Cost and Availability of Raw Materials

For many years past, the U. S. armed forces have been using the specification approach to secure their fabrics. Specifica- tions set limits to minimum...
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become more clearly indicated before it receives the support of a c o n d industry-wide effort. At present, fabric wear tests must be used to judge the fiber. Conclusione are drawn from the performance, and on reducing such conclosions to spedcations a modest form of cornlation between fiber c h a r d c a and fabric performance in achieved. For many years pant, the U.8.armed forces have been uning the Speci6mtion appmsch to secure their fabrics. 8pedIim tions set limits to minimumbmad fuuctionn and general conetructim, leaving nome freedom 88 to fabric details. The experience being accumulated from “the cloth to the fiber” agpaoech is psving the way to an eventual reversat of that sequence. Today the fabric eugineer is faced with evalimting m y fibem with ever-cbanging properties. Perhapa only a few will meet the long-term requirements of sucoeas. Discotrery of a “revolutionsry” fiber does not u e c e d y make it a pal textfle fiber. It taken fully 10 yearn to develop a promising fiber and another decade to apply it properly. A p d understsnding of the poeaibllitiea and poteutialities oflered by new fibem depends on familiarity with their chemical and physical properties and a knowledge of the mechanics of textile mauufsctudng and the limitatious impoeed by mass

production methods, which are more widely used in the teroe industry tbun in commonly suspected. There are also the problems involved in meeting a prevailing high efficiency in the induatry, rugged competition, and unendiug cb8nges in the labor pattern. This information should supplement an intimate knowledge of exktkq fabrics and their performance before it can be used intelligently toward ihproving present fbbrica and deaigning new ones. Engineers of moderp fabrica should be fowway blends of science, mechanics, business, and inspiratiOn. It is natursl that they should be able to design more functional fabrics than have been made in the pant because they have more raw materials They are ale0expected to build from the gnwnd at their din&. u p t h a t in, from the fiber to the cloth. This method will gradually supernede the present practice of manufacturing the cloth and then appraising it. Textile engineem will eventually succeed in drawing fabric blueprints and applying adjustment factors to convert the fiber values into fabric performance. The task ahead in replete with hurdles which time and science will eventuslly conquer. R = O W ~ Dfor rosier

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ax. 1852

Cost and Availability of Raw Materials HOWARD BUNN Carbide and Carbon Chernicah 6.SO .Fmst Mnd St., New York 17, N. Y.

HE chemical industry has


been a major force in the reeant evolution of the

textile industry. When textiles came predominantly

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an many oomplicated and intermhted factom that will d e d i n e the SU-B or failure of the newer synthetie h m . Critical are the u m t and aveihbility of the raw materials. If the newer 6bem an to attain d maturity and fulfill their early promise, they must eombins d i d pmfomancs with d y a d a b i l i t y at lol* m t . The intxoduction of new 6bem and expansions in nylon and rayon pmduetion are exeating new marketa for mnnp brsic &ani&. The eventual nsulta of larger production of r-tile m materids should be a bnveriq of casta and a more general availability of intereatbq & e m i d for pl~tica,surfsea matinis, and other products far afield from tcxtllesp ben&t to all industry.

from n p l d nstural nourcea, the volume of chemicals required for processjng, dyeing, and 6ni8hing the fibers wan negligible. The comnm&l inhduction of rayon in 1891, and improvemeuts in the techniques for mex~ e r i s i ncotton ~ muresented the debut of ohemistry’s e5ork to duplicate, modify, snd improve on the p r o p erties of natural fibers. Today, the cbemical industry hae broadened its role to the extent tbat textiles now provide one of the largeat markets for &em&&, and textiles in turn derive their most promssive developments from these chemicals. The textile pmducing aad pmcewing industries now actually consume shout 25% of all the industrial chemicals sold. Although the uewex synthetic fihpmdnction presents many interesting poeaibilities far f u t m chemical developments in terms of intarmediatea, nolmts, Gniabes, and d i e d ne&, rayon and wetate production require far greater qusotities of chemic& 2128

from h e a d p o i n t of toasy’s consumption picture.

