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F96-A3

Development of Characterization Methodologies of Fiber Surface
Characteristics: Surface/Process Analysis

Investigators:
Yehia El Mogahzy, Roy Broughton, Jr., W. Oxenham, B. S. Gupta, and Mehmet E. Yuksekkaya

Goals
1. To develop methodologies that can be utilized for surface characterization of fiber bulks and fibrous assemblies
(sliver, roving, yarn and fabric).
2. To verify the validity of these methodologies in revealing the fundamental nature of fibrous surface interaction.
3. To evaluate utilization possibilities of the methodologies in real-world applications

Abstract

The importance of surface behavior of fibrous structures has been demonstrated in numerous studies including many
by the principal investigators [e.g. El Mogahzy, et al, 1991-1998, and Oxenham, 1996]. The simple fact that a one
meter at the input zone (chute feed) of the spinning line has to be expanded to about 2000 meters in the final yarn
provides enough evidence of the critical role that surface behavior or fiber friction plays in determining yarn quality
and processing performance. Indeed, fibers experience an infinite series of inter-fiber and fiber-to-metal friction actions
before they are consolidated into a yarn. It is for this reason alone that the U.S. synthetic industry spends over $25
million annually on spin finish. It is also for this reason alone that surface finish is forever a secret recipe that makes
or breaks the quality integrity of textile fibers.

In practice, it is desirable to have low fiber friction during carding and drawing process to ensure smooth processing and
controlled attenuation of fibers. As we approach the final stage of yarn manufacturing, a certain level of friction is
required for better fiber consolidation and higher yarn strength. It is for this reason that fiber friction must be precisely
measured so that an optimum level of surface treatment can be achieved.

The role of fiber friction and surface behavior goes beyond fiber processing to cover all areas of fabric
manufacturing, fabric finishing, and performance characteristics. Indeed, surface behavior generates the first
sensation upon touching a finished piece of fabric or cloth.

The critical role of fiber friction calls for precise, reproducible, efficient, and simulative methodologies of testing.
This project has undertaken the task of developing such methodologies. Two devices were designed, constructed,
and evaluated by the principal investigators of the two universities. These are the "Auburn Beard Friction Test
(ABFT)", and "NCSU Bundle Friction Test (NCBFT)". El Mogahzy and Broughton developed the ABFT on the
basis of extensive fundamental analysis performed over a number of years in other friction studies (El Mogahzy &
Gupta, 1991, 1993, and El Mogahzy & Broughton, 1993). This device is now used for performing routine testing of
friction of synthetic fibers for 3 U.S. companies. Two of these companies optimize their finish type and percent
finish on the basis of the outcome of the ABFT. Cotton samples from 5 crops were tested using the ABFT and a
database of cotton friction of different varieties was established. The ABFT was also used for cotton nonwovens
under different finishing, scouring, and bleaching conditions.

The NCBFT has been developed to reach the highest degree of sensitivity and reproducibility. Likewise, this device
has been used to perform tests for cotton and synthetic fibers. While the ABFT perform a classical flat surface
characterization, the NCBFT performs bundle testing. This provides a different view of surface characterization in
which both fiber friction and resiliency are accounted for.

Over the last two years our work has been concentrated on following aspects:
(1) Upgrading both apparatus to reach a stage at which they can be commercially used.
(2) Establishing standards associated with both tests
(3) Relating the friction behavior of cotton fibers to the final yarn quality.

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(4) Extending the Auburn Beard Test capability to measure the friction behavior of textile yarns and fabrics.

A great deal of the results of these activities was reported in the NTC-Final Report 1998. In this report, we will
discuss the final phase of this project, which was mainly focused on system signal diagnosis, and expansion of
system capabilities.

