Effects of a Clean Subcritical Degreasing System on Wool Fibers

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Qiao Xia
Yinxuan Wang
Meina Zhang
Zongcai Zhang
Hong Dai

Abstract

It makes sense to use environmentally friendly methods of degreasing in fur-making process. In this study, subcritical n-pentane was used to degrease wool fibers. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was used to observe and analyze the properties of the subcritical n-pentane degreased wool fibers. The results showed that the thermal stability of the fibers increased. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was used to analyze the structural changes of macromolecular chains in wool fibers. It was found that when the pressure was higher than 0.4 MPa, the wool fibers underwent a conformational change with the α-helix changing to β-folding. If the pressure was as high as 0.6 MPa, the disulfide bonds in the wool fibers scale layer appeared to break. X-ray powder diffraction experiment was used to study changes in wool fiber aggregation morphology. It was demonstrated that the crystalline zone of wool fibers changed and the fibers index grew, from 22.89% to 30.19%. Field emission scanning electron microscopy and ultra-depth of field microscopy was used to analyze changes in the surface morphology of wool fibers. The results suggested that after the treatment, the wool fibers were not damaged and the impurities on the wool surface were reduced.

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