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PSF – Polyester Staple Fibre

Polyester staple fiber is a material produced from synthetic chemical compounds with a variety of uses in the textile, automotive and furniture industries. The phrase "staple fiber" often refers to a kind of natural fiber such as cotton or wool, which can be twisted to form yarn. In 1935, the DuPont Chemical Company created polyester, and the fiber from the chemical compound was strong enough to be twisted into yarn similar to natural fibers

Polyester has many industrial applications because of its special characteristics. Polyester staple fiber resists wrinkles, mildew, general surface damage and most chemicals. This material also holds creases and pleats well, as long as they have been heat-set first.

Polyester Staple Fibre (PSF) has emerged as the fastest-growing fibre amongst all types of manufactured fibres. Polyesters are made by polymerisation of Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) and Mono Ethylene Glycol (MEG). The polymer thus obtained is melt spun and the bundle of continuous filaments obtained by melt spinning is called tow. The tow is subjected to further processes like drawing, crimping, spin finish application and then cut into fixed lengths to get cut fibres almost equal in length to cotton fibres. These cut fibres are known as PSF.

Today over 70-75% of polyester is produced by CP (continuous polymerisation) process using PTA (purified Terephthalic Acid) and MEG. The old process is called Batch process using DMT and MEG. Catalysts like 5b3O3 (Antimony Trioxide) are used to start and control the reaction. TiO2 (Titanium di oxide) is added to make the polyester fibre / filament dull. Spin finishes are added at melt spinning and draw machine to provide static protection and have cohesion and certain frictional properties to enable fibre get processed through textile spinning machinery without any problem. Major Licensors of technology for manufacturing PSF are Invista, EMS-INVENTA, Zimmer AG, and Noyvalesina.

Global PSF capacity in 2011 was 17 MMT and is expected to touch 26 MMT in 2016. In 2011 India had a total capacity of 1334 KTA which is expected to touch 2000 KTA in 2016. And consumption is expected to increase from 1214 KTA in 2011 to 1600 KTA. The key players manufacturing PSF include Reliance Industries, Indo Rama and JCT Fibre. Reliance Industries is the leading player with almost 64% of total production in the industry. Reliance industries Ltd has planned capacity expansion and is expected to increase the capacity of 700 KTA in 2011 to 1300 KTA. Among the man-made fibres, the production of PSF has shown a growth of 3.1 percent during the first four years of the Eleventh Plan period. However, it showed a decline 10 of 14.7 per cent in the year 2008-09. Industry has projected growth in the production of PSF by 7.78 percent during the Twelfth Plan period

Polyester staple fibers work well in home furnishings as well, which includes carpets, upholstery, curtains and sheets. Polyester fiberfill is often used inside pillows and furniture as stuffing. Hoses, ropes and nets, thread, tire cord and sails on ships are all made with polyester fibers, which are regularly combined with other materials to add new properties.

PSF is produced by CP (continuous polymerisation) process using PTA(purified Terephthalic Acid) and MEG.

Capacity (kt) Actual Projected
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
RIL 700 700 1000 1000 1000 1300
Indorama Synthetics 300 300 300 300 300 300
Bombay Dyeing  165 165 165 165 165 165
Others 169 365 185 285 415 235
Total 1334 1530 1650 1750 1880 2000

Producer PSF: India Demand Supply
Actual Projected
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Capacity 1334 1530 1650 1750 1880 2000
Consumption 1214 1188 1283 1386 1497 1600
Cons Growth (%)   -2% 8% 8% 8% 7%

PSF - 100% end use consumption is textiles

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