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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 9

I Introduction

II The Australian Chemical Industry

III Pharmaceuticals

IV Chemists In Other Industries

V The Dawn Of Modern Chemical Industry - High Pressure Synthesis

VI The Growth Of Synthetic Chemicals - Concentration, Rationalisation And International Links

VII Australian Industrial Chemical Research Laboratories
i Australian instrument inventions
ii Plant protection - overseas and in Australia
iii Successes in the laboratory but . . .
iv Drugs for sheep and cattle revisited Tetramisole - international success and local manufacture
v 'Promicide'* 'Grenade'* to control ticks
vi Technical service R&D
vii Industry/CSIRO/university collaboration
viii Australian entrepreneurs in modern chemistry

VIII The Plastics Industry

IX The Paint Industry

X Acknowledgements



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A new nylon (adiponitrile) synthesis (continued)

Capital costs of nylon processes are so high, however, that even a major cost saving such as demonstrated is not competitive against marginal production from amortised plant -the main prospect was use in new plants. By 1970 the prospects of new plant constructions had deteriorated rapidly. Polyester ('Terylene', polyethyleneterephthalate) fibre, favoured by its lower energy demand, progressively improved its competitive edge over nylon; no more mercury cells -the source of amalgam -were built for environmental reasons; the jeans fashion cut into nylon markets and so did steel reinforced tyres. Finally the drastic down-turn in the textile industry set in, which shut down factories all over Europe and caused the loss of thousands of jobs. The two research teams, with regret, shut down the project. For some time competitive research on variants of the ICI route continued in Japan and Israel, and then the Knunyants/ICI Australia route became history. It was one of the company's most ambitious thrusts into polymer synthesis, perhaps too late in the history of nylon development.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - I.C.I. Australia Ltd. Central Research Laboratories

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© 1988 Print Edition page 686, Online Edition 2000
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