I n 1951,865,400,000pounas of rayon and 428,800,000 pounds of &te were p w d u d . Rayon production required on the order of l,aoO,000,000 pounds of cauatic, 300,000,000pounds of carbon biaulfide, and l,l00,OOO,000 pounds of sulfuric acid in addition to a billion pounds

of cotton h t e r s or wwd pulp. Acetate pmduction required approximately 700,000,oM) pounds of acetic anhydride, a billion pounds of acetic acid (the bulk of whicb w a taken ~ care of by recycling recovered acid), and 85,000,000pounds of acetone in addition to 300,000,000pounds of pulp. The raw materials for the new synthetic fibers reprenent a potential market for chemic& in the textile fieeld that may even When a new exceed the present need8 of rayon and &te. synthetic fiber in developed or an existing one expanded, the volume in of such magnitude that it hecornea neceaaary to expand production of basic intermedhtes or develop new p m e m 8 and intermediates. The d e e t of thia inmased volume is


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reflected first in a demand for basic chemicals such BE benzene, chlorine, sulfuric acid, and ethylene and then in the more baeic raw materials, wd, sulfur, natural gss, and petroleum. Therefore, in planning fiber production, it becomes neeasary to look to the s ~ p p l yof the raw material BB well as the potential market. Developments in other chemical fields that might cause competition for raw materials must also be considered, as well as future competition and production Costs. Therefore, it is advantageow to know how these newer fibers are made and what trends are a p parent in the race for development of cheaper raw materials, new syntheses, and improved chemical processes.



The current expansion in new synthetic fibers is focused on the vinyls and acrylicw-dynel, Orlon, Acrilan, and man. Possible routes to these fibers are shown in Figure 1; it is significant that they are derived from low wet, readily available raw materiala. Vinyl chloride, which goes into dynel, c a n be produced from either acetylene or ethylene. Ethylene ia derived either from oil refinery cracking gas or from natural gaa hydrocarbons. Acetylene is produced either from natural gas bydrocsrbons or from cslcium carbide. Viiyl chloride can be further chlorinated into vinylidene chloride, the other component of Baran. Production of these vinyl monomers in so large already-for example, over 350,000,000 pounds of vinyl chloride in 1951-that it will not he aflected greatly by future expansion in the fibers field. Vinyl acetate, which goes into Acrilan, is in a similar position. Acrylonitrile prodnction, on the other hand, will need a large boost to meet demands for its use in Orlon, dynel, Acrilan, and the projected fibers still to come. All this new fiber production depends on provisions for new acrylonitrile capacity. A large expansion is already under way, multiplying present capacity of over 30,000,000 pounds a year to a total of over a 100,000,000 pounds by the end of 1952. American Cyanamid has been the sole producer of acrylonitrile with much of its output going into nitrile-type rubber and specid plastics, and it is planning a large soale expansion to supply fibererequirements. Carbide and Carbon's large plant is expected to begin production in September, Monsanto's later in 1952. Tennessee Emtman, Mathieson, and Lion Oil are believed to be interested as potential prodncem. Rohm& Haaa. which has made acrylonitrile in small quantities, has announced no plans for large scale production. Acrylonitrile is obtained by reactiig hydrocyanic wid with either ethylene oxide or acetyleneboth heavy production building materials for the chemical industry. There are &ill differencesof opinion with regard to the relative economics and purity of product from the two competitive proceases. American Cyanamid bas been going though ethylene oxide, but their new facilities will utilize acetylene. Monsanto likewiae will go through acetylene, which will be ohtaiied hy the partial combustion of methane. Union Carbide, the largest producer of both ethylene oxide and acetylene in the country, will go through ethylene oxide obtained by direct oxidation of ethylene or through the intermediate ethylene chlorohydrin. For the expanded production of acrylonitrile must also come expanded production of hydrogen cyanide. In 1948 the two primary producers, Du Pont and American Cyanamid, made a total of less than 40,000,000, pounds, with Cyanamid supplying about 75%; Pittsburgh Coke and Chemical recovered lese then a million pounds from coke gases. The 1948 processes were based on aodamide, formamide, and calcium cyanamide. Now three new producem-carbide and Carbon, Rohm & Haas, and K o p pem-will help boost total production in 1952 to dose to 95,000,000 pounds. By the end of 1953 the total output may reach 200,000,000 pounds. All the new capacity, with the possible exception of that of American Cyanamid, will utilize the reaction of methane and ammonia. Cyanamid may continue to u ~ the e cyanamide process. The hydrogen cyanide is actually a basic