North Carolina State Bundle Friction Test (NCBFT)
The NCBFT has been developed for giving an overall assessment of the frictional characteristics of a “bundle” of
fibers. A photograph of the instrument is shown in Figure 1. The testing system shown here is analogous to
squeezing a bundle of fibers. It is known that a skilled expert could distinguish differences in fibers by using this
technique; therefore, it would be possible to develop an instrument, which measures the surface properties of fibers
in the form of electrical signals. Figure 2 is an outline of the proposed system. The acquired signal was
superimposed by noise as seen in Figure 3.

Figure 1. Photograph of the NCBFT instrument Figure 2. Schematic of the instrument

Diagnostic of Signal in System
After building the instrument, the first set of trials was carried out to investigate the running behavior of the
instrument. As seen in Figure 3, there was a tremendous amount of noise superimposed on the signal. It was noticed
that the noise was coming from different sources; therefore, refinement was necessary so that the noise problems
could be eliminated from the signal in order to make an accurate measurement. In the working environment, there
are usually two types of major noise problems. That is, mechanical and electrical.

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Figure 3. Noisy signal acquired from the unit

Mechanical Noise
The load cell developed for the instrument was so sensitive that it was continuously picking up building and
stepper motor vibrations. It was found that the major part of the mechanical noise was coming from the building
vibration. In order to eliminate (or at least minimize) the effect of the building vibration, the testing machine was
placed on the top of a heavy marble block that was supported by a spring-like material. Since the magnitude of the
electrical noise was high, mechanical noise was seen only when the control card was off. Since the motion system
was not working during the signal acquisition, the vibration from the stepper motor was not effecting the signal.

Electrical Noise
The electrical noise in the system was frustrating and much time was consumed in determining the source of the
noise. All necessary precautions were taken before beginning the data acquisition as follows:
• Cables were shielded and twisted in order to reduce the noise pick up from the environment.
• The instrument was grounded at one point to eliminate the ground loop effects.
• A differential measurement system was chosen during data acquisition in order to reduce noise pick up and
reject ground loop effects.
Even when a measurement setup avoids ground loops or analog input stage saturation by following the necessary
precautions, the measured signal will almost inevitably include some amount of noise or unwanted signal picked up
from the environment. This is especially true for low-level analog signals, which are amplified by using an onboard
amplifier. It was found that the major part of the electrical noise was coming from the motion control card (the
motion control card is an external box and powered by a 120 VAC). The motion control card was interfacing with
the data acquisition card via RS232 and AC power line. Therefore, it was necessary to separate the drive system and
the data collection unit as seen in Figure 4.
As seen in Figure 4, it is also necessary to supply power from separate sources, otherwise, the control box
continues to interface with the data collection unit via the AC power line. Since it is not an easy task to find
completely independent AC power sources, three-phase delta, or Y connection could be used to solve this problem.
The motion control card and the computer with the RS232 communication were considered as one system and the
data collection unit as another. Each unit was powered from a different phase of a delta connection. The separation
of the data collection unit and the drive system eliminated the cross talking of the components. The signal acquired
from the instrument did not contain any extreme noise as seen in Figure 5.

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Figure 4. Schematic of system after separating Figure 5. Signal from measuring
drive system and data collection unit unit after eliminating noise

In summary, mechanical and electrical noises were analyzed by using extensive noise analysis techniques. After
determining the sources of the noise in the system, appropriate noise reduction techniques have been used to
eliminate the noise from the signal. It was found that mechanical noise was coming from the building and stepper
motor vibration. By using a heavy marble block on top of a spring-like material, there was a significant reduction in
the building vibration effect. Stepper motor vibration is effective only at higher working speeds. Therefore, it is
necessary to operate the machine at lower speeds. Elimination of the electrical noise involved an extended
investigation to find out the correct source and an applicable solution. It turned out that separating the data collection
unit and the drive system was an appropriate solution for the problem. Therefore, a second computer was adapted
for serial communication with the drive system. The load cell was calibrated by using a high accuracy voltmeter and
dead weights. Different regression models were used to find the best curve fit for the data. The following model was
chosen for calibration of the load cell signal.

