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 Home | Chemicals | Fabpro | Page 19


Identification of Fibers

Burning tests as an aid to fiber identification

FiberPerformance at flameOdorResidue

to flame
in the flameWithdrawn
from flame

WoolShrinks awayBurns slowlySelf
Burning hairBrittle, swollen,
black ash
CottonNo effectBurns readilyContinues
to burn
Burning paperGray skeletal
NylonShrinks awayBurns slowly and meltsOften self
Odor of celery
Hard light-
colored bead
AcrylicShrinks awayBurns and
Continues to
burn and melt
black bead
Burns and
Burns and
Not definedHard round
bead, maybe
light brown

Solubility of Fibers

  1. Acetate soluble in acetic acid, acetone, formic acid and dimethylformamide.
  2. Acrylic soluble in dimethylformamide.
  3. Cotton & flax soluble in sulfuric acid.
  4. Nylon soluble(fiber disolves) in hydrochloric acid and formic acid.
  5. Polypropylene (olefin) soluble in m-xylene and cyclohexanone.
  6. Polyester soluble in m-cresol.
  7. Rayon soluble in sulfuric acid.
  8. Silk so]uble in sodium hypochlorite and sulfuric acid.
  9. Wool soluble in sodium hypochlorite (bleach).

Some procedures may involve heat, and some solvents are flammable. In such cases, use steam heat and extreme caution.

Spot Removal Procedures

Identification of the stain could save time and trouble in removal. Sources of identification are: owner's explanation, odor, general appearance of stain, penetration, location, buildup, hand or age.

Most carpet available today has been treated with stain-resistault treatment. Staining is influenced by many factors; no carpet is completely stain proof.

Pretest any spot removal agent in an inconspicuous area to make certain the solution will not damage the fiber or the dye. After applying several drops to the testing area, hold a white cloth on the wet area for ten seconds. Examine the carpet and the cloth for color transfer, color change, or damage to the carpet. If a change occurs, another cleaning solution should be selected.

Apply a small amount of the selected cleaning solution to the white cloth and work in gently. Work from the edges to prevent the spill from spreading. Do not scrub! Blot, absorbing as much as possible, anld repeat if necessary.

Continue using the first cleaning solution as long as there is a transfer of the spill to the cloth. It is not necessary to use all the cleaning solutions if the first solution removes the spill. Be patient! Complete removal of the spill may require repeating the same step several times.

After the spill has been completely removed, rinse the affected area thoroughly with cold water, and blot with a dry cloth until all of the solution has been removed. Some cleaning solutions will cause rapid resoiling if the solution is not completely removed.

Apply one-half inch layer of white paper towels to the affected area, and weigh down with a flat, heavy object. Continue to change paper towels as needed.

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