september 1952

chemical not only for acrylonitrile, but also for adipnitrile, key intermediate in the production of nylon. In our opinion the market for the vinyl and acrylic fibers will probably not exceed lOO,OOO,000 pounds at the current price level ($1.28 for dynel staple, 11.90 for Orlon staple, and $1.86 for Acrilan staple). If, however, we can achieve a raw materials coet of 10 centa a pound and perhaps sell fiber somewhere in the range of 50 centa a p n n d , the potential market might be billions of pounds per year. Dyne1 haa an advantage in raw materials costs because it is 40% vinyl chloride, which nvrently sells for 14 cents a pound. The other fihers are primarily acrylonitrile, which is currently priced at 43 cents a pound. This ¢ price will probably fall to the low thirties in time, but it seems likely that vinyl chloride will always eost subshtially less than ncrylonitrile. The 100,000,000-pound-per-year production ia just about in sight. Carbide snd Carbon is currently expanding its raw materials units and fiber pmdncing plant to a capacity of 6,000,000 pounds of dynel staple per year. Engineering work is pmceeding on another plant with a capacity of 20,000,000pounds. Du Pont's current production of Orlon continuous filament stands at 6,000,000 pounda per year. A staple fiber plant h expected to be turning out 30,000,000pounds annually by the end of 1952. Chematrand is constructing a 30,000,000-pound-per-year plant for producing Acrilan staple, scheduled for completion late in 1952. Annual production of DOW'S s m n haa reached 20,000,(MO pounds annually, witb further expansion in the works. DOW E' vinylidene chloridevinyl chloride resins are actually processed by many fabricators, and the monofils are sold under various trade names, such as Firestone's Velon. Limited production of finedenier s m n staple was recently begun by the Saran YWIIECo., a jointly owned subsidiary of Dow and National Plastic ProductR


Other vinyl and acrylic fibers are in variow stages of development. Vinyon-HH staple h a copolymer of vinyl chloride and vinyl acetate. The resin is produced by Carbide and Carbon, the fiber by American Vkose. Current production is about a million pounds per year, and this ia growing steadily, if not spectacularly. Commercial production, a t an undisclosed rate, of polyviny1 chloride fibers WBE begun in France in 1950. The continuous filament yarn is called Rhovyl, the staple Fihravyl. A polyviny1 alcohol fiber, which is insolubilized with formaldehyde, h made in Japan under the trade name Kurrzlon. Present production is reportedly 6,000,000pounds per year. Acrylic fibere are reported to be wming from the laboratories of Eastman Kodak'a T e n n w e Emtman division and Industrial Rayon Corp. American Cyanamid is currently carrying out an evaluation program witb its methyl methacrylateacrylonitrile copolymer fiher X-51, with plans for large E C ~ Iproduction & exp+cted shortly. The Casella Farhwerke Maiokur of Germany now is producing pilobplant qnantitiea of a continuous filament plyacrvlonitrile fiber called Panfaser. PoLYBsl'eBs

Another fiber with bright prospe~tais Dacron polyester fiber made from polyethylene terephthalate, the condensation product of dimethyl terepbthalate and ethylene glycol. The steps involved in its prodnction are &own in Figure 2. The ethylene glycol for polyethylene terephthalate manufacture is obtained by hydrating ethylene'oxide or by a high presure process from formaldehyde. The ethylene oxide is produced by the oxidation of ethylene or bydehydrochlorination of ethylene chlorohydrin. Tbese metbods employ ethylene and air plus ethylene, chlorine, and alkalies, respectively. The formaldehyde proceas is baeed on the high pressure, catalytic reaction between formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen. All thesematsrial~are availablein ample supply.





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The m r c e of dimethyl terephthalate is p-xylene, which is first oxidized to terephthalic acid by means of nitric acid and then esterified with methanol. All Dacron production must make provision for new production of the necessary p-xylene. T h e cost of pxylene from coal tar is prohibitive; the economics of the small d e operations involved delayed manufacture of Terylene fiber in England for mauy years. The petroleum industry, however, bas made the product available to Du Pont in one of its H y d r o f o d g operations. Present plane call for i n c d production in the near future. T h e problem baa been primarily one of obtaining pure p-xylene from mixed xylenes. The ortho isomer is readily removed by distillation, but fractional crystallization is employed for se-6 ing the para and meta i s o m . Ovepall, the separation is difficult. It phssihle, therefore, that the petroleum industry may work out a method to oxidize the isomere first and then separate the components of the acid mixture, which, of couraa, would contain terephthalic acid. A recent offer of iaophthalic acid is evidence that they are working in thin direction. There is, too, the ponnibility that a completely new s y n t h h for terephthalic acid will be developed using a readily available raw material. Dacron raw materials cwts seem to be rather high. Ethylene glycol currently sells for 17 cants a pound in tank car quantities, even with glycol production up to 6oo,ooO,wO pounds per year. +Xylene could probably be m d e available at about 10 cents a pound in large quantities. Unless a new method of separating the isomers is developed, p-xylene will probably always be half again aa expensive aa the ortho isomer. D u Pont is constructing a plant for Dacron production near Kinston, N. C. Aooual output will include lO,ooO,ooO pounds of continuous filament and zS,ooO,ooO pounds of staple 6ber. In Great Britain, where the fiber is trade-marked Terylene, Imperial Chemical Industries is building a plant capable of turning out ll,ooO,ooOpounds per year. mLYmrnss

