A comparative study of wool fibre surface modified by physical and chemical methods

Chi Wai Kan, C. W.M. Yuen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The wool scale present on the fibre surface gives rise to certain unwanted effects such as felting and poor wettability in textile wet processing. In general practice, the removal of scale was done either by surface modification through physical/chemical degradation of scale or by deposition of a polymer on the scale. In modern treatment, combination of both methods is usually carried out. Since the deposition of a polymer on the fibre surface depends much on the surface characteristic of the fibre, therefore, the surface property of modified fibre is an important factor for polymer application. On the other hand, the surface modification methods may also result in improved hydrophilicity of fibre. The present paper investigated the surface physico-chemical properties of wool fibre under the influence of different surface modification treatments: (i) low temperature plasma (LTP) treatment with nitrogen gas and (ii) chlorination. The surface physico-chemical properties of the LTP-treated and chlorinated wool fibres were studied which included contact angle measurement with different solvents, determination of critical surface tension and surface free energy. Experimental results showed that these selected properties were altered after the surface modification treatments. In addition, a polymer was deposited in the treated wool fabrics and scanning electron microscope was used for assessing the surface morphology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-686
Number of pages6
JournalFibers and Polymers
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009


  • Chlorination
  • Plasma
  • Surface
  • Wool

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics

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