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Polyvinyl Alcohol

Celvol™ Polyvinyl Alcohol for

Textile Warp Sizing

Celanese Chemicals
A business of Celanese AG
Celvol™ Polyvinyl Alcohol for Textile Warp Sizing
Textiles is a major end use market Advantages of PVOH in at levels as low as one-third that of
for Celvol polyvinyl alcohol. While Warp Sizing starch. Operating conditions in each
the primary end use for PVOH in mill will control the degree of starch
Polyvinyl alcohol is the most widely
textiles is warp sizing, other replacements. Since the lower add on
used textile warp sizing composition.
applications include hand builders will take up less space on the yarn,
It is an excellent film former provid-
for fabric finishing and adhesives for it will contribute to improved weav-
ing a protective coating for spun and
screen printing. ability, particularly on high sley
filament yarn. Its tough film, how-
styles. In addition, lower add-ons
Overview ever, is easily removed (desized)
will lead to several other benefits:
Historically, the value of a warp with hot water. Features of polyvinyl
alcohol warp sizing include superior: • Reduces size handling in the
sizing material has been related to its
slasher room
effectiveness in protecting yarns • Abrasion resistance
• More yards on each beam
from breakage due to the forces of • Adhesion to synthetic fibers
• Fewer slasher doffs
weaving. During the weaving • Flexibility/elongation
• Freight savings on greige cloth
process, the yarns are subjected to • Strength
three basic physical stresses. These • User friendly slashing
• Less size to remove at desizing,
are stretch, strain and abrasion. performance
fewer chemicals to process in
Although these forces exist in vary- These features have led to improved waste treatment
ing proportions depending upon the warp sizing performance.
type of loom and the fabric styling, Less Shed
all three are forces that must be con- Improved Weavability The excellent abrasion resistance and
sidered in all cases. The abrasion resistance, elasticity adhesion of polyvinyl alcohol to
Therefore, the ideal sizing material and toughness of yarn sized with synthetic fibers means less shedding
would produce a smooth, tough, polyvinyl alcohol will lead to on the slasher and in the weave
elastic film which would adhere to reductions in warp stop levels. This room. Since the electronic loom
the yarn. Smooth to minimize is particularly true on spun polyester controls are adversely affected by
friction and abrasion. Tough to blends where starch does not provide shed, less shed will have favorable
endure the load or strain. Elastic to the required protection. Polyvinyl impact on loom operation. It will
allow flexibility and sufficient alcohol will also increase the also minimize amount of yarn lost as
stretch. weaving efficiency of 100% cotton waste. An additional benefit is
The broad Celvol product line allows fabrics woven on high-speed looms. reduction in labor required for
us to select the optimum grade rather Low Add-On cleaning.
than a compromise grade for your
Yarns sized with polyvinyl alcohol Lower Weave Room
operation. Partially hydrolyzed
grades are rapidly becoming the
can run at lower add-ons because of Humidity
the adhesion and strength advantage The inherent flexibility of films of
most widely used polyvinyl alcohols
polyvinyl alcohol provides over polyvinyl alcohol resins eliminates
for warp sizing in the world.
natural binders. It can be effective the need for high relative humidity

in the weave room. Humidities of Excellent Size Stability conditions in the slashing and
65-75% are recommended. Polyvinyl alcohol solutions are preparation areas. Size waste due to
Reduction in humidity should be thermally stable and can be spoilage is eliminated, and resistance
done at a maximum rate of two maintained for longer periods of time of greige goods to rot and mildew is
percentage points every five days to at elevated temperatures. This means increased.
acclimate loom parts and facilitate that a major problem with starch –
shed removal via vacuum, resulting
viscosity change on aging – is
in a cleaner weave room. It will Polyvinyl alcohols are widely
provide more comfortable working reclaimed and reused for sizing.
conditions and lengthen the life of Resistance to Spoilage Effluent levels from the finishing
loom parts subject to corrosion. Polyvinyl alcohol solutions are plant can be reduced, leading to
generally resistant to spoilage under improved compliance with local
environmental standards. Sizing cost
TABLE 1 can be decreased via reduced
Hydrolysis Effect on Performance consumption of virgin polyvinyl
Rating Scale: 1 = Good; 2 = Better; 3 = Best
Fully Intermediately Partially Choosing a Celvol Grade
Hydrolyzed Hydrolyzed Hydrolyzed Grade selection is dependent on
Yarn Type many variables including yarn type
100% Cotton 1 1 2 and requirements for size prepara-
Cotton-Polyester Blends 1 2 3 tion, slashing, weaving and finishing
Wool 1 2 3 (Table 1).
Rayon 1 2 3
Acrylic 1 2 3 Super Hydrolyzed Grades
Polypropylene 1 2 3 All super hydrolyzed grades have
Nylon-Cotton Blends 1 2 3 99.3% minimum hydrolysis. These
Fiberglass 1 2 3
grades have the highest water
Size Preparation resistance, strength and abrasion
Dusting - - - - - - - - - - - Equal - - - - - - - - - - - resistance. However, since their high
Resin Solubility 1 2 3
water resistance can result in
Viscosity Stability - - - - - - - - - - - Equal - - - - - - - - - - -
potential desize problems, they are
Lumping Avoidance 3 2 1
generally not recommended for warp
sizing. They also tend to gel when
Ease of Split 1 2 3
their solutions are stored over long
Low Temperature Sizing 1 2 3
Hard Size Elimination 1 2 3 periods.
Foaming 3 2 1 Fully Hydrolyzed Grades
High Pressure Squeeze - - - - - - - - - - - Equal - - - - - - - - ---
These non-gelling grades have a 98.0
to 98.8% hydrolysis. Ease of prepa-
Abrasion Resistance 1 2 3
Shedding Resistance 1 2 3 ration is a primary benefit for fully
hydrolyzed grades which exhibit
minimal tendency to lump or foam.
Desizability 1 2 3
Recoverability - - - - - - - - - - - Equal - - - - - - - - - - - Fully hydrolyzed grades are used for
Environmental - - - - - - - - - - - Equal - - - - - - - - - - -

