Polyacrylate (PCA), the chemical class of acrylate polymers derived from the polymerisation of acrylic acid esters and salts, was developed in the 1960s. Recent improvements have finally led to the commercialisation of this fibre and development of new applications that take advantage of PCA’s high performance non-flammability and non-toxic properties.
In a presentation at the 2013 TTNA conference, Michael Gerakios, Technology Development – Metis Technologies Pty Ltd provided an overview of PCA's history and properties and several applications that are currently underway including transport applications and industrial clothing. According to Gerakios, one of PCA’s many qualities lies in carbonising when it is exposed to very high temperatures. The smoke / fume emissions are practically non-existent and they not toxic, he says. Consequently, PCA’s use is recommended in closed spaces where smoke is more dangerous than the fire itself.
One evident application is use as filtration media in coal-fired power stations. When coal is burnt in a power station approximately 30% of the weight of coal evolves as fly ash (smoke) which must be prevented from passing to the atmosphere.
The conditions in the flue gas duct structure exiting the coal-fired boiler and in the fabric filter are extreme. They require the use of specialised technical textiles to achieve the filtration objectives and withstand the mechanical and chemical demands of the environment.
For over 30 years, woven and fabric structures of various fibre polymers have been developed to achieve low emissions, high air flows and extended life however continual improvement is required to meet community clean air expectations.
For further information on PCAs contact Michael Gerakios T: +61 (0) 438 004 839; Email