Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Objective and systematic qualification of flax fibres and products

The qualification of flax fibres and products plays a key role in optimizing processing and the high end use of linen. Flax is however a very complex fibre; each step of the fibre extraction and processing alters the properties of the material decisively. Methods used for characterization and qualification for other fibres are in general not applicable to flax. Possibilities were studied for the development of a suitable methodology for the characterization and qualification of flax fibres and products. Sets of reference materials (input fibres, slivers, yarns) were selected and several methods were applied for the characterization of the material in the different processing stages. Some technological properties of the reference materials (fibre strength, fineness etc) were determined by standard methods. The results confirmed some well-known practical know-how, and also revealed some unexpected effects. New methods were studied for the determination of fineness distribution, fibre length and orientation of fibres in slivers. Some of these methods gave promising results. A method was developed for the determination of the composition of flax/cotton and flax/viscose blends. The precision of the method was acceptable. The fundamental properties were studied using chemical analysis methods, ultraviolet visible (UV/VIS) spectroscopy, near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, infrared (IR) spectroscopy and fluorescence spectroscopy. These measurements clearly showed the importance of such techniques for qualification of flax. Pilot scale spinning trials under fixed conditions were applied to eliminate the effect of spinning conditions. The divisibility was studied by simulation techniques. Correlations between the data were studied and statistical techniques were applied for modelling.


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