Celvol PVOH Grades for Warp Sizing
Grade Hydrolysis, % Viscosity, cps Comment
Celvol 325 98.0-98.8 28-32 Exhibits minimal tendency to foam and lump when cooked.
Used with starch for preparing fabrics containing 100%
cotton yarns and reverse blend fabrics containing high levels
of cotton. Preferred product for ground and pile warps and
Celvol 425 95.5-96.5 27-31 Balance of properties which lie between fully and partially
hydrolyzed grades. Improved adhesion to polyester and
other synthetic fibers versus Celvol 325.
Celvol 418 91.0-93.0 14.5-19.5 Best overall balance of properties for warp sizing.
Significantly stronger than CMC and acrylic binders, with
outstanding adhesion to both natural and synthetic fibers.
Easily removed with hot water in the desize process.
Celvol 523 87.0-89.0 23-27 The acetate groups on the polymer chain provide superior
adhesion to polyester and other synthetic fibers. Costly
liquid binders, added to promote adhesion, are not required
with Celvol 523. Provides best weaving and desizing
performance. However, must add a defoamer to the size
formulation to control foaming.
Celvol WS724 91.0-95.5 13-24 Similar in performance to Celvol 418. Product contains a
defoamer to control foaming.
Celvol WS53NF 86.0-90.0 18.5-29.0 Similar in performance to Celvol 523. Product contains a
defoamer to control foaming.

preparing fabrics containing 100% cotton yarns and hydrolyzed products. Conversion to a partially
reverse blend fabrics containing high levels of cotton. hydrolyzed grade generally leads to optimum weavability
Celvol 325 polyvinyl alcohol, in particular, is a preferred and desizability. Celvol 523 polyvinyl alcohol is the
product for ground and pile warps and toweling. “workhorse” product of the Celvol product line.
Intermediate Hydrolyzed Grades Celvol 418
These grades have a 95.5 to 97.5% hydrolysis range. Celvol 418 is the newest grade of polyvinyl alcohol
Celvol 425 polyvinyl alcohol offers a balance of proper- developed specifically for warp sizing (Table 2). It is
ties which lie in between fully and partially hydrolyzed significantly stronger than CMC and acrylic binders
grades. It provides improved adhesion to polyester and to typically used in warp size, and it gives outstanding
other synthetic fibers. adhesion to natural and synthetic fibers. Some of the
greatest benefits of Celvol 418 come in the finishing area
Partially Hydrolyzed Grades – the product is easily removed with hot water, and like
Partially hydrolyzed polyvinyl alcohols have an 87.0 to all polyvinyl alcohol grades, it is 100 percent biodegrad-
90.0% hydrolysis range. The acetate groups on the poly- able.
mer chain provide superior adhesion to polyester and
Typical properties of Celvol 418 polyvinyl alcohol are
other synthetic fibers. Costly liquid binders, added to
91-93% hydrolysis and 14.5-19.5 cps (4% solution
promote adhesion, are unnecessary with partially

Yarn Type readily wash off in warm water (80- split which minimizes disruption to
All grades are commonly used to 120 °F). the size film and, consequently,
size spun yarns of 100% cotton and Lower viscosity partially hydrolyzed reduces yarn hairiness and decreases
cotton-polyester blends. Partially grades are used for sizing of filament the number of ends out of lease. In
hydrolyzed grades, due to their yarn, including fiberglass. addition, the easier split in combina-
increased adhesion to synthetic fibers tion with the improved adhesion of
Slashing partially hydrolyzed grades will
(Table 3), are preferred for sizing of
yarns containing rayon, nylon, Compared with fully hydrolyzed result in less shed on the slasher.
acrylic and polypropylene fibers. grades, partially hydrolyzed grades Solutions of partially hydrolyzed
These products are also the favored exhibit weaker tensile strength grades can be run at lower tempera-
size for 100% wool or woolen blend (Figure 1). tures (130 °F-170 °F, depending on
fabrics, since, with the use of a water A weaker tensile strength is advanta- the type of wax and its melt point),
soluble synthetic lubricant, they geous as it leads to an easier yarn thus saving energy as well as

