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Title: Measuring cotton fibre maturity using polarised light microscopy
Authors: Gordon, Stuart
Keywords: SDL-Shirley Micromat Cotton Fineness Maturity Tester
miconaire values
Immature fibres,
non-uniform dyeing
irregularities in processed fibre
spinners and fabric manufacturers
Cotton fibre maturity is an extremely important property
methods for measuring fibre maturity
fibre parameter
accurate indirect method
Issue Date: 30-Jun-2003
Publisher: CSIRO Textile and Fibre Technology
Series/Report no.: ;CWT6C
Abstract: Cotton fibre maturity is an extremely important property to spinners and fabric manufacturers because it determines how well fibres will process both from a chemical and a physical perspective. Immature fibres, i.e., those with little or no fibre wall thickening, are associated with the formation of small entanglements called neps, irregularities in processed fibre assemblies including finished yarns, non-uniform dyeing of fabrics and decreased processing efficiency. While knowledge of cotton fibre maturity has always been important with regard to avoiding these problems, there is an increasing need for faster and more accurate measurements. There are a number of methods for measuring fibre maturity although no one method is able to do so both accurately and with the speed for classing purposes. The methods currently used range from direct measurement of fibre wall thickness from magnified fibre cross-sections to indirect methods that indicate maturity relative to some other fibre parameter. Direct or reference values of fibre maturity that are used to calibrate faster indirect methods have been obtained by various methods over the last fifty years. Theoretically more accurate, direct values suffer from significant experimental error due to the fine detail involved in preparing fibres for direct measurement and the limited numbers of fibres that can be practically measured. Furthermore, these tests often require the operator to make subjective assessments on the form of the fibre. Indirect methods are favoured by cotton marketers and processors because they provide fast results. However, effects of other fibre features tend to bias the results they give. For example, the Micronaire is the most widely used indirect method for measuring fibre maturity even though it actually measures a composite of fibre fineness and fibre maturity. This means that a fine, mature cotton, which is premium cotton, might give the same reading as coarse, immature cotton. Hindering the development of a fast and accurate indirect method is the absence of an accurate and precise reference method. In this project CSIRO Textile and Fibre Technology has developed a technology that measures fibre maturity directly and automatically. The advantages over current reference methods are the method’s accuracy, speed and objectivity. Furthermore, the method has a test time equivalent to that of some indirect test methods. The test time for the method at the moment is in the order of 2 minutes, which is similar to test times for other laboratory based fibre maturity tests such as the Uster AFIS PRO and the SDL-Shirley Micromat Cotton Fineness Maturity Tester.
Appears in Collections:2003 Final Reports

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