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How is acrylic made?

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The steps involved in the manufacturing of acrylic are as follows:

• Polymerization:
Acrylonitrile is the raw material that is used to make acrylic fiber. This step involves polymerization of acrylonitrile to form polyacrylonitrile and the polymerization is called addition polymerization.
• Dissolving and Spinning:
The next step involves dissolving the polymer in a solvent. However, the choice of solvent depends upon the method employed for spinning. The acrylic polymer can be either dry spun or wet spinning.

In case of dry spinning, the polymer is dissolved in dimethylformamide which is a volatile solvent and forms a solution. The solidification of acrylic filament occurs on evaporation of solvent when it comes in contact with warm air.

For wet spinning, the polymer is dissolved in dimethylacetamide which is a solvent. The solidification of acrylic filament occurs on coagulation which is then extruded through a spinneret.
• The fibers may be stretched in the drawing process in order to increase the strength and elasticity.
• The long continuous filaments thus obtained can be easily spun and made into garments.

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