CW HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASEAS8
Miii-made Fiber Industry ofSH
I- Present Statun
The USSR" ranks third among the man-made fiber producers of the world, being surpassed only by the United States aad Japan. oviet production of man-made fibersons, an amount equal toercent of total world output,ercent of output In tbe US, and more than half of the total production of man-made fibers In Ccetounlet countries. These bare production statistics, however, conceal aooe very Important differences In the structure and quality of Soviet fibersompared to those produced in the Free World. For example, production of tbe more modern and complex synthetic fibers (tbe nor.-cellulosics) in the USSRounted only to aboutercent of that In the US,ercent of that In Japan andercent of that in West Germany. As indicated by the table in the handout, the synthetic fibers accounted Tor onlyercent of total Soviet output of tan-made fibersnercas synthetics accounted forercent of the total in tbe US. According to preliminary data, tbe share of synthetics rose to aboutercent of Soviet mon-madc fibersompared to easeercent iu the US. Soviet synthetic fibers Largely consist ofypes. The USSR has experienced substantial difficulties iu development of polyester and acrylic fibers ana has relied, in part, on purchasing Western technology for these
types. Other synthetic fibers produced experimentally orery
small-scale Includeolyvinyl alcohol fiber; polypropylene;
polyvinyl chloride; tvo fluorine-baaed fibers; andMAHT").
The USSR has also claimed to nave developed fibers which are gem-and
ETILAlT, nd that reportedly will find
application in surgical thread, bandages, and clothing.
Of the eellulosic fibera, viscose types account for the lion's
share. or example, viscose fibers accounted for about 89
perceot of all celluloslcs, cuprommonium and acetate each representing
onlyercent of the total celluloslcs- Development of
acetate fibers appears to have been Impeded by the lack of cheap ecetic
acid and acetic anhydride. An acetic acid plant with on annual capacity
0 tons was purchased from the UKU and Is expected to
come into full operation this year. Seme of the ocotic acid from this
plant, located ln Armenia at Yerevan, probably will go into cellulose
acetate intended for use ot ths Kirovakan plant you vlll be visiting.
Triacetate fiber has been produced In the USSR at Kaunas, in Lithuania,
since late Information ofowever, suggests that
the plant management was dissatisfied with the quality of the cellulose
triacetate and methylene chloride raw materials it was receiving and
vith domestically-supplied spinnerets. Experimental production of
polynoslc fiber bos been reported ot tbe All-Union Institute of
Artificial Fibers and it is claimed that properties of the fibers are
comparable to similar typc3 produced in the Free World. Work on
modified celluloslcs is also conducted at the Moscow Textile Institute.
II. Recent iX-vclopmont
A. Production, Investment cod Problems
Although Soviet production of man-mode fibers has grown impressively in recent years, the pace of development has been well behind schedule. During the Seven Year Plan, for example, production was to riseons8ons Actual production of all man-made fibersowever, amounted to0 tons,ercent below plan. harp Increase ln the chore of the non-cellulesic fibers was planned, and output of these types was to rise from0 tonsons, or toercent of all man-made fibers manufacturedhe shortfall in non-collulosic fibers wan particularly severe; outputons) amounted to only about one-half of the original target.
ozen new fiber plants and several small production units
were commissioned ln this seven-yearubstantial part of the
equipment coming from Pree World firms. Investment in the chemical
fiber industry during the seven-year period amountedillion
rubles, or2 billion at the official rate of exchange.
Inasmuch as tbe increase ln production amountedons, the
data suggest an Investment of0 per ton of new capacity.
Actual investment per ton of new capacity probnbly was slightly leas,
because capacity who not fully utilized5 ind some of the
Investment nade in the latter part of the seven-year period did not
result in commissioned capacity until
Data oa labor productivity ia tho nun-made fiber industry confirm that the USSR experienced many problem]hat preventedof initial goals. For example, although output per vorker computedalue basis reportedly roseercent during the seven-year period, output expressed ic tons per woricar rose only aboutercent rather than theercent planned. Even allowingertain amount of over-optijnlem at the onset of this period or for on "incentivehe data on production and productivity indicate definite malfunctions in the system.
