Cellulose Acetates
Title: Cellulose Acetates
Literature References: Partially acetylated cellulose, q.v. Several acetates of cellulose are known, which differ from one another only in the degree of acetylation. In triacetates, no less than 92% of the hydroxyl groups are acetylated. In characterizing the degree of acetylation, percent acetyl value and percent combined acetic acid are used. All cellulose acetates are obtained by treating cellulose with acetic anhydride at various temps for different lengths of time to produce amorphous white solid material in granular, flake, or powder form from which fibers may be formed by extrusion. In the plastics industry, it is usual to acetylate fully and then to lower the acetyl value to 52-56% by partial hydrolysis. Such material when compounded with suitable plasticizers gives a tough thermoplastic product. Manuf: Faith, Keyes & Clark's Industrial Chemicals, F. A. Lowenheim, M. K. Moran, Eds. (Wiley-Interscience, New York, 4th ed., 1975) pp 239-243. Toxicity studies: W. C. Thomas et al., Food Chem. Toxicol. 29, 453 (1991). Review: G. A. Serad, J. R. Sanders, "Cellulose Acetate and Triacete Fibers" in Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology Vol. 5 (Wiley-Interscience, New York, 3rd ed., 1979) pp 89-117.
Properties: Commercial products do not have sharp melting points. Solubility is affected by the acetyl value; the triacetate is insol in water, alcohol, ether, but sol in glacial acetic acid; the tetraacetate is insol in water, alcohol, ether, glacial acetic acid, methanol; the pentaacetate is insol in water, but sol in alcohol.
Use: Manuf rubber and celluloid substitutes, nonflammable photographic and cinema films, airplane dopes, varnishes and lacquers, filaments, phonograph records; waterproofing fabrics and rendering balloons gas-tight; sizing and finishing fabrics; coating skins; insulating electric wires; tow for cigarette smoke filters.

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