Force = 116.381 * volt + 19.734 * volt 2 − 0.816 * volt 3

Auburn Beard Friction Test (ABFT)

The ABFT system is displayed in Figure 6. In principle, the system consists of a top clamp, two bottom clamps and
a lateral pressure piston. The top clamp is attached to a load cell with load capacity of 2.5 pounds. The two bottom
clamps are mounted at an angle on a movable platen, which can be driven by a step-motor. The lateral pressure
piston is connected to two metal plates, through which the lateral pressure is applied using a pneumatic system.
During the test, the platen movements can be programmed and controlled by a motion controller through a
computer terminal. As the platen travels down at a certain velocity, a profile of fiber-to-fiber or fiber-to-metal
friction is generated due to the rubbing action between a fiber “beard” and a fixed area of fiber or metal surface.

The key output of the ABFT is the friction profile (see Figure 7). This profile provides a complete characterization
of the fiber beard surface. The initial portion of the profile characterizes pure surface interaction, and the final

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portion characterizes surface factors and additional geometrical factors (e.g. fiber fineness, and fiber length).
Through examination of the friction profile, one can evaluate the surface behavior from different angles. For
example, if a finishing treatment is applied to the fiber through gentle means, it will be easy to see the effect of this
treatment on the initial portion of the friction profile. If the treatment was associated with geometrical changes
(fiber breakage, swelling, etc.), the second portion of the profile will clearly reveal these changes.

In addition to the friction profile, the following quantitative parameters of fiber friction can be produced:
1. Maximum friction force and corresponding coefficient of friction (are-independent parameter)
2. Parameters a and n determined from the theory of fiber friction introduced by Gupta and El Mogahzy (1993)
3. Stick-slip profile parameters (area under different profile regions)

Using the ABFT system, we were also able to create a database of fiber friction of the following types of fibers:
• raw cotton of different varieties
• colored cotton
• polyester (different denier, and different finish treatments)
• nylon (different denier, and different finish treatments)
• acrylic (different denier, and different finish treatments)
• polypropylene (different denier, and different finish treatments)

This database will be used in our effort to standardize the testing procedure.

We also developed the system so that high degree of sensitivity and reproducibility can be achieved. Areas of
development include:

• A digital pressure gauge was equipped to give a better monitor of lateral pressure applied.
• We replaced our conventional pressure regulator with a precision multi-stage regulator, which is able to control
output pressure to within 0.1% accuracy (as small as 0.01 PSI) and hold setting pressure over long periods of
time.

Immediate results of the above activities were better repeatability and reproducibility of the ABFT.

We are also working on further improvement in drive control and the data acquisition system. This will be achieved
through introducing the motor control inside the lab-view application. In addition, we are replacing the clamping
force (now controlled manually without feed back to system regarding actual lateral force). The new system will
provide real-time lateral force monitoring that will take into considerations any fluctuation of the supply presser
from the accumulator.

In addition, we have formed a complete friction-testing laboratory that can provide the following testing techniques:

• Rotor-Ring energy measures of dynamic cohesion [Figure 8]
• EIB-CCT system for lint-generation during inter-yarn rubbing [Figure 9]
• Sliver cohesion testing [Figure 10]

This variety of tests provides complete simulative characterization of fiber surface.

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Figure 6. Auburn-Beard Friction Test

Frictoin Profiles of Cotton: MQ 293, Bale#=27009

120

100

80
Friction Force (g)

60

40

20

0
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9
Sliding Distance (in)

Figure 7. Auburn-Beard Friction Test: Friction Profile

Figure 8. Modified Rotor-Ring

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Figure 9. Modified Cohesion Test

