STRUCTURE AND MOISTURE AS DETERMINANTS OF COMMERCIALLY IMPORTANT COTTON FIBER PROPERTIES
Project Number: 6435-44000-072-00
Start Date: Jul 16, 2009
End Date: Jul 27, 2010
Characterize how processing-related properties of cotton from different cultivars and growth environments vary in response to moisture. Determine cotton fiber structure changes affected by moisture and relate the structural changes to fiber attributes, especially breakage. Determine the mechanisms of cotton fiber breakage with varying moisture content. It is unknown why moisture strengthens cotton. Determine molecular weight and molecular weight distributions of cellulose in raw fibers and fabrics of different varieties of cotton grown under different environmental conditions.
We will use moisture sorption isotherms as well as water of imbibition and moisture regain. Light and electron microscopy will be used to monitor changes in structure and breakage patterns with moisture. Energy dispersive x-ray data in the scanning electron microscope will show the depth and uniformity of penetration of solutes, indicating moisture accessible areas. X-ray diffraction studies will indicate the sizes and orientations of the crystallites, another indication of moisture accessible surfaces, and molecular modeling will be used to assist the understanding of noncrystalline regions and breakage mechanism.