Adhesion to Synthetic Films*(g/mm2) Polyvinyl Alcohol Film Tensile
as a Function of Hydrolysis*
Film Partially Hydrolyzed Fully Hydrolyzed
Acetate 10.0 2.0 8000
Nylon 6 11.0 6.0
Acrylic 9.0 4.0 HYDROLIZED

Polyester 7.0 1.0 7000


*Medium viscosity polyvinyl alcohol; films conditioned at

65° R. H., 20 °C. Reference: C. A. Finch


88 90 92 94 96 98 100
* Tensiles determined on Instron Tester:!
1.7 mil dry film thickness equilibrated to 73 ºF at 50% RH

creating a safer and more comfort- occur, it can be controlled via addi- • Lower loom stop levels
able work environment for the slash- tion of a defoamer. Contact your • Less shedding
er operator. Squeeze roll laps can be local Celanese representative if • Lower add-ons
cut properly without fear of being assistance is needed in this area. • Fewer warp related filling stops
scalded by hot size. Other advan- due to less hairy yarn
tages of low temperature sizing
includes: All polyvinyl alcohols can enhance
the weavability of yarns by providing a) Desize – In the production of
• Fewer slasher breakouts woven cloth, ease of size removal in
• Alleviation of skin formation an excellent protective coating. The
abrasion resistance of the partially finishing is equally as important as
• Elimination of hard size and stop in slashing and weaving. Films of
marks hydrolyzed products is superior to
that of the fully hydrolyzed products partially hydrolyzed polyvinyl
• Reduction of stretch on yarns alcohols dissolve more readily than
(Figure 2). This advantage in combi-
Partially hydrolyzed grades may nation with their adhesion advantage those of fully hydrolyzed grades,
foam more than fully hydrolyzed will enhance weavability via: even when exposed to heat set
products. If increased foaming does conditions (Figure 3). Fully

Film Solubility Rate for Films
Heat Set at 400 °F for 30 Seconds
Abrasion Resistance of Polyvinyl Alcohol
Sized Yarn (8.5% Add-On) 1000






130 150 170 190


hydrolyzed grades will crystalize with 180 °F water. However, as the expected with partially hydrolyzed
(“line up”) under heat set conditions, desizing temperature is decreased, it polyvinyl alcohol, as there is less
causing increased hydrogen bonding becomes more difficult to remove the risk of residual size in fabric and its
(Figure 4). This is a tightly bound fully hydrolyzed product. Complete resulting adverse impact on dyeabili-
structure which will resist penetra- removal of partially hydrolyzed ty.
tion of water. products from cloth has been demon- b) Recovery – Although all polyvinyl
The bulky acetate groups present on strated in laboratory tests at tempera- alcohol products can be reclaimed
partially hydrolyzed products will tures as low as 80 °F (without wax). for reuse in the greige mill, partially
minimize crystalization and conse- In addition to energy savings via low hydrolyzed grades are more easily
quent hydrogen bonding forces. The temperature desizing, usage of par- removed from the fabric and higher
improved film solubility advantage is tially hydrolyzed grades can lead to solids are attainable in the desize
readily translated to advantages in reductions by as much as 50% in feed solution to the ultra-filtration
cloth (Figure 5). Both partially and water overflow rates. The later bene- unit. Thus, there is a reduction in
fully hydrolyzed grades are readily fit will translate into decreased cost time required to reach the desired
removed from polyester/cotton cloth for effluent disposal and water usage. concentrate solids level.
Improved fabric quality can also be

Hydrogen Bonding of Polyvinyl Alcohol
! Removal of Polyvinyl Alcohol from PE/C
Cloth Heat Set at 400 °F for 60 Seconds




CH3 CH3 CH3 !



