Surface characterization of chemically modified wool

Bahi, A. and Jones, J. T. and Carr, C. M. and Ulijn, R. V. and Shao, J. (2007) Surface characterization of chemically modified wool. Textile Research Journal, 77 (12). pp. 937-945. ISSN 0040-5175

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The surface topography of wool fiber, and in particular the scale height and surface roughness, has been characterized using three-dimensional scanning electron microscopy (3D-SEM). The analysis methodology allows the scale height and surface roughness to be accurately and quickly measured, and may provide detailed information about the fiber topography, any associated damage and possible surface coatings. The treatment of wool fiber with potassium permanganate in salt solution was assessed using 3D-SEM and the progressive reduction in the scale height and cuticle smoothing demonstrated. While this effect was relatively obvious and uniform, the effect of a proteolytic enzymatic treatment on the fiber surface was less uniform. The associated effect of the enzymatic modification on the felting shrinkage, fabric strength, and handle was also determined.