A Metocene resin from LyondellBasell sets new standards in PP microfibre performance

February 28, 2008




A Metocene resin from LyondellBasell Industries using metallocene catalysts has been selected by Italian textile manufacturer Aquafil for its Dryarn range of microfibre clothing due to the resin’s ability to achieve significant improvements in processability and durability over other PP and traditional materials, setting new benchmarks in PP microfibre performance.

Throughputs comparable to high-speed polyester lines

The Metocene HM 562 S fiber grade was chosen by Aquafil for its Dryarn line of clothing, which includes extreme sportswear, military equipment and swimwear, because of the resin’s outstanding processability and uniformity, enabling processing speeds up to 20 percent faster than standard polypropylene resin.

"Producers have found that the spinnability of Metocene resins allows ultra-fine fibres to be continuously produced at throughputs comparable with high-speed polyester lines," said Bernd Schütz, Global Customer Programme Manager at LyondellBasell. "It is the first time a Metocene resin has been used for a clothing application requiring durability and skin-contact performance, historically the domain of polyester and polyamide fibres."

Behind the performance of the resin is a narrow molecular weight distribution that improves not only the processability, but the mechanical properties of the fibres, enabling up to 30 percent higher tenacity over other PP-based fibres. "With Metocene resin, we achieved the same level of tenacity and textile and fabric characteristics as polyester or polyamide fibres in our Dryarn clothing," said Denis Jahic, Industrial Director at Aquafil.

The wicking-effect

Unlike other synthetic fibers, Aquafil’s Dryarn is used to produce clothing applications in which skin-contact performance is important. One of the key performance characteristics of fibres based on Metocene resins is the wicking-effect, where perspiration is conducted away from the skin to the outside where it can evaporate, leading to a sweat expulsion rate which is nearly eight times higher than polyester.

Another important advantage of Metocene resins in functional clothing is the lightness of the yarn. "With a specific weight of 0.9 g/cm3, Dryarn is the lightest yarn existing in nature, providing a 20 per cent weight saving compared with other fibres on the market," said Jahic.

"We’ve experienced over the recent past increased demand for Metocene PP-based fibre resins, and I think we are likely to see Metocene microfibre increasingly moving not only into mainstream clothing applications, but into demanding fibre applications such as outdoor furniture or automotive interior," said Schütz.

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Aquafil (www.aquafil.com) is an Italian company with headquarters in Arco di Trento (Italy) and about 2,000 employees working in 11 factories in Italy, Slovenia, United States, Croatia and Thailand. There is a strong synergy between the activities of the three Business Units (carpet yarns, textile yarns, Plastics Engineering/Polymers), characterised by a high level of innovation and product diversification.

www.aquafil.com - www.dryarn.com

LyondellBasell Industries is one of the world’s largest polymers, petrochemicals and fuels companies. We are the global leader in polyolefins technology, production and marketing; a pioneer in propylene oxide and derivatives; a significant producer of advanced fuel products; and the owner of one of North America’s largest full-conversion refineries. Through research and development, LyondellBasell develops innovative materials and technologies that deliver exceptional customer value and products that improve quality of life for people around the world. Headquartered in The Netherlands, LyondellBasell (www.lyondellbasell.com) is privately owned by Access Industries.


For information, contact:

LyondellBasell Industries
Media - Waldemar Oldenburger, +49 69 305 854 59 or waldemar.oldenburger@lyondellbasell.com

Marketing & Comunicazione – Nathalie de Marco, +39 0376 718465 or nathalie.de.marco@aquafil.com