material in the third method. Furfural ia converted to furan which is hydrogenated to tetrahydrolurane. I n one variation, tetrahydrofurane is converted to dichlorobutane, which reacts with sodium cyanide to form diponitrile. In a newer virhtion, which haa been investigated in Germany, tetrabydrofurane is converted to adipic acid with carbon monoxide. The nylon syntheses are complicated, and accordingly the process is costly. It =ems likely, therefore, that the search for alternative and plentiful raw materials for nylon will continue and other methods of obtaioing adiponitrile developed. One ponnible mute moves through 1,PbutgOediol. Synthesis of the butanediol may be relatively simple. Acetyleue and formaldehyde react almost quantitatively at relatively high pres sure8 to yield butynediol, which is readily hydrogenakd to butanediol. Eliminating a molecule of water from butanediol results io the formation of tetrahydrofuran, which, as above, can be converted to adipic acid by carbon monoxide or to diponitrile through dichlorohutane. Dichlorobutane can also be obtained directly by reacting butanediol with hydrogen chloride. Nylon raw materials have been in somewhat short supply, another indication that future nylon syntheses may be based on some chemical, mch as butanediol, which is obtained from raw materials available in large quantity. Returning for the moment to the lirst nylon synthesis-from cyclohexanethe cyclohexane obtained directly aa a petroleum fraction must be purified carefully. For this reason, the economics and the difficultiesinvolved make the step through beneene to cyclohexane the preferable pmoess. Competition from other sources has reduced available supplies of b e n e , however, with a resulting increase in price from 15 cents a gallon during World War I1 to 30 to 55 centa a gallon at the p-t. Currantly, about I75,ooO,ooO gallons of benzene is produced from coke oven light oils,around W,ooO,ooO gallons is imported, and another 4O,ooO,ooO gallons is coming from petroleum refining opersi tions. Becauae the supply ib low, the demand is high, and and the price is right, the petroleurn companies (even though beuzene repreaenta only a small percentage of their total product tonnag4wie-s) are stepping up their benzene productiou to 60,o00,MM gallons by mid-1952 and to uearly loO,ooO,ooO gallons by the year's end.

The newer synthetic fibers owe a major portion of their rapid acceptance to the first major fiber in the United States manufactured entirely with emthetic chemicalenvlon. Much that is &inenit0 the successful develop "IC o.m, ment of the postwar fibers can be learned from MN4NoL E*"o-. RIRULDEHmE 0H.O studying the nylon pattern. G W H m?" u_. Nylon is commonly produced by reacting h a I methylenediamine and adipic acid. This f o m nylon salt or hexamethylene diammonium adipate. ETHYLENE : ; ! ETHYLENE Hexamethylene adipamide, obtained from nylou WIDE "wn. OLlCoL 11m1cwm salt by removal of a molecule of water, is poly~ ~D(Lm HOCH*-CI$OH ~ , , . *merieed and converted into a linear polyamide, 'DACRON' polyhexamethylene adipamide (nylon). (Du POW) As shown in Fieure 3. there are three basic syntheses of adipo&ile, key intermediate in the production of nylou. In the first, cycloheaane, IpETRoLNyt obtained directly from cracking petroleum or indirectly through benzene, is oxidized through cyclohexanol and cyclohexseone to adipic acid. Figure 2. Roass Steps in the Production of Dacmn This acid, of course, is one of the reactants in the production of the nylon aalt. It can, however, also be ammoniated and dehydrsted to adiponitrile, which is then But the price of bensene will probably never go down to its hydrogenated to hexnmethyllenediamine, tbe other reactant in the World War 11level. Predicted future requirementa cannot p" production of the nylon salt. sibly he obtained from coke oven operations, nor the balance In the second, butadiene is chlorinated to dichlorobutane, consupplied from imports. The rest must continue to come, there verted to dicyanobutena with hydrogen cyanide, and finally fore, &om petroleum operatious, and theee are not economically feasibleat a price much below the current level. hvdrogenated to adiponitrile. The butadiene may come from The seoond synthesis from butadiene is subject to other ecoethanol (either synthetic or of the fermentation type) or directly nomic considerations. After the war it looked aa though great from the straight-chain folucaarbon olefins derived from petroleum or natural gss. quantitia of butadiene would be available from the operations Furfural, obtained from corncobs and oat hulls, is the key raw of the Government's synthetic rubber program. But the Korean




