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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Cotton Chemistry and Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #352872

Research Project: Cotton-based Nonwovens

Location: Cotton Chemistry and Utilization Research

Title: Physical and performance characteristics of nonwoven aviation wipers composed of various staple fibers including raw cotton

item Hron, Rebecca
item Hinchliffe, Doug
item Santiago Cintron, Michael
item von Hoven, Terri
item Madison, Crista
item Reynolds, Michael
item Condon, Brian

Submitted to: Journal of Industrial Textiles
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/20/2018
Publication Date: 4/1/2020
Citation: Hron, R.J., Hinchliffe, D.J., Santiago Cintron, M., Von Hoven, T.M., Madison, C.A., Reynolds, M.L., Condon, B.D. 2020. Physical and performance characteristics of nonwoven aviation wipers composed of various staple fibers including raw cotton. Journal of Industrial Textiles. 49(9):1198-1217.

Interpretive Summary: Routine maintenance is a critical element which contributes to the overall safety of aircraft operation. However, less consideration is often given to the wipes and similar materials used to achieve this purpose. Wipes materials intended for sensitive applications such as aviation maintenance must meet several previously established guidelines. Cotton nonwovens are a biodegradable and sustainable alternative to the synthetic materials which currently dominate the wipes market. Currently, little information regarding the suitability of cotton based fabrics to such endeavors exists. We found that cotton based wipes preform just as well and often better than other popular synthetic wipes materials. Thus, cotton based nonwovens could provide an effective, eco-friendly and cost effective alternative to currently available options.

Technical Abstract: Several nonwoven materials were evaluated as candidates for wipe fabrics intended for sensitive applications; namely, aviation maintenance. Wipes designed for this purpose must conform to specific guidelines delineated by the appropriate governing bodies. Fabric selections included both synthetic and natural staple fibers such as polyester, Lyocell and raw cotton varieties. A thorough evaluation of extractable material in an array of solvents revealed that cotton-based nonwovens as well as Lyocell have some of the lowest percentages of leachable solids. The resistance of these fabrics to abrasion and the damage incurred by them was also studied. Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM) taken before and after the linting procedure showed that the greige cotton sample demonstrated some of the least damage. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) examinations of hexane extracts confirmed the absence of any silicone grease contamination on the wipes materials. Standardized tensile testing indicated that the cotton samples, especially mechanically cleaned greige cotton, have robust tensile properties that are important characteristics for wiping materials. These results indicate that cotton nonwovens, particularly greige cotton, are promising candidates for the development of future aviation and other wipes materials.