Lyocell fabrics were pretreated with NaOH, KOH and LiOH and subsequently crosslinked with three urea–formaldehyde based crosslinkers DMDHEU, DMeDHEU and DMU. The mechanical properties varied with the alkali concentration in fabrics crosslinked after pretreatment with 2–8 mol/l NaOH and 4 mol/l LiOH. In fabrics crosslinked after pretreatment with 2–8 mol/l KOH and 1–3 mol/l LiOH, in contrast, the mechanical properties were relatively insensitive to the alkali concentration. The difference in effects is attributed to the alkali influence on the accessibility of crosslinker in fiber structures. The NaOH and 4 mol/l LiOH pretreatments increase the accessibility of crosslinker but the KOH and 1–3 mol/l LiOH pretreatments do not appear to change accessibilities to the same extent. The results underscore the importance of alkali choice and process control in the pretreatments of lyocell. Both NaOH and KOH may be used to good effect. However, lyocell is more sensitive to changes of alkali concentration in NaOH treatments as compared to KOH pretreatments. Thus, the use of NaOH in pretreatments of lyocell will require a greater degree of monitoring and control of alkali concentrations as compared to when KOH is used.
Cellulose – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 26, 2017
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