THERMOPLASTIC CRYSTALLINE/AMORPHOUS BLENDS FOR THE PREPARATION OF FIBERS AND FILMS
Publication Date: 2003-Sep-10
The IP.com Prior Art Database
Thomas G. Pressly: INVENTOR [+4]
Thermoplastic compositions particularly adapted for use in preparing extruded fibers and films for carpets, rugs, woven fabrics, non-woven or spun-bonded fabrics, knit fabrics, garments, laminates, constructions, or other applications and a method for the formation thereof.
PREPARATION OF FIBERS AND FILMS
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The subject invention relates to a thermoplastic composition useful for the preparation of filaments, fibers, molded films and/or other shaped compositions as well as to methods for the preparation thereof. The subject invention further relates to articles comprising such filaments, fibers, or films, including but not limited to, yarns for use in carpet, fabrics, roving, non-wovens, and other applications, and films for textiles, envelopes, adhesive tapes, wrapping, and other applications.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Natural fibers, such as wool, cotton, and silk have long found utility in fiber-, filament-, and yarn-based applications such as carpets and fabrics. However, natural fibers are in limited supply. In addition, due to the origin of natural fibers in living animals and plants, the quality and characteristics of natural fibers varies widely. Such irregularities can negatively affect the feel, appearance, and performance of the fiber and the resultant articles incorporating such fibers.
Synthetic fibers, such as nylon, polyester, and polypropylene fibers, do not have the supply limitations of natural fibers, and are less expensive than natural fibers. In addition, given that synthetic fibers result from controlled chemical reactions and physical shaping environments, they are more uniform in quality than natural fibers giving them performance advantages such as improved durability over natural fibers. However, consumers often view synthetic fibers as less desirable than their natural counterparts, as synthetic fibers cannot match the overall performance profile of natural fibers, especially with regard to softness, warmth, depth of color, and hand.
Synthetic fibers are known to be prepared by extruding a filament of a synthetic resin and drawing or spinning, crimping, or otherwise forming the same into a product (hereafter “synthetic fiber”) having desirable properties. Thermoplastic polymers are desirable for use in such processes due to the fact that they are readily extruded at temperatures above their melting points and may be shaped and formed through later operations before or after cooling. Highly desirably thermoplastics for the foregoing end uses possess sufficient crystallinity at normal use temperatures, especially at 20 °C such that the polymer is not subject to the rules of linear viscoelasticity, as would apply to amorphous polymers. More desirably still, such polymers desirably form sufficient crystallinity upon cooling to temperatures below their crystalline melting points to impart sufficient modulus and general mechanical properties to be suitable for use in fiber or film forming processes. That is, suitable thermoplastic polymers should possess a sufficient crystallization rate to be suitably employed in such processes. Finally, it is desirable that the thermoplastic polymer have a melting point, (Tm) suff...