Production and Processing of Bamboo Fiber

Presented by:
QM GONDAL qmgondal@gmail.com
National Textile University Faisalabad, Pakistan

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Introduction
Bamboo grows more rapidly than trees and start to yield within four to five years of planting. Bamboo can be selectively harvested annually and non-destructively. It grows faster than the any other faster growing tree. Some species can grow up to 1 meter per day.
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Introduction (cont’d)
Size ranges from miniatures to towering culms of 60 meters. It generates more oxygen than equivalent stand of trees. A critical element in the balance of oxygen / carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

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Introduction (cont’d)
It lowers light intensity and protects against ultraviolet rays and is an atmospheric and soil purifier. It can thrive naturally without using any pesticide and fertilizer. China has the highest number of bamboo species and is the largest bambooproducing country in the world.
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A viable replacement for wood.
Its tensile strength is 28,000 per square inch versus 23,000 for steel. It is widely used in bamboo home. In a plot 20m x 20m, in the course of 5 years, two 8m x 8m homes can be constructed from the harvest.
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A Bicycles made of bamboo wood

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An ancient medicine.
The powdered hardened secretion from bamboo is used internally to treat asthma, coughs and can be used a an aphrodisiac. In China, ingredients from the root of the black bamboo help treat kidney disease. Roots and leaves have also been used to treat venereal disease and cancer.

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Antibacterial function
Bamboo is antibacterial, antifungal and anti-static. Why? Bamboo owns a unique anti-bacteria and bacteriostasis bio-agent named "bamboo kun". This substance bonds tightly with bamboo cellulose molecules during the normal process of bamboo fibre growth.
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Its is tested by the Japanese Textile Inspection Association found that, even after fifty times of washing, bamboo fabric still possessed these functions. Bamboo clothing’s natural anti-bacteria function differs greatly from that of chemical antimicrobial fabrics, which often tend to cause skin problems.
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Green and Biodegradable
Few inputs and no pesticides. Other fibers such as cotton requires huge amounts of water and extensive use of pesticides – that pollute the environment. Bamboo takes up more greenhouse gasses and releases more oxygen and does not need replanting, or fertilisers.

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"Bamboo fiber comes from nature and completely returns to nature in the end“ Bamboo can be 100% biodegraded in soil by micro organisms and sunlight. The decomposition process does not cause any pollution in the environment..
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Breathable and Cool
“keep cooler in summer and warmer in winter”. It has an unusual level of breathe ability, Very cool and comfortable . Due to cross-section of the bamboo fiber is filled with various micro-gaps and micro-holes, it has much better moisture absorption and ventilation. With this unique microstructure, bamboo fiber apparel can absorb and evaporate human sweat very quickly.
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Cross Sectional View of Bamboo Fiber

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Longitudinal Sectional View of Bamboo Fiber

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Deodorisation of Bamboo Fabric
Due to antibacterial qualities, it reduce bacteria that thrive on clothing and cause unpleasant odours. It kill odours causing bacteria that live on the skin, reduce the smell of wearer. The fabric is able to take bright dye colours well, drape smoothly. This fabric ideal for cloth nappy making,
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Physical Parameters compared with other fibre
Physical Properties Linear Density (dtex) Single dry tensile strength (cN/dtex) Single wet tensile strength (cN/dtex) Dry tensile elongation % Moisture regain% Absorbency rates % Specific density (g/cm3) Double length (mg/100g) 19 Febrauary 2009
Bamboo fibre

Viscose fibre 1.67 2.5~3.1 1.4~2.0 18~22 13 90~110 1.32 1.2

Cotton fibre 1.67 2.5~3.1 1.5~2.1 8~10 8.5 45~60 1.5~1.6 /
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1.67 2.2~2.5 1.3~1.7 14~18 13 90~120 1.32
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There are two ways to process bamboo to make the plant into a fibre