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Figure 3.

Process Steps i n the I’rodtiction of Nylon

crisis altered the picture, and Du l’ont’s butadiene must come from private commercial operations. Butadiene from these sources is in great demand for use in nitrile-type rubbers and styrene latices, however. The current price of butadiene, 121/2 cents per pound, reflects recent, stepped-up production. Any operation based on an agricultural commodity is subject to fluctuations in the price of the raw materials although an examination of relative price trends on chemicals shows that furfural has been quite stable. Quaker Oats is increasing furfural production more than 50% with a new plant a t Omaha, Neb. Synthesis of adipic acid through tetrahydrofuran from furfural represents an effort to make better use of one raw material which will shortly be available in much larger quantities, a t a current price in the neighborhood of 12 cents a pound. The synthesis of nylon through butanediol from acetylene and formaldehyde may be of importance in the continued growth of the nylon curve. Tremendous quantities of acetylene are available from calcium carbide. The new method of making i t from natural gas has uncovered a virtually untapped source of acetylene. And there is no general shortage of carbon monoxide or hydrogen-raw materials for formaldehyde. Sylon production has grown from 4,000,000 pounds in 1940 to about 24,000,000 pounds in 1945, t o approximately 100,000,000 pounds in 1950. Du Pont’s production capacity has been estimated a t 170,000,000 pounds in 1951, with further increase in 1952. The staple output accounts for about 20,000,000 pounds of these totals. Chemstrand, which has been licensed by Du Pont to produce nylon, will manufacture another 50,000,000 pounds or more of staple and filament annually starting in 1953. 2132

A few othei polyamdes with interesting possibihtiei ai e in various stages of development. The German Peilon I,, for example, is derived from cyclohexanol. The monomer intermediate, caprolactam, self-condenses to a polyamide similar to nylon. Another Perlon type utilizes butanediol as the raw material. It has been reported that Celanese is interested in a caprolactam type fiber, but Celanese has not confirmed the composition of the material it is currently field testing. Allied Chemical and Dye is also reported to be engaged in serious work on a caprolactamfiber but has made no announcement of its future plans. X nylon-type thermoplastic of unknonn composition has been developed by the Netherlands Rayon Industry in cooperation with the Netherlands State Mines. Known as Enkalon, the fiber is made from coal products a t a plant in Emmen, Holland, which reportedly will be in full operation a t the end of this month. GLASS FIBERS

In volume of production and sales, glass textile yarns rank fourth among synthetic fibers (to rayon, acetate, and nylon). These materials are manufactured by Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp., Libby-OTvens-Ford Glass Co., Glass Fibers, Inc., and others. On a yield basis, glass fibers cost less in many end ubes than any other textile fiber, natural or synthetic. The 300-denier filaments are priced a t 44 cents a pound, which yields 15,000 yards. The rapid development of commercial uses for glasfi fibers is reflected in the sales volume for Fiberglas textile varns alone--$24,000,000 in 1951, an increase of 54% over 1950.


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S Y N T H E T I C FIBER Glass yarns are produced from selected silica sand, limestone, and other minerals abundantly available in nature. After the ingredients are mixed and melted, the molten glass flows by gravity through tiny apertures at the base of small electric furnaces. Streams solidify into cobweb-fine glass filaments, of which one S/,-inch diameter marble produces an approximate 97-mile length. The filaments are processed differently, depending on whether continuous filament or staple yarn is to be the end product. Fiberglas continuous filament yarns are formed by gathering and winding the filaments mechanically and subsequently twisting and plying into the yarn construction desired. Fiberglas staple filament yarns are formed by the impact of compressed air jets driving the molten glass filaments down on a revolving drum, off which they are mechanically drafted into a fuzzy strand.


