Classification and Properties of Fibres

| Home | | Pharmacognosy |

Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Fibres, Sutures and Surgical Dressings

Natural fibres can be classified according to their origin.


CLASSIFICATION AND PROPERTIES

 

 

Natural fibres can be classified according to their origin.

 

1.     The vegetable, or cellulose-base, class includes such important fibres as cotton, flax, and jute.

2.     The animal, or protein-base, fibres include wool, mohair, and silk.

3.     Regenerated and synthetic fibres include Nylon, Terylene, Orlon, Viscose, Alginate fibres, etc.

4.     An important fibre in the mineral class is asbestos.

 

The vegetable fibres can be divided into smaller groups, based on their origin within the plant. Cotton, kapok, and coir are examples of fibres originating as hairs borne on the seeds or inner walls of the fruit, where each fibre consists of a single, long, narrow cell. Flax, hemp, jute, and ramie are bast fibres, occurring in the inner bast tissue of certain plant stems and made up of overlapping cells. Abaca, henequen, and sisal are fibres occurring as part of the fibrovascular system of the leaves.

 

Chemically, all vegetable fibres consist mainly of cellu-lose, although they also contain varying amounts of such substances as hemicellulose, lignin, pectins, and waxes that must be removed or reduced by processing. The animal fibres consist exclusively of proteins and, with the exception of silk, constitute the fur or hair that serves as the protective epidermal covering of animals. Silk filaments are extruded by the larvae of moths and are used to spin their cocoons.

 

With the exception of mineral fibres, all natural fibres have an affinity for water in both liquid and vapour form. This strong affinity produces swelling of the fibres connected with the uptake of water, which facilitates dyeing in watery solutions.

 

Unlike most synthetic fibres, all natural fibres are non-thermoplastic—that is, they do not soften when heat is applied. At temperatures below the point at which they will decompose, they show little sensitivity to dry heat, and there is no shrinkage or high extensibility upon heating, nor do they become brittle if cooled to below freezing. Natural fibres tend to yellow upon exposure to sunlight and moisture, and extended exposure results in loss of strength.

 

All natural fibres are particularly susceptible to microbial decomposition, including mildew and rot. Cellulosic fibres are decomposed by aerobic bacteria (those that live only in oxygen) and fungi. Cellulose mildews and decomposes rapidly at high humidity and high temperatures, especially in the absence of light. Wool and silk are also subject to microbial decomposition by bacteria and moulds. Animal fibres are also subject to damage by moths and carpet beetles; termites and silverfish attack cellulose fibres. Protection against both microbial damage and insect attacks can be obtained by chemical modification of the fibre substrate; modern developments allow treatment of natural fibres to make them essentially immune to such damage.

 

Contact Us, Privacy Policy, Terms and Compliant, DMCA Policy and Compliant

TH 2019 - 2022 pharmacy180.com; Developed by Therithal info.