Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2009
Publication Date: 6/15/2009
Citation: Sawhney, A.P., Condon, B.D., Parikh, D.V., Reynolds, M.L., Riddle, J.B. 2009. Nonwovens manufacturing technologies and cotton’s realistic scope in nonwovens. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. 1425-1431.
Technical Abstract: Cotton commodity continues to be under pressure from its low and depressed prices for decades, geo and political factors, competition with manufactured fibers, and, very importantly, its gradual decline in consumption by the U.S. domestic mills. In fact, the current domestic consumption of virgin cotton is less than five million bales a year, while the domestic production on average has been around 20 million bales (2003-2008). For one reason or another, if this trend of domestic cotton production and consumption continues, it indeed could be potentially harmful to the commodity and, hence, to the U.S. cotton producers and users. Beside the substantial cotton exports of recent years (which still are good and encouraging but may not be booming anymore), one window of opportunity that we possibly can also explore for benefit of the cotton producers and users is to thoroughly investigate profitable uses of cotton in nonwovens that are growing fairly well globally. To this end, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, through its Agricultural Research Service, has invested new money in a new research program directed toward utilization of cotton in the nonwovens. State-of-the-art equipment has been procured to conduct research for development of new and improved nonwoven structures and end-products containing cotton. This article briefly describes the existing, modern nonwovens (NW’s) manufacturing technologies and the research and developments efforts that currently are being contemplated to establish a new ARS-CRIS (Current Research Information System) Project to determine and possibly develop the realistic scope of classical virgin cotton in the nonwovens of today and tomorrow.