Processing of Plant

Mechanically

Chemically

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Mechanical Processing of Bamboo
• Similar to flax processing – “natural bamboo fiber” • Retting – loosens internal stalk structure • Enzymatic process (days to weeks) • Chemical process (boil in mild acid/alkali) • Breaking - separates fiber bundles from stalk • Scutching- removes extraneous material • Hackling – separates and aligns fibers • Labor and time intensive • Produces linen-like fabrics.
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Chemical process(1)
1.Preparation: Bamboo leaves and the soft, inner pith from the hard bamboo trunk are extracted and crushed; 2. Steeping : The crushed bamboo cellulose is soaked in a solution of 15% to 20% NaOH. T = 20 ~ 25 C Time= 1~ 3 hours to form alkali cellulose.
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Chemical process(1)
3. Pressing: The bamboo alkali cellulose is then squeezed mechanically to remove excess NaOH solution. 4. Shredding: The alkali cellulose is mechanically shredded to increase surface area and make the cellulose easier to process.
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Chemical process(1)
5. Ageing: It is then left to dry for 24 hours. During this process, the shredded alkali cellulose is allowed to stand in contact with the oxygen of air. Because of high alkalinity. The alkali cellulose is partially oxidized and degraded to lower molecular weights. This degradation is to be controlled to produce chain lengths shorter enough to give proper viscosities in the spinning solution.
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Chemical process(1)
6. Xanthation: Carbon disulfide is added to the bamboo alkali cellulose to sulfurize the compound causing it to jell. Any remaining carbon disulfide is removed by evaporation due to decompression and cellulose sodium xanthate is the result.
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Chemical process(1)
7. Dissolving: A diluted solution of NaOH is added to the cellulose sodium xanthate dissolving it to create a “viscose” solution consisting of about 5% NaOH and 7% ~ 15% bamboo fiber cellulose

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8. Spinning:
After subsequent ripening, filtering and degassing, the viscose bamboo cellulose is forced through spinneret nozzles into a large container of a diluted sulfuric acid solution which hardens the viscose bamboo cellulose sodium xanthate and reconverts it to cellulose bamboo fiber threads which are spun into bamboo fiber yarns.
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Chemical Processing of Bamboo (2)
• Similar to lyocell • N-methylmorpholine–N-oxide (NMNO) added to bamboo cellulose– cellulose dissolves • Extrude into water/NMNO solution – fiber forms • Water wash – removes NMNO • NMNO recovered and reused (>99% recovery) • Produces fabrics similar to rayon from bamboo.

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Tips in bamboo yarn producing process
1)

when bamboo yarn is producing. It is recommend a high humidity(65%-70%) and a low temperature (25° C). If bamboo fiber is too dry before feeding, a vapour pretreatment to improve its humidity.

2) As bamboo fiber shows weak cohesion, we recommend adopting high coefficient of twist. Low card web tension and low roving tension is recommended.
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Tensile strength
3) In order to control hairiness in spinning, by using high-quality steel ring and ring traveler. 4) As bamboo fiber’ tensile strength is low, it recommend that using yarn count ranging from Ne8 - Ne60. When using 50s-60s count pure bamboo yarn, it suggest doubling the yarn.
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Nanotechnology in bamboo clothing industry It based on a bamboo clothing line made from nanoparticles of bamboo charcoal. Bamboo is dried and burned in 800 °C ovens until it is reduced to charcoal. The bamboo is processed and converted into fine nano particles which are then embedded into cotton, polyester or nylon fibers. This conventional fiber yarn that contains trapped bamboo charcoal nano particles is then woven into fabrics … mostly socks and blankets now. The active bamboo charcoal ingredients will only remain active in the clothing for about six months of active use.
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Knitting
Due to low tensile strength mostly knitted product are made from bamboo. No special technique is required.

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Bamboo fabric weaving
1)

A twist coefficient in the range of 350 to 410 turns per meter..

