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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. 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.

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 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.

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.

In 2011 India had a total capacity of 1075 KTA which is expected to touch 2010 KTA in 2016. And consumption is expected to increase from 779 KTA in 2011 to 1400 KTA in 2016. The key players manufacturing PSF include Reliance Industries, Indo Rama etc. Reliance Industries is the leading player with almost 40% of total capacity in the industry.

PSF is produced by CP (continuous polymerisation) process using PTA(purified Terephthalic Acid) and MEG.
Capacity (kt) Actual Actual Actual Actual Actual Projected
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
RIL 610 610 720 720 750 750
IRSL Synthetics 300 300 300 300 300 300
BDMC 165 165 165 165 165 165
Alok 0 75 75      
Others       235 675 795
Total 1075 1150 1260 1420 1890 2010
Source: Industry
  PSF: India Demand Supply
Actual Actual Actual Actual Actual Projected
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Capacity 1075 1150 1260 1420 1890 2010
Production 830 936 971 952 973 1045
Dom Sales 737 784 792 1108 1209  
Imports 42 28 43 80 98  
Exports 176 168 205 184 182  
Consumption 779 812 835 1189 1307 1400
Source: Industry

PSF - 100% end use consumption is textiles

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