120 140 160 180 200


Size Formulation In addition, waxes can be difficult to Antistats
Additives remove and, consequently, residual Antistats are needed with starch-
wax in desized fabric can lead to containing formulations to minimize
“Simpler is better” is a good general
significant quality problems. Hence, static on warp yarns. Generally, they
rule of thumb for selecting a size
caution is recommended when are not needed with 100% polyvinyl
formulation. For many applications,
choosing a wax level. To ensure alcohol sizes. Antistats function as
polyvinyl alcohol and wax will
efficient desizing, it is important to humectants, helping to retain
provide the optimal sizing perform-
select a wax that contains an moisture in the film while
ance. In some formulations, other
effective emulsifier. The emulsifier simultaneously plasticizing the film.
ingredients are added to reduce
will act to prevent the wax from Commonly used antistats include
costs, facilitate processing or
redepositing back on the fabric urea, ethylene glycol and glycerol.
improve final product properties. The
during desizing. Your Celanese Recommended level is 3-7% based
most common modifiers are waxes,
representative will be happy to assist on weight of the film former.
starches, antistats and defoamers.
in determining your requirements for
Brief overviews of some of these Defoamers
type and level of wax.
additives are provided below. For
additional information, contact your Starch Size solutions can exhibit foam due
Celanese representative. to a variety of reasons, including
Starch is primarily used as an water quality, spin finishes, chemical
Waxes extender for polyvinyl alcohol to additives, and type of polyvinyl
reduce formulation cost. Occasion- alcohol and starch. Low levels of
Several reasons are often cited for
ally, it is used to weaken size film. foam are desirable to prevent skin-
the inclusion of wax in a size
Compared to polyvinyl alcohol, starch: ning in the size box, particularly
• Demonstrates poorer adhesion to during creep speed. However,
• Reduce dryer can sticking
synthetic fibers additional defoamer is sometimes
• Weaken film for easier split
• Requires a longer cooking cycle required to control the level. The
• Minimize clinging on looms
at higher temperatures recommended level is 0.25-1.00%
• Improve lubrication for the size
• Exhibits more shedding on based on weight of the film former.
slasher and loom
The most commonly used waxes are
• Requires higher add-on levels
unmodified hydrogenated tallow Recommended Defoamers
glycerides (HTG). Modified waxes Many types of starch are used for
warp sizing, ranging from the low Product Manufacturer
are also available which enhance Foamblast 338 Ross Chemical
specific performance attributes (e.g., cost pearl (unmodified) starch to the
highly modified starch ethers Harcross Harcross
dispersibility, antisticking, removal, H-116FG Chemical
etc.) for wax in size formulations. (e.g., hydroxyethylated, carboxy-
methylated, etc.). Although the latter Ultra 123E Ultra Additives
The recommended level is 5-10%,
products are more expensive, they and 123F
based on the weight of the film for-
mer (e.g., polyvinyl alcohol). are preferred for blending with
polyvinyl alcohol. They exhibit Binders
Excessive use of waxes can Liquid binders have been used
greater compatibility with polyvinyl
adversely affect the size film, predominantly to improve adhesion
alcohol, less tendency to shed, and
causing: of formulations based on starch
increased viscosity stability.
• Poor adhesion and/or fully hydrolyzed polyvinyl
• Brittleness alcohol. They are not required for
• Roughness partially hydrolyzed polyvinyl
• Decreased abrasion resistance alcohols which possess superior
adhesion to synthetic fibers. Two

major types of binders are polyester
and polyacrylic solutions (~25% TABLE 4
solids). Binder films are somewhat Suggested Starting Formulations
tacky and care should be taken to Toweling
minimize sticking on the slasher. Oxford Sportswear Percale (Ground
Shirting Sheeting Warp)
Size Formulations Fiber 40:60 P/ C 50:50 P/R 50:50 P/C 100% Cotton
Several starting formulations are Yarn Count 42/1 20/1 35/1 10/1
shown in Table 4. Water, starting gal.* 200 220 215-285 325
Celvol, pounds 300 150 300 350
The solids in the base formulation Wax, pounds 24 23 27 35
can be adjusted to increase or Solids (%) 14 6 10-13 10
decrease add-on. Contact your Add-On (%) 12-15 7-9 10-15 13-16
Celanese representative for a size
formulation designed to meet your P = Polyester, C = Cotton, R = Rayon
specific requirements. *Starting water volume depends on cooking set-up. Finished gallons should be
measured to achieve desired solids level.
Although specific slashing equip- apart. The resultant shedding and of the yarn. For ring spun polyester-
ment and conditions will vary from clinging in the loom causes end cotton blend yarn, spacing should
mill to mill, there are some basic breaks, formation of “fuzz-balls,” not be less than 1.5 times the yarn
guidelines which are applicable to and production of seconds. For air- diameter. For open end yarn, recom-
most slashing operations. Several jet weaving this will cause warp mended number of ends per inch is
“rules of thumb” are present in this related filling spots. 10% less than that for ring spun
section for your reference. To avoid overcrowding in the size yarn of comparable count.
Warp Density/Sley box, spacing should not exceed the Maximum warp density for
recommended maximum warp individual yarn counts is shown
Overcrowding of yarns in the size
density. For ring spun 100% cotton in Table 5.
box is a major source of quality and,
yarn, spacing between adjacent ends To determine maximum ends per
consequently, weaving problems for
should not be less than the diameter size box, multiply the recommended
slashed warps. If warp ends are too
closely packed, there may be
insufficient space between ends to TABLE 5
allow adequate size liquid Maximum Warp Density Vs. Yarn Count
circulation. Only the top and bottom
of the yarns will be wet, resulting in Maximum Ends/Inch in Size Box
Yarn Count Ring Spun Open End
continuous liquid contact between
adjacent ends during the drying 10 35 31
20 50 45
process. As a result, a tough adhesive
25 56 50
film forms across the entire sheet of 30 62 56
warp yarns. When the dry size film 35 66 60
splits, any tangled fibers will be torn 40 71 64
50 80 72

