Polyesters are one of the most widely used and produced types of polymers and are identified by the presence of the ester functional groups linking monomer units. Due to the unique properties of polyester the resins can then be transformed into fibres, films, or thicker moulded plastics.
This gives polyester an increased desirability because of its wide range of uses for example the fibre is used as cushioning and insulating material in pillows, comforters and upholstery padding. Moulded polyesters greatest use is in soft drinks bottle making other uses include general household hardware and small sail boats.
Polyester films on the other hand may be used in food packaging, liquid crystal displays, holograms, filters, dielectric films for capacitors, film insulation for wires and insulating tapes and finishes on high quality wood products to prevent damage. One major advantage of polyester films is that they may easily be modified via treatment either during or post manufacture via either chemical or physical means. This increases the diversity of uses of the films.
The most common of the polyesters is polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The PET is synthesised via a stepwise esterification reaction to bis-β-hydroxyterephthalate using tetraphalic acid and ethylene glycol monomer units. This PET may then be extruded (as a film or thread) or injection moulded to form the relevant product.
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