Thesis Details

Thesis Title: An investigation of dry mercerization and its application to 100 percent cotton fabrics
Thesis Author: Joseph DiCesare
Abstract: Mercerization is a process which imparts permanent characteristics that improve the quality and value of a 100 percent cotton fabric - luster, fabric evenness, dimensional stability, increased dyestuff absorptivity, and ultimate increased tensile strength. However, this traditionally "wet" process necessitates the use of a dedicated single-purpose mercerization range which requires a large capital investment. In 1979, a "dry" mercerization technique was introduced. This process makes use of equipment found in most finishing plants - a padder for mercerizing liquor application to the fabric, a scray for a short dwell period, and a tenter frame for drying the liquor on the fabric. This thesis provided an environment for a side-by-side comparison of the "wet" and "dry" processes and determined some optimwn levels of fabric properties using sodium hydroxide, sodium silicate and Mercerol DM concentrations as the processing variables on a knitted and woven fabric. Results have shown increased tensile strength, bursting strength, whiteness level, and absorption of alkali. Structural analysis has shown that mercerization occurs at a lower level of sodium hydroxide than that of wet mercerization.