Part of the book: Simulated Annealing
Greige (raw) cotton by-products resulting from cotton ginning and mill processes have long been bleached for use in absorbent nonwoven products. The potential to use greige cotton by-products as an economical source for absorbent nonwoven blends is explored. The nonwoven hydroentanglement of greige cotton lint with cotton gin motes and comber noils blends was analyzed for fiber surface polarity, swelling, and absorbance to assess properties with potential usefulness in absorbent nonwovens. The electrokinetic analysis of the fabric surface gives a composite picture of the relative hydrophilic/hydrophobic polarity absorbency and swelling properties. Nonwoven fabrics made with cleaned greige cotton lint separately blended with comber noils and ginning motes at 40:60 and 60:40 blend ratios demonstrated charge, swell, and percent moisture uptake profiles that are characteristic of the fabrics’ crystalline/amorphous cellulosic content with some variance in swelling properties. However, cellulose crystallite size varied. X-ray diffraction patterns of the three different cotton constituents displayed similar crystalline cellulose compositions. An electrochemical double-layer analysis of charge based on a pH titration (ζplateau) was employed to measure the relative fiber and fabric surface polarity which varied slightly between -21 and -29 mV. A relationship of fiber swelling (∆ζ) and percent moisture content is apparent when greige cotton lint and other fibers are blended. The blended nonwoven materials possess absorbent properties characterized by similar moisture uptake (7.1-9.5 %) and fiber polarity, but some variation in swelling is based on the by-product additive and its percent content. The crystallinity, electrokinetic, and water binding properties of the nonwoven by-product materials are discussed in the context of the molecular features water, cellulose, and greige cotton components that enhance potential uses as absorbent nonwoven end-use products.
Part of the book: Cellulose