maximum ends/inch by actual Size Box Temperature ridges and other imperfections.
distance between the flanges on the The size box temperature is important Sticking sometimes occurs on worn
section beam. Use more spacing than for controlling viscosity of the size coatings. If this happens, the addition
calculated from this formula for solution. Temperature also affects the of a small amount of release agent to
excessively hairy yarns. ability of the size to wet the fibers. the size formulation will eliminate
High temperatures may cause sticking. Since most release agents
Concentration ( % Solids) act as humectants, their use is not
polyvinyl alcohol to form skin, causing
The concentration of size is a critical recommended except in emergency
hard size formation when the slasher
determinant of size add-on for yarn. conditions.
is stopped or is in creep speed. The
Add-on can be easily increased or In Table 6 a conversion chart is
recommended temperature range is
decreased by adjusting the solids in provided for determining drying can
160-185 °F.
the size formulation. Since evaporation temperature from steam pressure
losses may occur during slashing, Squeeze Roll reading. The first drying can should
particularly in creep speed operation, Squeeze roll pressure can be adjusted be operated at a relatively low
solids should be continually moni- to change size wet pick up (WPU) temperature (250-270 °F, 121-132 °C)
tored in the size box. Solids can be but the preferred method of adjusting to avoid sticking with the resultant
measured with the refractometer. WPU is to change the solution film formation on the drying cylinders.
Viscosity concentration. Roll pressure can vary This film could damage the sizing on
from 10-50 psi. In addition to the yarn. As a cautionary note, too
One of the most critical variables in
pressure, the hardness of roll, the low a temperature can also lead to
sizing is viscosity. A properly sized
weight of roll and the composition of sticking.
warp will have size completely
roll will affect WPU. Drying temperatures are limited by
encapsulating (360°) the yarn surface
to hold down loose fibers. Internal Drying fiber drying characteristics. In
penetration must be sufficient general, drying can temperatures
Slasher cans should be coated with
(15-25%) to anchor the size film to should be set at the minimum
fluorinated resin and be free of burrs,
the surface of the yarn. Too low a required to dry the yarn to the
size viscosity allows liquid to
penetrate too deeply into the yarn.
Too high a viscosity will not allow TABLE 6
sufficient penetration to anchor the Saturated Steam Pressure/Temperature Conversion Table
size. If ends are tightly packed in the Temp. Temp.
size box, viscosity should be lowered °F °C PSIG °F °C PSIG
to improve penetration. Because of 212 100 0 310 154 63
considerable differences between 220 104 3 320 160 75
slashing operations, the range for 230 110 6 330 166 88
viscosity is too broad for a definitive
240 116 10 340 171 103
recommendation. However, the
250 121 15 350 177 120
importance of maintaining con-
260 127 21 360 182 138
sistency in viscosity cannot be over-
emphasized. Viscosity can be checked 270 132 27 370 188 159
with a Zahn cup. The size of the cup 280 138 35 380 193 181
should be chosen to allow for the 290 143 43 390 199 206
entire liquid to flow from the cup in 300 150 52 400 204 233
7-15 seconds.

desired moisture content, normally done by using a fugitive tint in a breaking strength, elongation and
5-8%. Automatic control is spray bottle to mark the warp just as hairiness of sized yarns to the
recommended. it comes out of the size box at unsized yarns. It is very important to
When using multiple size boxes, the normal speed. The mark could also obtain an unsized sample that is
ends from each box should be dried be used in conjunction with the most representative of the sized yarn
separately before coming together. yardage clock to measure the sample being taken.
This prevents cementing when sheets distance the yarn travels from the To ensure consistency in yarn test
join, insuring an easy yarn break at size box to the sample point. This results, yarn testing is conducted in
the bust-rods. measurement would allow constant temperature and humidity
calculations of the deceleration environments.
Stretch necessary to avoid having to unwrap
Yarn stretch can vary from 1-6%, the warp beam for proper sampling. Desize Testing
depending on loom and yarn. For An alternative method of sampling is By far the test performed most
polyester-cotton fiber blends, the to obtain a single end sample while frequently is called “desize” or
recommended stretch is 1-1.5%. the slasher is running. While the removal of size from the yarn to
The recommended stretch is higher full-width sample is necessary to determine the amount applied or
(3-5%) for rayon and acrylic yarns. compensate for yarn variability in “add-on” based on weight percent.
A uniform stretch from section beam most tests, it has been found that The major considerations naturally
to section beam throughout the warp yarn hairiness measurements are less conflict, one to apply enough size to
must be maintained. variable. The single end sampling ensure adequate performance on the
technique makes yarn hairiness loom and the other to use as little
Leasing size as possible in order to minimize
testing more convenient by
Good leasing requires separation of eliminating the need for tying costs.
adjacent ends without damaging the successive ends together to obtain The desize test is also a useful tool
size coating or the yarn. Nicks, sufficient sample length. in measuring the consistency from
scratches and burrs on lease rods can shift to shift of slashing operations,
affect split. A critical part of sampling that is
often overlooked is the unsized yarn and the uniformity of size applica-
Size Yarn Analysis and sample. The quality of the unsized tion from side-to-side on the slasher.
Testing yarn weighs heavily in the perform- Figure 6 displays an example of
ance of sized yarn. For this reason, side-to-side variation in size add-on.
Sampling typical evaluations compare the The desize test results can be used to
Yarn testing results are only as good
as the sample taken. Probably the
most common source of erroneous
Illustration of Side-to-Side Add-on Variation
yarn analysis data is inconsistent or
irrelevant sampling techniques. The 2.0
most convenient place to obtain a
yarn sample for testing is at the end
of the warp as it comes from the 1.0
slasher. Depending upon the rate of
deceleration of the slasher and the
distance the yarn travels from the 0.0
size box to the sample point, the
sample taken may have come
through the slasher at full speed, -1.0
creep speed or anywhere in between.
The only way to be certain that the
sample is representative of the trial is -2.0
to assure that it is taken at normal SAMPLES, LEFT TO RIGHT
running speed. This can easily be VARIATION FROM MEAN

