Viscose Staple Fiber
History of Viscose
Viscose was the first man made fiber introduced in textile production. Viscose has excellent properties that can be engineered and optimized for different textile and nonwoven applications.
The name was adopted in 1924, in preference to ‘artificial silk’, by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce and various commercial associations. As early as 1665 the English naturalist Robert Hooke had suggested the possibility of making artificial silk, but the first artificial textile fiber was produced in 1884 by a French scientist, Hilaire de Chardonnet, and was manufactured by him in 1889.
Unpopular at first because it was too lustrous and laundered poorly, it has been steadily improved. Cellulose, originally from cotton linters but now chiefly from wood pulp, washed, bleached, and pressed into sheets, is dissolved by chemicals, then forced under pressure through minute holes in a metal cap (spinneret), emerging as filaments that unite to form one continuous strand solidified by passage through a suitable liquid or warm air.
The spinning solution may be forced through a larger orifice or slit to produce a monofilament, a ribbon, or a sheet. Filaments are doubled and twisted into smooth, silk-like yarns or cut into staple lengths and spun. Spun rayon can be treated to simulate wool, linen, or cotton.
There are four methods of manufacturing rayon, using different materials and processes:
- In the nitrocellulose process developed by Chardonnet and no longer of commercial importance, cellulose is treated with nitric and sulphuric acids.
- In the viscose process, discovered in 1892, it is treated with carbon disulphide, then dissolved in caustic soda, forced through a spinneret, and hardened in sulphuric acid. Viscose rayon is the most important type commercially, being used in most kinds of wearing apparel, furniture fabric, and carpets.
- For cuprammonium rayon, the cellulose is dissolved in copper oxide and ammonia, forced through holes larger than the intended diameter, then, by a process known as stretch spinning, is elongated and twisted under tension to yield a very fine, strong yarn used for sheer fabrics and hosiery.
Rayon produced by these three methods is classified as regenerated, since the final product, like the original material, is cellulose.
- The fourth type, saponified acetate rayon, originated in England in 1918 and is an acetate derivative of cellulose made by steeping cellulose in acetic acid, then treating it with acetic anhydride. Acetate rayon is more resistant to stains and creasing, is plasticized by heat, and requires special dyes, thus allowing two-tone effects with a single dye when acetate is combined with other fibers. Acetate filler is used to make shatterproof glass.
Production process animation
Table of Products
|Lenzing Viscose® High tenacity||1,20 - 1,50||32 - 51 mm||Bright|
|Lenzing Viscose® Nonwovens||1,50||40 mm||Dull|
As the world population grows, so does the demand for food and textiles.
Competition for the limited cultivatable land between cotton, food and housing will lead to increased demand for alternative sources of cellulosic fibers. Viscose fibers offer the best alternative for cellulosic fibers.
Since the raw material for SPV's production is produced from managed forests which are 3-4 times more efficient than cotton plantations, the future supply is guaranteed. In addition, SPV and the Lenzing Group have made early investments in the application of modern technology, which allows them a secure future as environmental standards are tightened around the world.
Questions and Answers
- What is the difference between Rayon and Viscose?
Names are used interchangeably. In Europe, ‘rayon’ usually refers to filament yarns whereas ‘viscose’ refers to staple fibers.
- What can be made from Viscose?
Used in the textile industry for adding comfort to synthetic fibers and in 100% for printed fabrics due to the color brilliance. About 20% of viscose fibers are used in the nonwovens industry for wipes, tampons and medical gowns.
- Is Viscose a natural or a chemical Fiber?
Viscose is a man-made fiber made from cellulose (wood pulp). It has the same chemical composition as cotton.
- How do Viscose and Cotton compare to each other?
Cotton fibers are higher in strength than viscose, especially in the wet state. Viscose fibers have higher moisture retention, better color brilliance and a softer hand-feel than cotton.
- Can Viscose be mixed with other Fibers?
Viscose fibers are an ideal blending partner for a number of other fibers. In blends with synthetic fibers, viscose adds more comfort through higher moisture absorbance.
- In blends with cotton, viscose adds softness and color brilliance.
Is Viscose used only in cloth?
It is used in the following applications:
- Apparel: Accessories, blouses, dresses, jackets, lingerie, linings, millinery, slacks, sports shirts, sportswear, suits, ties, work clothes.
- Home Furnishings: Bedspreads, blankets, curtains, draperies, sheets, slipcovers, tablecloths, upholstery.
- Industrial Uses: Industrial products, medical surgical products, nonwoven products, tyre cord.
- Other Uses: Feminine hygiene products, baby wipes and kitchen wipes.
SPV will increase its fiber production capacity by 80,000 tons per year with the construction of line 5, which will operate by end of 2012. This addition capacity will increase SPV’s total production to 325,000 tons per year.
Further investment by the Lenzing Group to expand fiber production capacity at its Indonesian subsidiary PT. South Pacific Viscose
Due to the strong demand from the Indonesian textile industry for high-quality viscose fibers, the Lenzing Group, a world market leader in man-made cellulose fibers with its registered office in Austria, announced the immediate further expansion of its production capacity at PT. South Pacific Viscose (SPV), the company's main Asian production facility, located at Purwakarta, West Java.