Absorbency Characteristics of Kenaf Core Particles

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Title: Absorbency Characteristics of Kenaf Core Particles
Author: Zaveri, Mitul Dilip
Advisors: Dr.Behnam Pourdeyhimi, Committee Chair
Dr. Medwick V. Byrd, Committee Member
Dr. Donald Shiffler, Committee Member
Dr. Timothy Clapp, Committee Member
Abstract: Chopped Kenaf Core (2"; to 4" in length), obtained from Greene Natural Fibers — a company located in Snow Hill, North Carolina, was ground into very fine particles (below 1 mm) and categorized into various size ranges. The ground particles were tested for water absorbency and the optimum particle size, giving maximum absorbency, was determined. Experiments revealed that Kenaf Core of size range 106 — 425 microns gave the highest water absorbency at saturation, up to 12 times its weight. The 425 — 840 micron range was the next highest and it absorbed water up to 10 times its weight. Factors leading to this optimum particle size range were determined, the absorption mechanisms taking place were studied and experimental analysis was done to prove the results obtained. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) images were also taken to understand the shape and profile of the granular particles in fine detail. Various chemical treatment and refining experiments were carried out on the highly absorbent particle sizes (106 — 840 microns) to enhance their bonding properties and to make handsheets from them. The highly absorbent Core particles were treated with NaOH in water bath at 90 ° C, Cooked with NaOH and Na2S at 170 ° C in a bomb reactor and treated with water in a water bath at 90 ° C, all for 3 hours. Handsheets were made from the chemically treated particles to determine if there was sufficient bonding between them. To enhance the bonding further, the particles were refined in a blender for one hour. The effect of chemical treatment and refining on the absorbency properties of the Core was determined. SEM analysis of the particles was done to visualize the fibrillation caused due to refining. Handsheets were made with a blend of hardwood and highly absorbent (untreated and water treated 106 — 840 micron) refined Core particles with 50 — 70% of Kenaf Core in them. The absorption properties of these handsheets were determined and compared with the absorption of a handsheet made from fluff pulp (same basis weight). As the final step, the handsheets made from a blend of kenaf core and hardwood pulp were sandwiched between a pair of 17gsm lightly calendared polypropylene spun bond fabrics.
Date: 2004-05-21
Degree: MS
Discipline: Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/999

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