The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of the effect of CO2 laser technology on some physical and chemical properties of cotton-based fabrics. The cotton and cotton/polyester blended fabrics used in this study were treated with different combinations of laser processing parameters, i.e., resolution (52, 60 and 68 dpi) and pixel time (110, 120, 130 and 140 μs). After laser treatment, the surface structures of the fabric samples were evaluated by scanning electron microscope. It was confirmed that pores and cracks were formed on the laser-treated cotton fibres and their sizes varied with the change of laser processing parameters. However, the change occurring on cotton/polyester blended fabrics was found to be different such that the pores of cotton fibres were covered by the melted polyester with uneven flat regions being created. The results of fabric weight and fabric thickness revealed that laser treatment altered the weight of both cotton and cotton/polyester blended fabrics. However, the fabric thickness change of cotton/polyester blended fabrics was not steady when the laser processing parameters varied. Although laser treatment reduced the whiteness of both cotton and cotton/polyester blended fabrics, the whiteness was still acceptable. In addition, the laser processing parameter could affect the tensile strength of cotton and cotton/polyester blended fabrics. Surface chemical changes of cotton and cotton/polyester blended fabrics induced by laser irradiation were observed and analysed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The results revealed that the hydroxyl C–O was found disappeared and the ether –O– stretches were reduced in both types of fabrics. Finally, it was proved by the solubility test that during laser treatment, the cotton fibres would be etched away.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Polymers and Plastics