detect changes in running conditions needed in the laboratory will depend comparing results. Running duplicate
and mechanical problems, and to on the origin of the fiber, the type of tests on all samples is good practice,
measure the effects of changes in sizing material used, and the type of and a series of tests should be
raw yarn, size formulations, desizing equipment used. In the performed and analyzed following
machinery and styling on size usage. cases where methods were developed mechanical or formulation changes
Size add-on is expressed as the to simulate actual mill conditions, in order to verify initial results. To
percent by weight of dry sizing construction of the woven fabric is assure the quality of results, a control
material added to the dry unsized also a factor. limit should be in place to require
yarn. Figure 7 contains a flow chart Depending on the test method used, repeat testing if the difference in
illustrating the steps leading to the error within the method can cause as duplicate results is above that limit.
“% add-on” calculation. much as 1% difference in results. At Celanese, we use a control limit
This should be considered when of 0.6%.
Specific laboratory procedures for
desizing vary greatly between
laboratories, since most procedures
were handed down from individual
Percent Add-On Calculation Steps
mills where tests were developed to
meet specific needs or to simulate
actual mill desize operations. A = Weight of Sized Sample
Table 7 lists various desizing chemi- B = Weight of Unsized Sample
cals used and their applications. The CA,B = Weight of Sample A,B After Extraction
severity of the desizing conditions S = Sized Yarn, % Extractables = A - CA x 100
TABLE 7 U = Unsized Yarn, % Extractables = B - CB x 100
Common Laboratory B
Desize Chemicals
Hydrolyzed PVOH

% Added Size
Sodium Oils, Waxes

Hydroxide =S-U

Starch % Size Content

 % Size Add-On
Solvents Oils, Waxes = S - U x 100 = S - U x 100
Wetting Agents Speed Desize 100 - U 100 - S
Peroxide PVOH

Near Infrared Analysis
Once a desize analysis history is Before and After Add-on Index Comparison
developed for a customer, Near
Infrared Reflectance Analysis can be ADD-ON INDEX FOR!
used to generate a calibration model SIZE BOX #2 BEFORE CORRECTION
to convert testing from the typical 2.0
wet desize method to a Near-Infrared
scanning test. This speeds results and 1.5

minimizes test error. 1.0

Using the Near-Infrared technique,
Celanese developed the “Add-On
Index” to measure actual add-on 0.0
variability in the size box. This
method can detect several
mechanical problems and squeeze -1.0
roll imperfections which may escape
detection using standard nip
impression or side-center-side wet -2.0
desize analysis. Figure 8 shows SAMPLES, LEFT TO RIGHT
Add-on Index results before and
after correction of a problem.
The test requires a full-width, ADD-ON INDEX FOR!
running speed sample from each box SIZE BOX #2 AFTER CORRECTION
on the slasher. Because of the speed
of the Near-Infrared scanning
technique, the full-width sample can 1.5
be tested at three-inch intervals over
the width of the sample. 1.0

For example, instead of three data 0.5

points from a typical side-center-side
wet desize analysis, the Add-on
Index would provide 40 data points -0.5
per size box on 120-inch warps.
Size Application Quality -1.5
Once the amount of size applied has
been quantified, it is important to 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
determine the location of the size in
and around the yarn structure. This
can be done by selectively staining VARIATION FROM MEAN

the sizing material on a cross-

sectional cut taken from the sized the same time. The advantage of mechanical bonding. Therefore, size
yarn and using a standard the standard microscope is its application quality is a combination
microscope. An alternative but more practicality. of two parameters: size encapsula-
expensive method is electron The sizing material should provide a tion and size penetration.
microscopy. The advantage of the smooth coating around the yarn Size encapsulation is a measure of
electron microscope is that a large surface and penetrate the yarn the degree of encirclement of the
number of yarns can be evaluated at bundle enough to achieve good size around the yarn bundle. When

