The recent news of Alfa Group's decision to close its filament polyester production plant in Mexico has sent shockwaves throughout the industry. Companies that once relied on Akra's products are now faced with the daunting task of finding suitable alternatives. While many high tenacity polyester fibers can be readily replaced, the Akra Type 161 presents a unique challenge due to its distinct physical properties.
Understanding the Akra Type 161ST
The Akra Type 161ST is renowned for its exceptional characteristics, boasting low elongation and low shrinkage. Achieving these properties involves a specialized two-step production process, a rarity in the world of filament polyester fiber production. During extrusion, these properties are inversely related, necessitating a second step that subjects the yarns to high tension and heat. This process eliminates shrinkage while minimizing elongation at break. The resulting Type 161ST has found a niche market, particularly in Mechanical Rubber Goods (MRG) applications such as rubber hoses and belts.
These unique properties have been instrumental in achieving specific end-product characteristics, such as higher burst strengths in hose applications. However, with the Type 161's future availability uncertain, manufacturers are actively seeking alternatives that can either match or closely approximate their product requirements. In doing so, they may need to make concessions concerning physical properties.
Exploring Alternative Options
To aid in this transition, we've compiled a comparison table below, showcasing the Akra Type 161 alongside several of the existing low-shrink options:
|Nominal Yarn Size (Denier)
|Non-Low Shrink Alternative - High Tenacity
|1300D High Tenacity
It's important to emphasize that evaluating and implementing these alternative options will require time and careful consideration. Manufacturers must assess the impact on production timelines, costs, and overall feasibility before making any changes. Collaboration with alternative suppliers and industry experts can provide valuable insights and guidance during this transition.
Service Thread's Commitment to Solutions
At Service Thread, we understand the challenges you face in finding suitable alternatives to the Akra Type 161. We are actively collaborating with polyester fiber producers to commercialize alternatives that closely align with the Type 161's physical properties. If you need assistance in qualifying an alternative polyester, we encourage you to reach out to Service Thread. We can provide you with the latest options available to meet your unique requirements.