Cellulose Acetate


Cellulose acetate (also known as zyl, zylonite, Cellon and Rhodoid), first prepared in 1865, is the acetate ester of cellulose. Cellulose acetate is used as a film base in photography, as a component in some coatings, and as a frame material for eyeglasses; it is also used as a synthetic fiber in the manufacture of cigarette filters and playing cards.

Fiber Properties

• Hand: soft, smooth, dry, crisp, resilient
• Comfort: breathes, wicks, dries quickly, no static cling
• Drape: linings move with the body linings conform to the garment
• Color: deep brilliant shades with atmospheric dyeing meet colorfastness requirements
• Luster: light reflection creates a signature appearance
• Performance: colorfast to perspiration staining, colorfast to dry cleaning, air and vapor permeable
• Tenacity: weak fiber with breaking tenacity of 1.2 to 1.4 g/d; rapidly loses strength when wet; must be dry cleaned
• Abrasion: poor resistance
• Heat retention: poor thermal retention; no allergenic potential (hypoallergenic)
• Dyeability: (two methods) cross-dying method where yarns of one fiber and those of another fiber are woven into a fabric in a desired pattern; solution-dying method provides excellent color fastness under the effects of sunlight, perspiration, air contaminants and washing

Major industrial acetate fiber uses

• Apparel: buttons, sunglasses, linings, blouses, dresses, wedding and party attire, home furnishings, draperies, upholstery and slip covers
• Industrial uses: cigarette and other filters, ink reservoirs for fiber tip pens
• High absorbency products: diapers and surgical products
• The original Lego bricks were manufactured from cellulose acetate from 1949 to 1963
• Award Ribbon: Rosettes for equestrian events, dog/cat shows, corporate awards, advertising and identification products all use cellulose acetate ribbon
• KEM brand playing cards, used at the World Series of Poker and in many poker rooms at major casinos, are made of cellulose acetate. Italian playing card manufacturer Modiano also makes a line of playing cards made of "acetate," though it is unclear whether this is true cellulose acetate
(source: Wikipedia)

Cellulose acetate market

• The three largest world producers in terms of capacity are North America (64%), western Europe (20%) and Japan (16%). North America is a big exporter of CAF - over 100 000 tonne/year according to one estimate.
• In terms of demand, North America, western Europe and Japan account for about 85% of the world demand. In western Europe, consumption has been stable or stagnating since 1988.
• CAF is produced by a few major players, and mostly used captively for fibre manufacture. Celanese is the largest flake producer worldwide, with facilities in the US, Canada, Mexico and China; Eastman is second and Daicel third.
(source: ICIS)