2) As bamboo yarn’s moisture regain rate and elongation is relatively high, you should maintain even and relatively low tension during the process of warping and sizing of the yarn.

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Bamboo in Denim
In Rana Textile Mill in 2008 50%/ 50% cotton/bamboo was used in denim on request of a Turkish customer. 20,000 metre is processed. It price was 3.1 $/m as that of cottton.

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Pretreatment and Dyeing
1) Because bamboo fiber is regenerated cellulose fiber, it is sensitive to both acid and alkali. So you must notice the volume of alkali in pretreatment. 2) Because bamboo fiber fabric has lower wet tensile strength, you should adopt lower tensions or negative tensions during dyeing & pretreatment. 3) Recommending to choose reactive dye-stuffs in dyeing. Reactive dye can react with bamboo fiber molecular under weak alkali condition.
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General principles in dyeing & pretreatment
Light-singeing: A mild condition in singeing in order to avoiding damaging bamboo fiber Enzyme-desizing: A high desizing rate above 80%.

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Light-Scouring:
For 100% bamboo fiber fabric/yarn you may skip the process of scouring, because pure bamboo fiber contains little trash and pigment. If you need to make sure the volume of caustic soda does not exceed 10g/L.

Bleaching:
The processing should be made in terms of the specification and thickness of fabrics

Light – mercerizing:
Because bamboo fiber owns an excellent natural shine it does not need mercerizing. However you can use lightmercerizing so as to improve absorbing rate of dyes.

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Dyeing
Bamboo fiber’s wet tensile strength is low. It swells acutely in water. Bamboo textiles are suitable to be dyed on jigger or winch loose rope dyeing machine. Note : In dyeing, the volume of caustic soda can not exceed 25g/L. The temperature can not exceed 100° C. In drying you should keep low temperatures and maintain low tensions.
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Finishing
Concerning finishing of bamboo fabrics and bamboo/cotton blended fabrics, normally intermittent drying should be applied. It suggest not adopting direct drying such as through single cylinder or multi-cylinder dryers. If the temperature is not controlled well,direct drying may cause many defects such as fabric yellowing, harsh hand feeling, weft sloping and high shrinkage.
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Finishing
As result, we choose stentering frame and rotor drummer dryers to dry, to fix width and over feed-in (over 5%-10%), temperature should be kept around 130° C. For drying dyed yarns, it is suggested to use infrared loose drying in order to ensure even evaporating , upgrade hand feeling, avoid cohering and tenacity decreasing which may affect the subsequent processing.
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Processing flow
(1) Dyed fabrics—stentering & shape setting --softening(steeping 2 times & press 2 times) ---over-feed drying ---finished fabrics (2) Dyed yarns --- softening ----infrared loose drying---finished yarns.

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Softening process
Softening process should be applied to dyed bamboo fabrics and bamboo/cotton blended fabrics. For dyed bamboo yarn, a little silicon oil should also be added in order to improve its smoothness and weaving ability.

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The purpose of using softening agent
• Reduce friction and improve its smoothness. • Uniform bamboo fiber’s surface exertion; improve fabric tensile strength and abrasive resistance • improve bamboo fiber’s elasticity and drapability. • softening agent need to be able to prohibit bamboo textile reacting with dyes in dyeing process. • softening agent need to be able to prevent bamboo textile yellowing in drying process.

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Uses:
Skin Care Products:
Natural sterilisation properties make it ideal for products like: bandages masks surgical clothes/operating gowns nurses’ wear
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Bathroom Products
Excellent anti-bacterial and moisture absorption properties make it ideal for products like: Bath and hand towels and bath robes Swimwear Underwear T-shirts
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Anti UV Products
Bamboo's anti UV properties make it ideal for products like: Children's clothes Wall paper (will not discolor) Curtains

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Anti Damp Products
Bamboo will not go moulding in damp conditions which makes it ideal for products like: Wallpapers Curtains Furnishing fabrics

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