Location: Cotton Structure and Quality Research
Title: Advances in the measurement of cotton fiber maturity using near infrared (NIR) instruments Authors
Submitted to: Pittsburgh Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 2, 2011
Publication Date: March 14, 2011
Citation: Rodgers III, J.E., Fortier, C.A., Kang, S., Cui, X. 2011. Advances in the measurement of cotton fiber maturity using near infrared (NIR) instruments. Pittsburgh Conference. Poster presented on 3/14/2011. Technical Abstract: Maturity is an important property of cotton fiber, as it can impact the fiber’s downstream processability and dye performance. Maturity is often indicated indirectly by the fiber’s micronaire, a combination of fiber maturity and fineness. Maturity can be measured directly, but most of these methods are slow and/or require expensive laboratory-only equipment. Much interest has been shown in new direct measurements of fiber maturity—rapid and accurate measurements for both laboratory and non-laboratory (e.g., field) use. Recent advances in portable and bench-top Near Infrared (NIR) instrumentation could meet the laboratory and non-laboratory needs for direct maturity measurements. A program was implemented to determine the feasibility of using NIR systems (analyzers and measurement methods) to monitor fiber maturity in the laboratory. A large wide-range and well-defined cotton sample set was measured on multiple bench-top and portable NIR systems in a conditioned laboratory, and their results compared. Discrepancies in the present laboratory maturity methods were examined. Optimum NIR instrumental, sampling, and operational procedures and protocols were determined. Distinct NIR spectral differences with varying maturity were observed, and very good agreement was observed between the NIR units for major spectral bands. The bench-top and portable NIR units yielded very good results for maturity, with high correlations, low residuals, and a low number of outliers. The NIR measurement was fast (< 3 minutes per sample) and easy to perform. The rapid and accurate direct measurement of cotton fiber maturity with both bench-top and portable NIR analyzers was demonstrated.