Polyester – a category of polymers

Polyester – a category of polymers

Polyester is a type of polymer that has an ester functional group in each repeat unit of its main chain. It most frequently refers to a type of material known as polyethylene terephthalate (PET).  It is a synthetic polymer created from plastic that is widely utilized in a variety of applications due to its durability, adaptability, and low cost. It is produced through a chemical process known as polymerization, in which small molecules known as monomers are joined together to form long chains known as polymers.

Polyesters include both naturally occurring compounds found in plants and insects and synthetics like polybutyrate. Natural and a few synthetic polyesters are biodegradable, however, the vast majority of synthetic polyesters are not. Synthetic polyesters are widely utilized in clothes.

Polyester fibers are sometimes spun with natural fibers to create a fabric with mixed characteristics. Cotton-polyester blends can be durable, wrinkle- and tear-resistant, and shrink-resistant. When compared to plant-derived fibers, synthetic fibers made of polyester offer superior water, wind, and environmental resilience. They have a lower fire resistance and can melt if lit.

Liquid crystalline polyesters were among the first liquid crystal polymers to be employed in industry. They are employed for their mechanical and thermal resistant qualities. These characteristics are also crucial in its use as an abradable seal in jet engines.


  • Fabric: It is widely used in the textile industry to produce fabrics and apparel. It is popular for apparel items such as shirts, dresses, and jackets due to its wrinkle resistance, simplicity of care, and ability to hold shape. To promote breathability and comfort, it can be combined with other fibers such as cotton.
  • Home Textiles: Because of its stain and fade resistance, it is utilized in the production of a wide range of home textiles, including curtains, bed linens, upholstery, and carpets.
  • Plastic Bottles: Recycled polyester, also known as PET (polyethylene terephthalate), is widely utilized in the production of plastic bottles and other packaging materials. It is a green solution because it eliminates the need for new plastic production and aids in recycling efforts.
  • Insulation: Polyester is used as a filling material in various products like pillows, comforters, and sleeping bags due to its insulating properties.
  • Technical Applications: It is used in technical applications such as electrical insulators, capacitors, and as a dielectric material in electrical components.

Environmental Impact

While polyester has many advantages, its manufacture can have environmental consequences. Chemicals are used in the manufacturing process, and the substance is not biodegradable. However, recycling polyester can help to alleviate some of these environmental concerns.

Overall, polyester is a flexible and widely used material with applications spanning from fashion and textiles to industrial and technical domains; yet, its environmental impact is a worry, and attempts to recycle and find more sustainable alternatives are continuing.