the sizing material completely
surrounds the yarn, the measurement FIGURE 9
would be 360 degrees or complete Illustration of Size Penetration and Encapsulation
encapsulation, which is believed to
be the ideal condition for optimum DEGREES OF !
abrasion resistance and weaving
performance. 360º!
Size penetration is evaluated by 0
measuring the distance the sizing
material has penetrated into the yarn
bundle as a proportion of the yarn
radius. A good general range for YARN! 100 270º! 90º!
optimum size penetration would be
15-25%. The poor mechanical
bonding resulting from low size
penetration could lead to poor
abrasion resistance and excessive 180º!
shedding on the loom. Conversely,
excessive penetration of sizing could the test results. Figure 9 gives an unsized yarn, care must also be taken
result in yarns that are too brittle or illustration of the determination of to avoid premature stress on the
stiff to weave on the loom. size penetration and encapsulation yarn, which would increase breaking
To make a cross-section, the sized values. Figure 10 is an actual cross- strength and decrease elongation.
yarn sample is first embedded in a sectional photograph showing the The application of sizing to raw yarn
polyamide resin using a bullet mold. stained sizing material. will normally decrease the coefficient
The embedded sample is then of variability (COV) of the yarn.
placed on the cutting stage of an
Single End Tensile Tests
OR/Reichert microtome and cut with As stated earlier, breaking strength
and elongation at break for a sized FIGURE 10
a stainless steel blade. Sample
yarn sample are normally compared Actual Cross-Section Photograph
thicknesses vary from 15 to 30
with respective data from a matching Showing Stained Size
microns depending on the coarseness
and fiber content of the yarn. Several unsized yarn sample. Instron tensile
ends from each yarn sample are strength and elongation are deter-
tested, and the cross-sections are mined on a random sampling of 40
selectively stained using boric acid ends each from the unsized and sized
and iodine. The yarn cross-section is samples.
divided into the four quadrants of a Care must be taken in handling the
circle. Each cross-section quadrant is unsized yarn to avoid loss of twist
evaluated for size penetration and prior to testing, which would affect
encapsulation utilizing computer test results. For this reason, unsized
measurement software. The quad- yarns are taped in place at each end
rants from all cross-sections for a of the appropriate test length prior to
given sample are then averaged for testing. For both the sized and the

Table 8 shows an example of the
Instron output after 20 ends are tested.
Typical Strength and Elongation Results
This data should be reviewed and
qualified in two ways. First, the Sample Number Peak Load GF Peak Strain % SP
COV for the sized yarn should be 1 394.3 7.434 BK
lower than the COV for the unsized 2 360.6 7.872 BK
yarn, If not, the test should be 3 397.7 8.296 BK
repeated. In Table 8, the COV for 4 482.8 9.081 BK
sized yarn breaking strength is 11%. 5 396.2 7.620 BK
6 374.7 7.656 BK
If the unsized sample were tested,
7 461.7 8.674 BK
we would expect a COV above 11%. 8 336.8 6.535 BK
Second, the maximum and minimum 9 454.9 8.756 BK
values should be reviewed. A general 10 376.3 7.153 BK
rule of thumb is that a result should 11 478.5 8.599 BK
be disregarded if it lies more than 12 361.0 6.834 BK
one standard deviation unit outside 13 374.7 7.375 BK
the rest of the sample population. In 14 361.9 7.375 BK
15 355.4 5.502 BK
the case of Table 8, the data is
16 358.2 7.592 BK
acceptable. 17 360.6 7.196 BK
It is important to note that it is 18 402.6 8.385 BK
generally expected for yarns to lose 19 419.7 7.588 BK
elongation during the sizing operation 20 421.3 8.465 BK
due to stretching while the yarn is
wet. For ring-spun yarns, as much as Mean 396.5 7.704
30% of the original elongation may N 20. 20.
STD 43.61 .8576
be lost during normal sizing opera-
COV .1100 .1113
tions. Generally, elongation loss MIN 336.8 5.502
exceeding 30% usually warrants MAX 482.8 9.081
better stretch control on the slasher.
However, open-spun-yarns and air- to slick down the “hairs” or fibers that exceed three millimeters in
jet-spun yarns undergo a compacting protruding from the yarn bundle. length. The Celanese test procedure
effect whereby the change in The greater number of hairs, the measures the hairiness level of
elongation is negligible and may greater the tendency to form a size unsized and sized yarn, reports the
even appear to be an increase in bridge between ends on the slasher, actual result, and calculates the
elongation. leading to a harder break at the lease percent reduction in hairiness.
Since the yarn requires residual rods, and the greater the amount of Percent reduction in hairiness is
elongation in order to weave friction on the loom, resulting in another indicator of size application
successfully, elongation loss should excessive end breakage. Therefore, it quality.
be monitored and controlled as is expected that sized yarns with less
necessary through slasher condi- hairs would weave better on the
tions. Based on general test data loom. Warp yarn hairiness reduction The preceding discussions involved
generated, it is recommended that is especially critical for air-jet several tests, not one of which alone
the absolute minimum size yarn weaving. Hairy warp yarns will cling can be conclusively related to
elongation should not be allowed to during the shedding process and weaving performance. However, the
fall below 4.5%. knock down the pick on an air-jet tests give measurements of critical
loom. factors affecting weaving perform-
Yarn Hairiness Testing ance, and an overall evaluation
A Shirley hairiness meter is used to
It is important for the sizing material considering all of the test results
measure yarn hairiness, with an
to coat the yarn surface well enough can therefore be valuable.
electronic sensor “counting” hairs

