Corn Fiber: A New Fiber on Horizon (Part-3)

Corn Fiber: A New Fiber on Horizon (Part-3)
Aditi Dhama
Satyam Fashion Institute, Noida, Delhi, India
Email: aaditidhama@gmail.com


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DYEING AND FINISHING OF CORN FIBER
Corn fiber dyed at 110-115 deg c as compaired to PET fiber which is dyed at 130-135 deg c. the individual dye shades are hypsochromic and brighter than on polyester fibre, show a greater variation in exhaustion levels. During last two years, major dye companies like dystar and Claraint have identified a range of Selected disperse dyes, showing good exhaustation and leveling /migration properties on corn fibres (like Disperse yellow 54, Disperse red 60, Dosperse blue 56 etc). Dystar has recently published an corn fibre coloration pack which gives comprehensive details about selected dyes and the processing parameters for corn fibre and blends. Corn fibre is generally sufficiently clean to only require a mild scour; still then to ensure the complete removal of spinning oils, fabric processing lubricants, etc. if a bleach treatment is to be used for dyeing bright pale shades, then a mild process as below is adequate Soda ash -3 gpl hydrogen peroxide (35%) -3ml/lit. stabilizer -.05 gpl run at 95 deg c for 30 mins hot wash –cold wash –neutralize. If a fabric is bleached then add optical whitener at 110 deg c. Like Disperse only selected optical whitener are used .the normal dyeing temperature is 119 deg c for 30 mins, but in dark shades the temperature is raised to 115 deg c to increase the colour depth and better exhaustion. But care should be taken not to give more hold time at high temperature which may lead to loss of fibre strength. Levelness of shade is not a problem in corn fibre dyeing. For light and medium shade slight soaping is required after dyeing process but in case of dark and heavy dark shades reduction cleaning is required . it may be follows; a. Alkali reduction clearing. b. Acid reduction clearing. Both the above processes have to be followed in such a way to avoid hydrolysis degradation. The process for alkali reduction clearing is: soda ash -2 gpl sodium hydrosulphite (hydros) -2 gpl run at 60 deg c for 15 minutes This leads to no significant change in shade and better wash fastness. But in acidic reduction clearing use cyloconon (ECO (BASF) -1-2 gpl at Ph 4-5) will give less fibre hydrolysis and is considered more environmentally positive. Wash and light fastness results tend to be slightly lower , compaired to the same shade on standard polyester.

BLENDING WITH CORN FIBRE 
 The most common blend is with cotton like cotton/corn 70/30. Besides corn fibre is also blended with wool and silk in various proportions. There is real potential of wool /corn fabric blends because not only of the positive environmental benefits, but also due to their compatible physical stretch and recovery properties .As fabrics in 100% Corn fibre and Corn fibre blends continue to be developed by the mills ,then similarly the amount of technical knowledge on spinning, dyeing and finishing is being expanded. Dyeing with Corn /cotton blends care should be taken of the potential cumulative hydrolysis effect due to high temperature alkaline conditions while bleaching and dyeing of cotton portion .so in such cases the cotton portions is bleached using TAED (tetra acetyl ethylene diamine) at a neutral or slightly acidic pH which leads to minimum hydrolysis degradation of the Corn fibre. Normally bifunctional and Vinly Sulphone reactive dyes are recommended for dyeing of cotton portion .An alternative process for dyeing cotton portion is to use after treated direct dyes. Such an application is done as a single stage all in dyeing . Direct dyes have the following advantage in dyeing Corn/Cotton blends a. they are not applied in dyeing an alkaline medium and therefore do not cause degradation. b. A shorter and straighter forward dye cycle. C. Good all round colour fastness including dark shades, using a cationic after treatment such as Sirius B (Dystar).
Fig: Corn fiber
PROPERTIES OF CORN FIBRE:
  • Corn fibre combines the quality of natural and synthetic fibres in a new way.
  • Strength and resilience are balanced with comfort, softness and drape in textiles.
  • Corn fibre is naturally flame retardant and good moisture management characteristics.
  • It has good stain resistance properties.
  • Corn fibre also use no chemical additives or surface treatments ,and is naturally flame retardant.
  • Corn fibre stain resistance properties make it an ideal carpet fibre for the home,the transportation.
  • The melting point is 170 deg c.
  • The heatsetting is done at 125-130 deg c for 30 second.
  • Hydrolysis degradation of the polymer will occur, particularly under combined aqueous high-temperature and alkaline conditions.
PLA has excellent physical and mechanical properties, forced it to become a good challenger candidate for substitution for petrochemical thermoplastics. The high price for PLA was hurdle which made its use to medical and specialty applications only, but recent breakthroughs in lactic acid fermentation technology have opened up possibilities for the production of PLA in bulk volumes also.

YARN MADE FROM CORN 
Yarns made from corn, such as Kollage yarn’s Corntastic or Bernat’s Cot’n Corn (a blend of corn and cotton fibers). To turn corn into yarn, manufacturers extract a plant sugar called dextrose from the plant fibers. (The image shown in figure11 is of a model of dextrose) .Next, they ferment the corn sugar and distil it, using the same process used to make beer, and then extract the lactic acid that is produced. The lactic acid forms a long chain, or polymer, called Polylactic Acid (PLA) .Once it is spun into yarn, PLA has a texture similar to cotton or even silk, depending on how it is spun, and it is less dense than cotton or wool, so it can be used for lighter weight garments.

QUALITY OF CORN FIBRE YARN 
Breathable yarn from corn fiber is similar to cotton in its appearance. More resilient than cotton, the knitted fabric is springier, resulting in a fluid drape. The corn fiber yarn may also be easier on the hands when knitting. Other properties include low odor retention, quick drying, and stains that do not set as easily as with cotton.

Corn yarns are perfect for lightweight, summer projects since their texture is similar to cotton while being less dense than cotton. knitted fabric had a "plump, elastic feel" despite the fiber not being stretchy. swatches softened with wear and that they pilled slowly.

FABRIC MADE FROM CORN
Kira is a durable, high-performance fabric that is made entirely from corn, a 100 percent renewable source. It's attention-getting, especially for customers who are committed to environmental responsibility. Kira can be composted, and it contains no petroleum products. A fabric Kira is available in six colors and can be used on systems panels and Ethospace tiles, as well as flipper doors, tackboards, and screens. it can be turned into compost that can help grow crops, Kira fabric has a "closed loop" life cycle, as depicted in this graphic. To make compost, Kira is mixed with sawdust and organic material and then heated to 140 degrees. The process takes just three day. 

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