Major problems encountered by the USSR ia expanding its man-made fiber industry have included, in addition to the lack of skilled workers, poor planning of construction, shortcomings in technology, shortages ofand spare ports, and poor quality raw materials. Deadlines for completion of fiber plants frequently were not coordinated with those for construction of the required raw material facilities. Process development bos proved, sore tiiae-cocs using and costly than was anticipated, fine low .quality of cellulose and caprolactom raw materials and the poor quality of many Soviet textile dyes have evoked numerous complaints ln the Soviet precs. Ashe Soviet floor industry provided insufficient quantities of fibers needed by tha wool and cotton industry for the manufacture of light fabrics and rugs.
On the positive side, according to one Soviet claim, the man-made
fibers producedere the equivalentillion tons of
cottonons of wool, yet took only one-third the investment
that the natural fibers would have required. Technical achievements
claimed by the USSR la recent years hove Included the development of a
semi-coattsuoma process for viscose fiber ond continuous processes for
production of viscose cord andtaple fiber- In addition, progress was made in production of more durable viscose cord- Three large viscose cord installations vent into opcrution, as did several installations for production oford.
Inasmuch as the demand for man-made fibers exceeds the supply, the USSR has been an importer of these goods. 0 tons valued atillion dollars vere imported and0 tons valued at aboutillion dollars. Although most of these imports consisted of rayon staple fiber, therelight Increase in the share of the more expensive non-celluloses In addition to the direct imports of man-made fibers, the USSRubstantial quantity of goods incorporating these fibers, such as tire cord andand also imports intermediates and dyes used in the production or processing of fibers.
At present about tvo-thlrds of the total output of man-made fibers in the USSR go to the textile industry for processing into consumer goods. Technical uses, however, haverowing share of total output,ercent5 and almostercent According to preliminary information, technical uses were to5 percent of the Soviet production of man-made fibers0 and this share may even be higher in view of recent plaa revisions. ynthetic fibers accounted for about one-third of all man-made fibers going for technical use andercent of those going into consumer goods.
Under the Khrushchev regime,0 production target for man-made fibers was optimistically set5 million tons- Latefter an evaluation of progress, undeassessment of competing demands for resources, the post-Khrushchev administration reduced0 goalons. This new goal was roughly double the level of output econd review7 resulted ln yet another reduction of0 planons, about one-half of that called for under Khrushchev. The scheduled structure of output In tbe newest version of the plan0 is not yet entirely clear, although the share of non-cellulosics certainly will continue to rise. Under the earlier goal ofons, the noa-ccllulosics vere to rise to about one-third of tbe totalons. Plants purchased from the Free World are toubstantial portion of the increased output of non-celluloslcs, including output of the required raw materials. The purchases Include installations for production0 tons of aery loo Itons of0 tons of dacron0 tons of acrylic fiber.
, aboutarge facilities for production of man-made fibers are te be commissioned. These include. In addition to the dacron and acrylic fiber plants mentioned, two acetate plants, two viscose staple plantsew new nylon installations.
Apparently production of man-made fibers in the USSR0 still
will be substantially below requirements. Even before the recent
reduction in plan, it was suggestedoviet article that, given the
limitations in output, first priority should go to the manufacture of technical articles and fabrics.
In spite of the shortcomings noted in recent development of man-made fibers in the USSR, production obviously will advanceapid pace at least Much has been learned from the purchased Western facilities and the USSRrowing potential for independent research and development. The areas where the USSR may Gtill gain from Western experience include the production of acrylic floors, polypropylene,including the production of the requirednd polynoeic fibers.
It Is difficult to pinpoint the areas of Soviet development that would be of greatest interest to you, particularly because new developments at the Institutes often are reported atear late-The work, at tho Moscow Textile Institute on modified cellule*Ice, including some work on phosphorus derivatives, should be of Interest. Some work was done there earlier on copolymers of ocrylonitrile and vinylidene chloride andluorine-based polymer called FTORLON, but I'm not sure whether these areas still cone under the institute's responsibility. At the All-Union Institute of Synthetic Fibers you may be interested in the work onVC and possibly other non-celluloeics. The USSR has doneit of development workhe higher polyamides suchut their status remains unclear. These polyamidcs might, however, be Interesting oroas for discussion.
Structureul Fiber ProKiucMc-r.
Chcm. Fiber Prod.
* Oily partial breakdown availableOriginal document.