Mylar is a brand of polyester and plastic film that is typically used as a generic term for polyester film. It comes in a variety of different forms and serves many different functions.
Mylar and similar types of polyester film are composed of polyethylene terephthalate, a specific type of polyester.
DuPont and Imperial Chemical Industries were the first to develop polyester film from polyethylene terephthalate in the mid-1950s and created the brand name "Mylar" to market this film. One of the first major applications of this film was NASA's echo satellites, which were balloons made out of polyester film.
Polyester film replaced cellophane in many applications, since it is a much more durable material that is more effective in preventing contamination and oxidation.
Polyester film is strong--especially given how thin the material is--highly resistant to heat, non-toxic, capable of storing liquids and is recyclable.
Common types of polyester film include plain, adhesion treated, metalized, barrier coated and anti-static. Common finishes include clear, white, haze and black. Thickness typically ranges from 0.0005" to 0.14".
Polyester film is used to coat LCD and plasma screens in order to reduce glare, in identification cards to reduce wear and in windows to improve the energy efficiency of the home and also to prevent scratching. It is also used to make x-ray film and with magnetic recording media to facilitate the transfer and storage of data.
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