Prepared By : Mazadul Hasan sheshir
13th Batch (session 2009-2013)
Department : Wet Processing Technology
Blog : www. Textilelab.blogspot.com (visit)
Department Of Textile Engineering
I/A 251,252 Tejgaon Dhaka Bangladesh
Prepared By :
• Introductory discussion-
• Raw materials
• macro-glycol & diisocyanate
• Spinning process
• Polymer reactions
• An important spandex fiber with its properties:
Producing the fibers
• Quality Control
• The Future
• Spandex Fiber Characteristics
• spandex fiber uses
• General Spandex Fiber Care Tips
1. Spandex or elastane is a synthetic fibre known for its
2. "Spandex" is a generic name and not derived from
3. the chemical name of the fiber, as are most manufactured fibers, but an
anagram of the word expands.
4. "Spandex" is the preferred name in North America; elsewhere it is referred to
Other spandex trademarks
Elaspan (Invista), ROICA (Asahi Kasei), Dorlastan (Asahi Kasei),
Creora (Hyosung), Linel (Fillattice) etc .
1. Spandex or elastane is a synthetic fiber known for its
2. It is strong, but less durable than its major non-synthetic
competitor, natural Latex.
3. It is a polyurethane-polyurea copolymer that was developed in
1959 by chemists C. L. Sandquist and Joseph Shiversat DuPont's
Benger Laboratory in Waynesboro, Virginia.
4. When first introduced, it revolutionized many areas of
the clothing industry.
1. Is a synthetic polymer.
2. Made up of a long-chain polyglycol combined with a short diisocyanate, and
contains at least 85% polyurethane.
3. Can be stretched to a certain degree(almost 500% ) .
4. stronger, lighter, and more versatile.
5. Are composed of two types of segments(long, amorphous segments and
short, rigid segments).
6. Are easily dyed.
7. Deleterious effects of body oils, perspiration, and detergents.
• Development of spandex was started during World War II.
• In 1940, the first polyurethane elastomers were produced.
• More stretchable nylons or in making lightweight garments.
• Farbenfabriken Bayer, earned a German patent for his synthesis in 1952.
• Du Pont used the brand name Lycra and began full scale manufacture in
• They are currently the world leader in the production of spandex fibers.
Wonderful bizarre polyurethane is spandex. Polyurethanes are
called polyurethanes because in their backbones they have a
A Spandex: Polyurethane
Figure : Monomer of the Elastomeric Yarn Found by DuPont.
1. A variety of raw materials are used to
produce stretchable spandex fibers.
2. This includes prepolymers which
produce the backbone of the fiber,
stabilizers which protect the integrity
of the polymer, and colorants.
Two types of prepolymers are reacted to
produce the spandex fiber polymer back-bone.
1. A flexible macroglycol .
2. A stiff diisocyanate.
Macro-glycol & diisocyanate-
The macro-glycol can be a polyester, polyether, polycarbonate,
polycaprolactone or some combination of these.
These are long chain polymers, which have hydroxyl groups (-OH)
on both ends.
The important feature of these molecules is that they are long and
This part of the spandex fiber is responsible for its stretching
The other prepolymer used to produce spandex is a polymeric
This is a shorter chain polymer, which has an isocyanate (-NCO)
group on both ends.
The principal characteristic of this molecule is its rigidity. In the
fiber, this molecule provides strength.
There are two types of spinning are available for
spandex, these are-
Groups (-OH) on the macroglycols react with the
Each molecule gets added on to the end of another
molecule, and a long chain polymer is formed.
A catalyst such as diazobicyclo[2.2.2]octane & low
molecular weight amines must be used.
Stabilizers are added to protect the fibers.
Additives must also be added.
Figure : Photographs of Spandex Fibre Production Methods.
