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Carpet fiber types

 

The differences may be seen as:

 
Synthetic Fibers are made from chemical derivatives of petroleum products. These fiber types include triexta, polyester, polypropylene and nylon.

  • Triexta (DuPont PTT - SmartStrand)The most complete carpet fiber is Triexta. This fiber seems to do everything best, from being the best performing fiber against staining, fading, soiling, traffic and more, to offering the softest most durable products on the market today.
  • Nylon – Is the most versatile fiber for coloration and carpet styling, and has the GOOD crush resistance and appearance retention performance. Nylon also has outstanding soiling, staining, and permanent static electricity control performance, and provides high value in a wide range of styles and colors.
  • Polyester – Is soft and is often used in low-traffic installations. Polyester has low static buildup and good abrasion resistance, is easy to clean, is low-priced, and resists water-based stains; but it is available in fewer colors/styles, it stains with oil-based stains, and it crushes more than some other fibers.
  • Polypropylene (Olefin) – has good abrasion resistance. It is inexpensive, colorfast, and moisture has little impact on polypropylene, however polypropylene doesn't have a luxury feel, it crushes, and is very susceptible to oil-based stains.

Natural Fibers are derived from animal (wool) or vegetable (cotton or jute) sources and processed into yarn. Each natural fiber has its own distinct advantages, as well as different uses.

  • Wool – Is attractive and luxurious. It is colorfast, has good crush recovery, and resists soiling; but it stains easily, it is very expensive, and it is not as durable as man-made fibers.
  • Woven Naturals are primarily selected for high end design and natural beauty, but they are expensive and difficult to clean.

Triexta (Smartstrand Sorona)

  • Permanent Stain Resistance that is built into the fiber not topically applied.
  • Renewably sourced polymer. Most carpets are made with petrochemical-based ingredients, while a key ingredient in Dupont Polymer is made with corn. In addition to using renewable resources the production of Dupont Polymer uses 30% less energy and reduces CO2 emissions 63% over the production of an equal amount of nylon 6.
  • Fibers are exceptionally soft because they bend easily and rebound quickly. Because of their unique kinked crystal structure that gives to resilience to allow your carpet to resist the crushing and matting that can occur with other carpets.
  • Tough enough to take the highest level of foot traffic

Triexta (DuPont PTT - SmartStrand)The most complete carpet fiber is Triexta. This fiber seems to do everything best, from being the best performing fiber against staining, fading, soiling, traffic and more, to offering the softest most durable products on the market today.

It offers Permanent Stain Resistance that is built into the fiber not topically applied. It is a renewably sourced polymer. Most carpets are made with petrochemical-based ingredients, while a key ingredient in Triextra is corn. In addition to using renewable resources the production of DuPont Polymer uses 30% less energy and reduces CO2 emissions 63% over the production of an equal amount of nylon 6. Fibers are exceptionally soft because they bend easily and rebound quickly. Because of their unique kinked crystal structure that gives to resilience to allow your carpet to resist the crushing and matting that can occur with other carpets. Tough enough to take the highest level of foot traffic.

Triexta is a product developed by DuPont – the same company responsible for the invention of nylon. Triexta -- polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT) -- is a polymer comprised of several monomers, including 1,3 propanediol (PDO). It is produced by DuPont under the brand name Sorona. PTT was first discovered in the early 1940s, however was too costly to produce. After much further research, DuPont was able to considerably reduce the production cost in the 1990s by using biotechnology, which also contributes to Triexta’s eco-friendliness. Because PTT and polyester (polyethylene terephthalate – PET) have the same general chemical composition, PTT was originally defined as a polyester. However, it differs so significantly from polyester that DuPont, along with Mohawk Industries, lobbied to have the differences recognized by approving a new generic name for PTT. In 2009, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) officially recognized triexta as a new generic name for PTT, a subclass of polyester.

Basically, that means that the chemical structure of the two fibers is similar enough that triexta could not become an entire new classification of fiber (in the way that polyester or nylon is), but that PTT and PET are different enough that PTT could not simply be lumped in with PET. According to DuPont, "The FTC based its generic name decision on test results of residential carpets, which demonstrated that triexta significantly outperforms carpets made from polyester in resilience and durability."

Characteristics of Triexta
There are several reasons why triexta stands out from polyester.
  • The first is that triexta is recognized as being more durable and resilient than conventional polyester
  • Appearance – Triexta and polyester differ also in appearance. The appearance of triexta is more similar to nylon than to polyester. Triexta lacks polyester’s high lustre, and more closely resembles nylon’s matte finish. Obviously, it is a matter of personal preference which look you prefer.
  • Built-In Stain and Soil Protection that never washes or wears off – Triexta is incredibly stain resistant. With simple vacuuming and ordinary hot water extraction, the carpets can be restored to their original appearance. The primary reason for Triexta’s high level of stain resistance is that the fiber is hydrophobic, meaning that it does not absorb moisture. Triexta has actually been used in the clothing industry longer than it has been used in the carpet industry -- in the clothing industry triexta uses the tag-line "dry-fit" to reflect the non-absorbent properties of the fiber.
  • Nanoloc Technology makes it easier to clean and vacuum – Nanoloc’s advanced spill-resistant shield is made from nanoparticles that seamlessly lock together, preventing dirt and spills from settling into the carpet. With Smartstrand Forever Clean, soil is released at three times the rate of other carpets, which means it is easier to clean and with less vacuuming.
  • Fresh and Odor Free – Liquids cannot absorb into the fiber. Liquid spills carry impurities that leave behind residue and can lead to musty, dingy odors. Compared to nylon carpet, which absorbs up to five percent of its weight in liquid. Smartstrand Forever Clean offers sero percent absorption so it remains fresh and odor-free forever – a huge advantage in a family with pets.
  • Softness – Yet another advantage to triexta is that it is significantly softer than both polyester and nylon. Its softness is due in part to the fact that it does not have topically-applied chemicals for stain protection. Even the looped Berber styles, which can have a tendency to feel rough when made of nylon or olefin, feel soft to the touch and very comfortable underfoot.
  • Eco Friendly – This carpet is made in part with annually renewable plant-based materials (corn) that minimize our usage of limited natural resources Replacing petroleum with corn glucose means that fewer chemicals are put into the fiber, which in turn means that fewer chemicals will come out of the fiber in the form of VOCs (off-gassing). This could be especially beneficial to those with environmental sensitivities and conditions such as asthma and allergies.
  • Certified Free from harmful substances – It is the only carpet fiber certified free from harmful natural substances by Oeko-Tex. Smartstrand Forever Clean with All Pet Protection creates a healthier, safer, pet-friendly home.

Some statistics from Mohawk regarding Mohawk’s SmartStrand made with DuPont Sorona:

The production of Sorona requires 30% less energy than the production of an equal amount of nylon
The production of Sorona emits 63% less greenhouse gas than the production of nylon 6
The production of seven square yards of Sorona saves the equivalent of one gallon of gasoline