Figure 10. EIB-CCT System

Conclusion
This project has been highly informative and productive. The devices developed represent serious efforts toward
standardizing friction testing and fiber surface characterization. The information obtained by these devices provided
very useful guidelines to both synthetic fiber producers and cotton fiber growers. In addition, our understanding of
the critical role of fiber friction is much greater today as a result of the use of these instruments.
Common features of the ABFT and the NCBFT include:
• Simple testing and calibration procedures
• Considering the amount of information obtained, the tests are relatively rapid and accurate
• No operation skills required and automated sample preparation

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• Results are meaningful to the different sectors of the fiber and textile industry

Paper Published in Scientific Journal and Conference Proceedings:

1. El Mogahzy, Y., Broughton, R., Jr. Guo, H, and Taylor, R. A., Evaluating Staple Fiber Processing Propensity.
Part I: Processing Propensity of Cotton Fibers, Textile Res. J. 68 (11), 835-840 (1998)
2. El Mogahzy, Y., Broughton, R., Jr. and Guo, H, Evaluating Staple Fiber Processing Propensity. Part I:
Processing Propensity of Polyester/Cotton Blends, Textile Res. J. 68 (12), 907-912 (1998)
3. El Mogahzy, Y., and Broughton, R., Jr., A New Approach for Evaluating the Frictional Behavior of Cotton
Fibers, Part I: Fundamental Aspects and Measuring Techniques, Textile Res. J. 63 (8), 465-475 (1993)
4. El Mogahzy, Y., Broughton, R. Jr., and Wang, Q., The Frictional Profile of Cotton Fibers and its Importance in
Determining Fiber Performance in the Nonwoven Process. Part II: Experimental Observations, Int. Nonwovens
J. 6(4), 35-42 (1994)
5. El Mogahzy, Y., Broughton, R. Jr., and Wang, Q., The Frictional Profile of Cotton Fibers and its Importance in
Determining Fiber Performance in the Nonwoven Process. Part I: Fundamental Aspects of Fiber Friction and
Lubrication, Int. Nonwovens J. 7(1), 26-33 (1995)
6. El Mogahzy, Y., Broughton, R., Jr. and Guo, H, “The Contribution of Fiber Friction to Yarn Quality.”
Proceedings of the Beltwide Cotton Conference, Publications of the National Cotton Council, January 1998.
7. El Mogahzy, Y., Broughton, R., Jr. and Guo, H., “Cotton Fiber Friction: The Unknown Quality of Cotton.”
Proceedings of the Beltwide Cotton Conference, Publications of the National Cotton Council, January 1997.
8. El Mogahzy, Y. E., and Gupta, B. S., Friction in Fibrous Materials, Part II: Experimental Study of the Effects of
Structural and Morphological Factors. Textile res. J. 63 (4), 219-230 (1993)
9. Gupta, B. S., and El Mogahzy, Y.E., Friction in Fibrous Materials, Part I: Structural Model, Textile res. J. 61
(9), 547-555 (1991)
10. Oxenham, W., and Hassanin, H., 'A Novel Technique for assessing the Frictional Characteristics of Cotton',
Proceedings of the Beltwide Cotton Conference, Publications of the National Cotton Council, January 1996.
11. M. E. Yuksekkaya and W. Oxenham, (1999), “Analysis of Mechanical and Electrical Noise Interfacing the
Instrument during Data Acquisition: Development of a Machine for Assessing Surface Properties of Fibers”,
IEEE Conference, May, Atlanta, USA.
12. M. E. Yuksekkaya and W. Oxenham, (1999), “A Novel Technique for Assessing the Frictional Characteristics
of Fibers Part I: Development of Instrument”, Proc. M2Vip’ 99, September, Ankara, Turkey.
13. M. E. Yuksekkaya and W. Oxenham, (1999), “A Novel Technique for Assessing the Frictional Characteristics
of Fibers Part II: Evaluation of the Instrument”, Proc. M2Vip’ 99, September, Ankara, Turkey.
14. M. E. Yuksekkaya (1999) “ A Novel Technique for Assessing the Frictional Properties of Fibers”, Ph.D. Thesis,
North Carolina State University.

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