Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,165 pages of information and 245,632 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Wilton Works

From Graces Guide
1952.
1956.
Olefine Plant.
1966. 200,000-ton olefine plant at Wilton, North Yorkshire.

Note: This is a sub-section of ICI

1940 Terylene was discovered by Mr. J. R. Whinfield, assisted by Dr. J. T. Dickson, both of the Calico Printers Association. Large scale manufacture was subsequently taken up by Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd. Terylene is a pure chemical substance synthesised from simple raw materials and the manufacturing plant at Wilton was essentially a chemical and not a textile plant.

1945 ICI bought land on Teesside where the Wilton site was to be built.

1946 Construction work took place between 1946 and 1949.

1949 The Wilton site was officially opened on 14th September 1949 by the then ICI Chairman, Lord McGowan.

Wilton, from the outset, was designed to use petroleum chemicals as feedstock, unlike Billingham which was based on coal.

1952 ICI opened its huge new chemical complex in Wilton (the largest built by the British chemical industry at that time), which included a 4,000-ton nylon polymer unit, as well as ammonia and hydrogen plants, and production facilities for phenol and organic chemicals. It had on site power generation.

1957 Became part of the new ICI Heavy Organic Chemicals Division

The Wilton plant has a design capacity of 5,000 tons of Terylene per annum. An extension to the plant was completed in the 1950s, raising output to 10,000 tons a year.

Spinning of Terylene

The spinning process involved feeding "chips" of Terylene polymer, stored in overhead tanks to melt heads above spinnerets. The polymer is melted in the heads and forced out under a pressure of about 4,000 lb. per sq. in. through the spinnerets which are steel plates perforated with fine hole. On emerging from the spinnerets the streams of molten polymer freeze into filaments which, combined as a yarn, are wound on to bobbins, in preparation for finishing processes. At this stage the yarn is plastic. But by drawing it out under carefully controlled temperature condition an end point is reached where the yam becomes elastic. During this separate drawing operation a low degree of twist is inserted in the yarn to keep the filaments from separating.


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