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Twaron history captured in 'Specters, smart fellows and strategists..'

29
Jun '07
The history of the cities where Teijin Twaron is located (Arnhem, Emmen and Delfzijl) and many of its residents is closely intertwined with that of Twaron. Twaron is the aramid fiber discovered around 1970 in the Enka laboratory. This week, Teijin Twaron employees received the book tracing Teijin's history.

After World War II, many companies diligently sought to discover new fibers which could be used for all manner of technical applications. These efforts brought us technical nylon in the 1950s and polyester in the 1960s. The search for fibers with even better characteristics continued. Could there be a potential fiber to replace steel radials as threads in automobile tires? Full aromatic polymers (multiple chemical bonds) were researched by various companies throughout the world.

When exactly the Enka fiber division at Akzo first discovered Twaron is not known. The fact remains that on Christmas Eve, 1970, researcher Leo Vollbracht performed the first trial of the full aromatic polymer PPTA. In 1972 strategic choices were made and later studies focused on improving the process. Now, 35 years later, that choice still appears to have been the right one.

Although the results from that first trial were extremely encouraging, it still took till 1987 for Twaron to become a marketable product. There were several reasons for this. First and foremost, making a polymer is a complicated process, as is subsequent spinning of threads from that polymer.


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