Vicars, the man-made fiber manufactured by the VirginiaCarolina Chemical Corp., is produced from zein, a protein derived from corn. In 1951, the wet milling industry processed approximately 135,000,000 bushels of corn containing around 8% or 604,000,000 pounds of protein. The zein fraction used for the manufacture of Vicara is near 25% of the total protein; therefore, the basic raw material available for the production of Vicara is in tho neighborhood of 150,000,000pounds annually. The present bottleneck in the manufacture of larger quantities of Vicara is the lack of processing equipment to convert the basic corn protein to the zein stage. Virginia-Carolina Chemical Corp. states that their present plant a t Taftville, Conn., can produce around 22,000,000 pounds annually as soon as the zein becomes available. Present rate of production is considerably less than this, but actual figures are not available. Vicara is selling tnrlav at $1.00 per pound.

Polyethylene mono- and multifilament yarns have been made experimentally in both the United States and Great Britain but are still in the development stage. With polyethylene resin currently priced a t 50 cents a pound and reductions po~sibleaa expansion of production facilities cmd other technical improvements are made, polyethylene fibers offer interesting possibilities, particularly if chemical modification can increase strength and heat susceptibility. FUTURE

There are many complicated and interrelated factors that will determine the success or failure of the newer synthetic fibers. Critical are the cost and availability of the raw materials. It is our opinion that if the newer fibers are to attain real maturity and fulfill their early promise, they must combine solid performance features with ready availability a t a low cost. The aim of the intermediate producers and fiber manufacturerfi is to obtain key fiber intermediates from the simplest possible materials-hydrocarbons, oxygen, ammonia, etc.-and to base the syntheses on these intermediates. As the pattern now takes shape, the introduction of new fibere and the further expansion of nylon and rayon production is creating new markets for virtually every basic chemical. The production of newer fiber intermediates-acrylonitrile, tereph thalic acid, and hydrocyanic acid-is being paced with predicted future requirements and based on readily available matcrials. Sales of their fiber derivatives will eventually increase the demands for and step up production of the older intermediates such as ethylene glycol and vinyl chloride. The eventual results of larger production of such versatile raw materials should be a lowering of costs and a more gcneral availability of'interesting chemicals for plastics, surface coatings, and other products far afield from textiles, a benefit to all industry. RECBIIVBD for review Maroh 21, 1952

AOCEFTHIDJuly 8. 1952

Choice of Plant Sites C. 0. HOYER Tha Chemstrand Corp., Decatur, Ala. ELECTION of a location of any new plant-regardless of the nature of its operation or its end productinvolves correlation and evaluation of many important interrelated factors that affect, in varying degrees, the ultimate decision. These factors are basic and are recognized generally in a search for a synthetic textile-fiber plant site. First, it is important t o define accurately the functions of the plant. Then, it is necessary to have a good idea of the items comprising capital costs and, finally, to make a detailed study and summary analyses of the region and the community. Other than these basic factors, there is no fixed formula that will suggest a scientific approach to the problem of plant site location. Recent studies reveal that all factors involved are usually too numerous and complex to evolve standard or stereotyped methods. Relationships for different industries are so wide in scope that generalizations are quite improbable. However, closer attention t o the factors of plant site location has been increasing since the late twenties, with the trend from individually managed and owned enterprises to large integrated and dispersed businesses. With increasing competition, it behooves manage-


September 1952

ment t o determine and analyze thoroughly all cost factors in plant site location. In the past decade some general basic information and methods of approaching the solution have emerged, and there has been more and more thought given t o bringing some order and logic t o the otherwise abnormal situation. One of the chief factors regarding plant site location is the proximity of a company to its raw materials. This is of vital importance because of the relationship of the costs of raw materials to the cost of finished fiber. Consequently, high freight costs may become uneconomical because of the distances from necessary materials. Another factor is labor-unskilled, technical, and professional-the availability and cost, the quality and diversity. In the manufacture of synthetic fiber, a relatively new field, workers must be trained in new techniques in plant operation. Recent surveys have disclosed that the skilled labor market potential has dropped, and demands for highly trained personnel has placed modern industry in a close, competitive race. Highly trained technicians must be employed to carry on the necessary research for this type of industry. A thorough observation