Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/25/2005
Publication Date: 1/6/2006
Citation: Gamble, G.R. 2006. The influence of moisture and surface electrolyte content on the frictional behavior of cotton fiber. Journal of Cotton Science.10(1):61-67. Interpretive Summary: The process of converting raw cotton fiber into quality yarn depends to a large extent upon how individual fibers in a bulk samples interact with the other fibers in the bulk as well as with the processing equipment itself. High amounts of friction between the fibers and surfaces of machine parts may be a factor in the production of inferior yarns. In this study, different salts are applied to the fiber surface in varying amounts in order to investigate the role of naturally occurring salts in the efficient conversion of fiber to yarn. Results from this study show that a coating of salt on the fiber surface leads to a decrease in friction. This is especially so in the case of salts which have the ability to absorb and hold moisture. Salt content along with the moisture associated with it is believed to possess anti-electrostatic properties. Knowledge of this will aid in the prediction of how efficienctly a given cotton will process, as well as providing a means of altering the friction properties by application of sprays in which salts are dissolved to the cotton fiber prior to processing.
Technical Abstract: Cotton processing efficiency is dependent upojn the degree of friction between fibers and their processing environment as they are subjected to the various pieces of equipment involved in converting fiber to yarn. This frictional behavior is a function of both fiber morphology and fiber surface characteristics. In this study, fiber surface electrolyte content and the moisture associated with it are investigated in order to determine their role in the conversion of fiber to yarn. A single variety of cotton grown in Georgia during the 2003 crop year was subjected to treatment in different electrolyte solutions at varying concentrations, following which the frictional behavior of the cottons was examined using the rotor ring measurement. Results indicate that a coating of electrolyte on the surface of the cotton fiber leads to a decrease in fiber friction, and furthermore that more hygroscopic electrolytes have a much larger effect that non-hygroscopic electrolytes due to their ability to maintain a surface coating of water of the fiber. The electrolyte content in conjunction with surface moisture is believed to possess anti-electrostatic properties, minimizing the friction between fiber and its processing environment. Knowledge of this property will aid in the prediction of processing performance as well as possible tuning of performance via the application of electrolyte solutions to the fiber.