1 The first step in the production of spandex is the production
of the prepolymer. This is done by mixing a macroglycol with a
diisocyanate monomer. The compounds are mixed in a
reaction vessel and under the right conditions they react to
form a prepolymer. Since the ratio of the component
materials produces fibers with varying characteristics, it is
strictly controlled. A typical ratio of glycol to diisocyanate may
2 In dry spinning fiber production, the prepolymer is further
reacted with an equal amount of diamine. This is known as a
chain extension reaction. The resulting solution is diluted with
a solvent to produce the spinning solution. The solvent helps
make the solution thinner and more easily handled. It can
then be pumped into the fiber production cell.
An important spandex fiber with its properties-
The above diagram is an example of the
molecular structure of 'Lycra-Spandex' type
n = a very large number of repeating
double 'molecular segments' in the
x is the variable number of units in the
'elastic' molecular segment, this gives
differing degrees of 'stretchiness'.
Therefore its molecules have a stretchy
section that make it soft and rubbery, and a
rigid section that makes it tougher than
Lycra is an artificial fiber that readily stretches but
is still a strong material overall.
Parts of the long polymer molecules stretch
easily i.e. elastic at the molecular level, but
other sections of the polymer chain are
more rigid to increase strength.
Lycra fibers can be stretched upto 500% (i.e. 5x)
of their original length.
Figure : Photographs of Elastomeric Fiber to Yarn.
Producing the fibers-
The spinning solution is pumped into a cylindrical spinning cell
where it is cured and converted into fibers. In this cell, the polymer
solution is forced through a metal plate, called a spinneret, which
has small holes throughout. This causes the solution to be aligned
in strands of liquid polymer. As the strands pass through the cell,
they are heated in the presence of a nitrogen and solvent gas.
These conditions cause the liquid polymer to chemically react and
form solid strands.
As the fibers exit the cell, a specific amount of the solid strands are
bundled together to produce the desired thickness. This is done
with a compressed air device that twists the fibers together. In
reality, each fiber of spandex is made up of many smaller individual
fibers that adhere to one another due to the natural stickiness of
1. To ensure the quality of the spandex fibers, manufacturers monitor the
product during each phase of production.
2. Inspections begin with the evaluation of the incoming raw materials.
Various chemical and physical characteristics are tested.
the pH, specific gravity, and viscosity of the diisocyanate may be checked.
Additionally, appearance, color, and odor can also be evaluated. Only by
having strict quality control checks on the starting materials can the
manufacturer be sure that they will produce a consistent end product.
After production, the spandex fibers are also tested. These tests may
include those that evaluate fiber elasticity, resilience and absorbency.
1. The quality of spandex fibers has continually improved since they were
2. Various areas of research will help continue their improvement.
1. scientists have found that by changing the starting prepolymers they
can develop fibers which have even better stretching characteristics.
3. Other characteristics can be improved by using different prepolymer
ratios, better catalysts, and various fillers.
4. In addition to spandex fiber improvements, it is likely that advanced
fabrics will be produced which incorporate spandex fibers with
5. Currently, nylon/spandex fiber blends are available. Finally,
improvements in manufacturing will also be discovered.
