltable): This type of plastic retains its shape and cannot be reheated and reshaped, making it non-recyclable.
- Thermoplastic or Non-Thermosetting Plastics: This type of plastic can be melted and reshaped multiple times. It can be softened by heat and solidifies upon cooling. It also maintains its plasticity through repeated heating and cooling processes.
Polyester is one of the most important and widely used materials in plastic industries. It is used either directly as an additive or as a coloring and finishing agent for other plastic materials.
Polyester falls under the category of thermosetting plastics (non-meltable).
The most popular uses of polyester for plastic products
- The most common uses of polyester in plastic products are in the manufacturing of toys and plastic collectibles.
- Manufacturing Plastic Chairs
- Plastic School Supplies
- Plastic Kitchen Utensils
- Plastic Pipes
- Manufacturing Mannequins for Clothing Display
4- Polyester in Packaging Industry
Polyester is widely used in the manufacturing of beverage packaging.
Polyester in Packaging Materials:
This is a relatively newer use, where small polyester pellets are heated to about 500 Kelvin and further polymerization is carried out. This melts the polymer, which is then poured and stretched, orienting the molecules in three directions, giving the plastic high strength.
The most commonly used type of polyester is known as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), with the chemical formula PET.
PET is the most important member of the thermoplastic polyester family. The global annual production of PET is approximately 40 million tons, with a growth rate of 7% annually. Around 65% of PET is used for fiber production, 30% for packaging materials, and 5% for other industries.
PET is used for food and beverage packaging purposes due to its strong ability to prevent oxygen from entering and spoiling the product inside. It also prevents carbon dioxide in carbonated beverages from escaping. PET is considered a recyclable plastic, making it relatively environmentally friendly.
Important Note: How to Identify PET Packaging? There is a distinctive mark for PET packaging.
Another type of polyester is high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is more commonly used.
HDPE has long polymer chains, making it highly dense and therefore stronger and thicker than PET. HDPE is commonly used for milk and juice containers, as well as shampoo bottles, medicine bottles, barrels, and jerrycans.
HDPE is known for its stability compared to PET, making it a safer choice for use with food and beverages. It is also recyclable.
5- Polyester in Automotive Industry
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the predominant fiber used in automotive textiles manufacturing, applied in various forms such as woven, knitted, non-woven, and as an element of composite structures that discuss the essential characteristics and performance aspects of the fibers.
It contributes to the production of automotive carpets, seat fabrics, side panels, roofs, flooring, doors, seat belts, tires, airbags, air filters, fuel filters, insulation materials, and more.
The opportunities for unsaturated polyester resins in the global automotive market are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.3% by 2021.
According to a report by Lucintel, the future of unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) in the global automotive manufacturing market appears promising, with opportunities in various applications such as closure panels, body panels, bumpers, GOR (grille opening reinforcement), heat shields, headlamp reflectors, small boxes, and more.
The key drivers for market growth are the increasing demand for lightweight materials and the performance benefits for vehicles reinforced with competitive materials. UPR compounds with properties such as ease of processing, high tensile strength, lightweight, good corrosion resistance, and surface tension are ideal for manufacturing lightweight and fuel-efficient vehicles.
The most in-demand types of unsaturated polyester resins in the composite automotive market include Sheet Molding Compound (SMC), Bulk Molding Compound (BMC), and automotive paste polyester.
Automotive paste polyester is a paste based on polyester used for surface defects treatment in cars during painting. It is used to fill openings and holes on all metal surfaces before painting. This paste is characterized by its quick drying time, typically within 8 minutes.
6- Polyester in Cosmetics Industry
Polyester is used in the formulations of cosmetic products such as masks and nail monomers. There are also advancements in some types of synthetic leathers that incorporate polyester.
It is also used in the process of artificial hair transplantation.
7- Polyester in Home
Polyester is widely used in various products, decor, and construction within homes.
Satellite Dish Receivers
When manufacturing large-sized satellite dish receivers for companies, the importance of polyester dishes comes into play compared to iron dishes. They are cost-effective compared to iron dishes and can receive signals naturally. They withstand moisture and sunlight and are frequently used in high-moisture environments. However, this type of dish is not suitable for heavy rainfall as it may cause signal interruptions.
Polyester is used to coat home floors to produce artificial marble, giving a distinctive and elegant appearance instead of ceramic tiles.
Waterproofing and Thermal Insulation for Home Surfaces
Polyester is primarily used in insulation for companies, homes, and factories.
This method is used to resist water caused by rainfall and moisture, which often leads to water leakage that damages building foundations, resulting in cracks in walls and surfaces, posing risks to individuals due to increased likelihood of collapses.
This method is used to minimize damage or destruction of buildings due to exposure to high temperatures and extreme heat during hot summer days. Thermal insulation has several advantages, including maintaining a suitable temperature on surfaces without relying on air conditioning, enhancing comfort and safety for building users, reducing the thickness of necessary concrete walls and ceilings to minimize heat transfer within buildings, and saving the financial burden and efforts in power generation stations and distribution networks by reducing energy consumption.
Polyester is also used to insulate bathroom and kitchen floors to prevent water leakage, as well as for thermal and moisture insulation.
Polyester in Bathrooms and Kitchens
- Floor insulation
- Bathroom fixtures (sink, bathtub)
- Artificial marble in kitchens and bathrooms
- Kitchen utensils (plastic trays, dishes, kitchen towels)
- Some decorations, including polyester fibers used in the production of home curtains
- Used to make hanging frames
- Used in the production of some antiques and handicrafts Production of glossy artificial marble
- used on vanities and libraries Cigarette extinguishers and various other tools.
8- Polyester in Marble Manufacturing
Polyester is used in the production of artificial marble (or engineered stone).
It is a material that resembles natural marble in appearance and is an attempt to manufacture marble while eliminating the drawbacks of natural marble, such as susceptibility to breakage, expansion, contraction, and color changes. It is a mixture of powdered rocks, comprising 93% of the weight, mixed with a chemical substance composed of polyester resin, comprising 7% of the weight, by volume (66% quartz and 34% resin). It is combined with oxide colors and mixed in specific proportions to create a unique blend.
- It is used in the manufacturing of flat panels.
- It is poured into molds to manufacture bathroom fixtures (bathtub, washbasin, toilet).
- The material is used in the production of various decorative items in general and kitchen surfaces in particular.
- It can be used as an alternative to natural marble or ceramic tiles for home flooring.