Polyester facts for kids
Polyester can be made into thread or yarn. Woven into synthetic fabrics, they are often used to make clothes and home furnishings. These include shirts, trousers, pants, jackets, hats, bedding and upholstered furniture. Polyester fiber is used as cushioning and insulating material in pillows, comforters and upholstery padding. It can be used in curtains to insulate windows and keep heat indoors. Polyester is used to make insulating carpet.
Polyester is a type of polymer that has the ester functional group in its main chain. There are many different polyesters. The term "polyester" as a specific material most often refers to polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Polyesters include chemicals found in nature, such as in plant cuticles. Synthetics made by step-growth polymerization such as polycarbonate and polybutyrate are also polyesters. Natural polyesters and a few synthetic ones are biodegradable, but most synthetic polyesters are not.
The most common polyesters are thermoplastics.
Most polyesters are made with a polycondensation reaction. See "condensation reactions in polymer chemistry". The general equation for the reaction of a diol with a diacid is :
- (n+1) R(OH)2 + n R´(COOH)2 → HO[ROOCR´COO]nROH + 2n pH2O
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Transesterification: An alcohol-terminated oligomer and an ester-terminated oligomer condense to form an ester linkage, with loss of an alcohol. R and R' are the two oligomer chains, R is a sacrificial unit such as a methyl group (methanol is the byproduct of the esterification reaction).
Polyester Facts for Kids. Homework Help - Kiddle Encyclopedia.