Mercerizing Finishing process | Effect of Mercerization | Factors of Mercerization

Mercerization is a finishing treatment of cotton with a strong caustic alkaline solution in order to improve the luster, hard and other properties, was names after its discoverer, John Mercer, and has been in use for sometime. It has been seeing an increase in application recently.

Mercerizing process
Fig: Mercerizing process
Effect of Mercerization:
  1. Improve Luster.
  2.  Increase ability to absorb dye.
  3.  Improve reaction with a verity of chemicals.
  4.  Improve stability of form.
  5.  Improve strength/elongation.
  6.  Improve smoothness.
  7.  It has been shown that the increase in the luster occurs because of an effect.
  8.  The cotton fiber do convoluted.
  9.  The cross-sectional shape changes.
Factors of Mercerizing:
In mercerizing followings are important:
  1. Twaddle
  2. Temperature
  3. Tension
  4. Time
(1) Twaddle (Concentration of NaOH):  
If the concentration of NaOH is increased above 56oTw improvement in luster will be attained but if it is decrease below 48o Tw. The quality of luster will begin to be adversely affected.

(2) Temperature:
High degree of luster is attained at temperature 18-20oC. As the temperature is increased the quality of luster is adversely affected but on lowering the temperature no improvement in the luster is obtained.

(3) Tension:  
For acquiring better luster the material must be stretch to its original dimension (both in warp and weft direction during mercerization). If the material is allowed to shrink during mercerizing then quality of luster will be impaired on the other hand if the material is stretched more no improvement in luster is achieved.

(4) Time:  
The optimum time for mercerizing is 30-60 seconds by increasing the duration of time no applicable improvement in the quality of mercerization can be achieved but if the time limit is less than 30 seconds in the quality of mercerization will be improved.  
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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant and researcher on online business promotion. He is working with one European textile machinery company as a country agent. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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