Polyester, a chain of polymer fibers, is strong, washes and dries quickly and resists stretching, mold, wrinkling and chemical damage. Polyester is often used to make plastic, rubber and fabric.
Polyester fibers are composed of hydrocarbons made of esters and terephthalic acid. A common polyester compound is polyethylene teraphthalate, although polyethylene naphthalate withstands more heat and is often used in glass jars. Most polyester fibers can withstand weak mineral acids, but can usually be damaged by bases. It has a bright appearance and resists fading and shrinkage, making it useful for colorful clothing, microfiber and silks. Because polyester is strong, it is often used to make shatterproof plastics. It is also used in balloons.