Biconstituent fibers from segmented polyurethanes and nylon 6



The characteristics of Monvelle, a new biconstituent fiber from nylon 6 and a segmented polyurethane, are reviewed briefly, and some of the technical problems inherent in producing such a fiber are discussed. The characterization of two series of polyurethanes which can be melt spun is given in detail. The chemical composition of the hard segment was maintained constant, being derived from 4,4′-diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) and 1,4-butanediol, in all polymers. In one series using poly(butylene adipate) of MW 2000 as the soft segment, the average hard segment content was varied from 33% to 54%. In the other series, the hard segment content was held at 43%, and three additional soft segments, each at MW 2000, were used: poly(ethylene adipate), polycaprolactone and poly-1,4-oxybutylene glycol (PBG). Characterizations include molecular weight distributions, thermal analysis, rheological studies, and selected small-angle and wide-angle x-ray diffraction and polarized light microscopy. Crystallinity, melt viscosity, and activation energy of flow increased with increasing hardsegment content. Changes in the polyester soft segments had little effect on the properties studied, but with PBG the crystalline melting point of the polymer, without annealing, was higher and the melt viscosity was slightly higher than corresponding polyester-based samples, in agreement with previous reports of sharper phase separation in polyether urethanes, compared to polyester urethanes.