Project Summaries

11-813TX  Project Manager: J. M. Reeves


Mourad Krifa, University of Texas at Austin

This research evaluates the performance of selected Texas plains cottons with reference to ring spinning market benchmarks such as Acala cottons from California. The focus of the current phase of the research is on bales combining good length, strength, and length uniformity values (based on HVI classification) with low micronaire levels. Indeed, in previous phases of our research, we have shown that when micronaire levels are above 4.2 and when the same combinations of all other HVI fiber properties are available, cottons from the Texas plains tend to compare favorably with high quality market benchmarks. However, because of the sizeable variations in micronaire levels from season to season, such bales combining relatively high mike with superior levels of all other fiber properties may be rare in some seasons. Therefore, it is important to expand these results and evaluate the low micronaire range.

A range of commercial bales was selected from three classing offices in two different growth areas: Lamesa, Lubbock, and Visalia. The bales were first screened based on classing office data then confirmed and selected based on additional HVI measurements done on the same instrument. Therefore, the selected samples consist of fiber with exactly the same staple and the same micronaire values from both the Texas plains (Lamesa and Lubbock classing offices) and California (Visalia). The bales constituted 3 below-average micronaire groups (3.4, 3.6, and 3.8) in order to test the incidence of low micronaire on the cottons' use-value. Other properties were also selected to offer levels as close as possible. The selected bales were sampled thoroughly and tested for individual fiber properties, including fiber length distribution and maturity. The bales were then processed through spinning to produce 40 Ne carded yarn. The process was closely monitored using a rigorous sampling protocol to evaluate the impacts of each processing stage. Yarn quality was measured using evenness and strength testers.

The results indicate a bale origin micronaire interaction, whereby cottons we tested from the Texas plains in the low micronaire range tended to have a higher propensity to damage than their San Joaquin Valley counterparts. Bales with exactly the same properties (to the extent we can measure) but from the two different areas appeared to show different responses to low micronaire levels. In the range of bales we selected, the low micronaire levels tend to result in more short fibers and in overall more degraded length distribution in the bales from Texas, as compared to the Acala benchmark. The difference in behavior may be linked to the distinct processing histories of the bale (harvesting, ginning and lint cleaning). In addition, the results observed on spinning waste and on yarn quality reflect those observed on fiber properties, as degraded length distributions appeared to result in more spinning preparation waste and lower quality yarn.


Project Year: 2012

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