What is CELLULOSE FIBER? What does CELLULOSE FIBER mean? CELLULOSE FIBER meaning & explanation


Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.

Cellulose fibers are fibers made with ether or esters of cellulose, which can be obtained from the bark, wood or leaves of plants, or from a plant-based material. Besides cellulose, these fibers are compound of hemicellulose and lignin, and different percentages of these components are responsible for different mechanical properties observed.

The main applications of cellulose fibers are in textile industry, as chemical filter, and fiber-reinforcement composite, due to their similar properties to engineered fibers, being another option for biocomposites and polymer composites.

Cellulose fibers market has been witnessing strong growth over the past few years on account of increasing demand from textile industry. Growing environmental friendly, skin friendly and bio-degradable fabrics demand is the key factor, expected to drive the market by 2020.

Cellulose is a polymer made of repeating glucose molecules attached end to end. A cellulose molecule may be from several hundred to over 10,000 glucose units long. Cellulose is similar in form to complex carbohydrates like starch and glycogen. These polysaccharides are also made from multiple subunits of glucose. The difference between cellulose and other complex carbohydrate molecules is how the glucose molecules are linked together. In addition, cellulose is a straight chain polymer, and each cellulose molecule is long and rod-like. This differs from starch, which is a coiled molecule. A result of these differences in structure is that, compared to starch and other carbohydrates, cellulose cannot be broken down into its glucose subunits by any enzymes produced by animals.

Natural cellulose fibers are fibers that are still recognizable as being from a part of the original plant because they are only processed as much as needed to clean the fibers for use. For example, cotton fibers look like the soft fluffy cotton balls that they come from. Linen fibers look like the strong fibrous strands of the flax plant. All “natural” fibers go through a process where they are separated from the parts of the plant that are not used for the end product, usually through harvesting, separating from chaff, scouring, etc. The presence of linear chains of thousands of glucose units linked together allows a great deal of hydrogen bonding between OH groups on adjacent chains, causing them to pack closely into cellulose fibers. As a result, cellulose exhibits little interaction with water or any other solvent. Cotton and wood, for example, are completely insoluble in water and have considerable mechanical strength. Since cellulose does not have a helical structure like amylose, it does not bind to iodine to form a colored product.

Natural fibers are compose by microfibrils of cellulose in a matrix of hemicellulose and lignin. This type of structure, and the chemical composition of them is responsible for the mechanical properties that can be observed. Because the natural fibers make hydrogen bonds between the long chains, they have the necessary stiffness and strength.

Manufactured cellulose fibers come from plants that are processed into a pulp and then extruded in the same ways that synthetic fibers like polyester or nylon are made. Rayon or viscose is one of the most common “manufactured” cellulose fibers, and it can be made from wood pulp.

Post time: Jun-26-2017