6. These will focus on producing fibers faster and more efficiently.
Spandex Fiber Characteristics-
1. Can be stretched repeatedly and still recover to very near its original
length and shape
2. Generally, can be stretched more than 500% without breaking
3. Stronger, more durable and higher retractive force than rubber
4. Lightweight, soft, smooth, supple
5. In garments, provides a combination of comfort and fit, prevents
bagging and sagging
6. Heat-settable — facilitates transforming puckered fabrics into flat
fabrics, or flat fabrics into permanent rounded shapes
8. Resistant to deterioration by body oils, perspiration, lotions or
9. Abrasion resistant
10. When fabrics containing spandex are sewn, the needle causes little
or no damage from “needle cutting” compared to the older types of
11. Available in fiber diameters ranging from 10 denier to 2500 denier
12. Available in clear and opaque lusters
1. Can be stretched to almost 500% of its length.
2. Lightweight, soft, smooth, supple and more durable
3. Can be easily dyed and they also resist damage by body oils, perspiration, lotions or
4. No damage from "needle cutting“
5. Abrasion resistant
6. Can be found in both, clear and opaque lusters.
Spandex fiber uses-
belts bra strap
gloves hosiery leggings
ski pants skinny
wetsuits zentai cycling
General Spandex Fiber Care Tips-
– Do not use chlorine bleach on any fabric containing
spandex. Use oxygen or sodium perborate type bleach
– Rise thoroughly
– Drip dry. If machine dried, use low temperature
– Hand or machine wash in lukewarm water
– Ironing, if required, should be done rapidly. Do not
leave the iron too long in one position. Use low
temperatures setting. (For specific instructions, refer
to garment's sewn-in care label)
LYCRA® fiber brand creates value with 63% worldwide consumer
preference versus spandex/elastane.
Competitor Country Trade Name
Acelon Chemicals & Fiber Corp. Spandex
Asahi Chemical Industry Co. Roica
Baoding Swan Chemical Fiber Co. Ltd. Spandex
Bayer AG Dorlastan
Bayer Corp. Dorlastan
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Lycra
Far Eastern Textile Ltd. Spandex
Fillattice, Inc. Linel
Formosa Asahi Spandex Co. Spandex
Fuji Spinning Co., Ltd. Fujibo Spandex Soflas
Fujian Changle Urethane Fibre Co. Ltd. Spandex
Haishan Urethane Elastic Fibre Industry Co., Ltd. Spandex
Hua Feng Industry Co. Ltd. QianXi
Hyosung Corporation Creora Toplon
Israel Spandex Co., Ltd. Filabell
JiangSu Changshu Sai Lenshi Fiber Co. Spandex
JiangSu Nan Huanghai Co. Ltd Spandex
Jilin Liaoyuan Deheng Fibre Co. Ltd. Spandex
Kanebo Goshen, Ltd. Lubell
Kolon Industries, Inc. Spandex
Lianyungang Zhongshan Urethane Fiber Co. Ltd. Aoshen
Different Types of Trade Name of Spandex Yarn Usable in Various
Competitor Country Trade Name
RadiciSpandex Corp. Glospan Clerspan
Saehan Industries Spandex
Shandong Zibo Urethane Elastic Fibre Co.,
Shaoxing Polyester Spandex
Shei Heng Sheiflex Co. Sheiflex
Taekwang Ind. Co., Ltd. Acelan
Teijin Ltd. Rexe
Tong Hwa Synthetic Fiber Co., Ltd. Townspun
Tongkook Synthetic Fibres Co., Ltd. Texlon
Toyobo Co. Espa
Unitika Ltd. Success
Yantai Urethane Elastic Fibre Co. Ltd. Spandex
NinBao Synthetic Fiber Manufactory Spandex
Zhong Yuan Enterprise Group Zylon
Viyellatex and overall Lycra/Spandex
Different Types of Trade Name of Spandex Yarn Usable in Various
Product of Spandex Goods and Their Use
Apparel and clothing articles where
stretch is desired, generally for comfort
Athletic, aerobic, and exercise apparel, Wetsuits,
Swimsuits/bathing suits, Competitive swimwear,
Netball bodysuits, Brassiere straps and bra side
panels, Ski pants, Disco jeans, Slacks, Hosiery,
Leggings, Socks, Diapers, Skinny jeans, Belts,
Underwear, Dance belts worn by male ballet
dancers and others.
Surgical hose, Support hose, Cycling shorts,
Wrestling singlet, Rowing unisuit, Foundation
garments, Motion capture suits.
Shaped garments Bra cups.
Home furnishings Microbead pillows.
• athletic, aerobic
• exercise apparel
• ski pants
• disco jean
• surgical hose
• support hose
• motion capture suits
• Home furnishings
The fibers discussed in this slide which resemble rubber in that
they have high extensibility and highly reactive forces which
derive from their chemical nature.
Natural polymers are usually better than we make ourselves and
the development of spandex yarns may well spurs to rubber
technologist to new achivement;in the past they have not had
very much competition from other snap back fibers.
1. Yarn Manufacturing Technology
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2. Fabric Manufacturing Technology
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3. Garments Manufacturing Technology
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3. Wet processing Technology
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