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X ray pattern is similar to that of Mercerised cotton Cellulose hydrate.

Degree of polymerization of cellulose hydrate in ordinary viscose fiber is

280 320.

Structure of viscose fiber is looser due to the less orderly arrangement of

the main chains.

Ordinary viscose fiber has non uniform structure caused by processing


Hygroscopicity is higher.

Swelling in water is greater.

It has more moisture content. About 13 % at 65 % relative humidity. This

is more than that for cotton (6%).

Moisture content increases with relative humidity.

Absorption of water at saturation is 40 %.

In wet condition loses a considerable part of their strength. (50 60%)

Tensile strength is less when fiber is wet than when it is dry (this is inverse
for cotton and linen).

Elasticity is less than 2-3 %. after which creep develops and permanent
elongation sets in. this should be considered in weaving and stentering.

When sudden tension is applied, it affects luster, appearance, & chemical

reactions, resulting in streaky dyeing, streaky printing, shifting of yarn in
fabric in final finishing process.

Ordinary viscose has 15 30 % elongation at break. While high tenacity

viscose 9-17 % elongation at break.

In wet state viscose is easy to stretch and has higher percentage


Density of viscose: 1.53 gm /cc

Short exposure to high temperature has less harmful effect than long
exposure to relatively lower temperature.

Long exposure to high temperature yellows viscose rayon.

At 150 0C or more viscose looses its strength and begins to decompose at

1800C or higher temperature.

Prolonged exposure to sunlight weakens viscose rayon due to moisture

and UV rays.

Combined action of heat and light brings about rapid losses of strength.

Degradation is slower in the absence of oxygen than its presence. But

continued exposure to heat in the absence of oxygen leads to degradation
of viscose rayon.

Weakening of viscose rayon:

Condition % Loss in strength
6 hour UV light 4%
6 hour daylight 57 %


Viscose has lower degree of polymerization than cotton cellulose. It has

more amorphous region than cotton cellulose. Hence it reacts faster than

Less resistant to the action of acids, much less resistant to alkali.

Caustic alkali solutions cause strong swelling of viscose which can pass in
to the solution.

Acids like HCl, H2SO4 break down cellulose macromolecules and produce
hydro cellulose.

Oxidizing agents oxidize viscose very faster and oxy cellulose is formed.

Cold acid solution for a short time does not attack viscose.

2 % acetic or formic acid is safe at room temperature.

2 % Oxalic acid can be used up to 60 0C to remove rust stains.

HCl, H2SO4 , HNO3 can be used safely at high concentration for short
time at moderate temperature. Acids must be neutralized or washed
before drying.

Acids in contact with viscose rayon make it hard and brittle.

Solvents like pine oil, PCE, TCE, benzene, toluene, xylene, gasoline, CCl4
can be used without any deteriorating effect. But highly polar solvents like
phenols should be avoided.

Viscose dissolves in cupra ammonium hydroxide solution.

Contact with iron in the form of ferrous hydroxide Fe(OH)2 weakens

viscose rayon yarns.

Fe(OH)2 ( O) Fe2(OH ) 3

Viscose ( O) Oxy cellulose

Hence staining, marking, touching with iron surfaces should be avoided.

All traces of iron stains should be removed in 5 15 min by using 1 2%

Oxalic acid solution at 60 0C or below.

Micro organisms ( moulds, mildews, fungus, bacteria etc) affect the colour
strength, dyeing property and luster of rayon.

Presence of micro organism depends on type of size, temperature and

humidity during storage.

It should be treated with anti mildew agents.

Moulds and mildew rarely attack dry and clean viscose rayon.

Micro solubility of fiber in different solvents:

Solvent Micro solubility

Cupra ammonium hydroxide Dissolves
80 % Acetone Insoluble
Gl. Acetic acid Insoluble
Conc. HCl at room temperature Dissolves after 20 30 min
Conc. HNO3 at room temperature Insoluble
Resistance of fiber:

Chemical Action
Hot dilute strong acid Dissolves
Cold conc. Strong acid Dissolves
Weak acids Strength deteriorates on prolonged
hot contact.
Strong alkali Swells and fiber losses strength
Weak alkali No effect in cold. Strength reduces
in hot condition.
Organic solvents Resistant
Organic highly polar solvents Reduces strength

Polynosic Fiber:

Variety of viscose staple fiber

Propeties close to cotton fabric.

Higher degree of cellulose polymerization (450 500 D.P.)

More orderly structure.

Better uniformity.

Higher strength.

Reduced elongation in the dry state.

Less swelling in water.

Smaller loss of strength in the wet state. (25 35%)

Reduced solubility in alkali.

Cupra ammonium fibers (Bemberg):


Structure is more uniform. The skin is absent.

Higher strength in the dry state and loss of strength in the wet state is
somewhat lower.

(Compiled from various sources by Chirag Panchigar)

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