Glossary of Textile Industry Terms
Abrasion – Rubbing of the yarn on Antifoam – An additive used in Crown; crowned roll – The curva-
the loom, generally caused by sizing formulations to prevent foam ture of a rubber squeeze roll, formed
contact of the yarn with adjacent from occurring. during manufacturing of the roll,
yarns on the loom, metal parts of the which allows pressure to be evenly
loom, or the shuttle or projectile. Binder – As a sizing additive, any distributed across the roll at a given
Sizing materials are generally chemical which would enhance the pressure loading at the ends of the
formulated to protect the yarn from adhesive properties of the sizing roll.
these forces of abrasion. formula to the warp yarn.
CV; COV; Coefficient of Variation –
Acetate fiber – A manufactured fiber Bullet mold – An aluminum mold A relative measurement of precision
made from cellulose acetate. used to embed yarn samples in resin which is obtained by dividing the
Acrylic fiber – A manufactured fiber for subsequent cutting of cross- standard deviation of a series of
made from a polymer primarily sections. measurements by the average of that
composed of acrylonitrile units. series of measurements. It is usually
Bust rods – Metal rods in the leasing
multiplied by 100 and expressed as a
Acrylic binder – A liquid solution of section of the slashing machine
percentage (CV%).
an acrylic resin; a sizing additive which separate the yarns after
normally used to increase adhesion application and drying of the sizing
Defoamer – An additive used in
to synthetic fibers. material.
sizing formulations to reduce
Acrylic resin – A resin produced generated foam.
Caustic – Sodium hydroxide, usually
from acrylic acid derivatives. used in dilute solutions to remove Desizing – Process for removal of
Add-on – A measure of the amount sizing from yarn. sizing from yarn or fabric.
of sizing material applied to warp Conditioning; preconditioning – Dry can; drying cylinder – Cylinder
yarn, usually expressed as a percent Treatment of samples prior to testing containing pressurized steam upon
of the weight of the bone-dry yarn requiring equilibration of the which yarn is threaded for the
before sizing. samples in a maintained standard purpose of drying the yarn after
Add-on Index – A measure of the atmosphere for a specified period of application of sizing material on the
variation in size add-on at con- time. For most textile testing, slasher.
tinuous intervals spanning the width conditioning is performed in a
of the warp shed or size box. Near standard environment of 68-72 °F Electron microscopy – The use of
Infrared Reflectance Analysis is used and 63-67% relative humidity. an electron microscope to study
to obtain individual data points for materials. Using electron micro-
Count, yarn – See Yarn count.
the Add-on Index. scopy, one can obtain images at high
Count, fabric – A measurement of magnifications of surface
Adhesion – In sizing, adhesion is the the density of the fabric, where the phenomena on yarn or fabric.
attractive force between the sizing number of ends per inch is added to
material and the warp yarn. Elongation; elongation at break –
the number of picks per inch to
The distance which a yarn can be
Air-jet loom – A process which uses obtain the fabric count. For example,
stretched before breaking, usually
jets of air to propel and support if a percale sheet has 110 ends per
expressed as a percentage increase
filling yarn across the width of the inch and 70 picks per inch, the fabric
over its original length.
weaving machine. count would be 110 + 70, or 180.
End – A single yarn.
Air-jet spun yarn – A yarn manufac- Creel; section beam creel – A struc-
turing process which uses currents of ture designed to hold multiple sec- Filling yarn – Yarn which is inserted
air to “spin” fibers together into tion beams for combination into across the width of a weaving
yarn. warp sheds on the slasher. machine.
Antistat – As a sizing additive, any Cross-section – A section of yarn cut
chemical which would reduce the at a right angle to its length.
amount of static build-up on the
slasher or weaving machine.

Greige cloth (pronounced “gray” Leasing section – A series of bust Percale sheeting – A plain weave
cloth) – Cloth which has not been rods at the front of a slasher which fabric with a count of at least 180
treated by any other textile process accomplishes separation of yarns yarns per square inch.
(such as desizing, bleaching, finish- after sizing.
Pick – A piece of yarn in the weft
ing, etc.).
Loom – An automated weaving direction of the woven fabric; the
Ground warp – The warp yarn machine. insertion of one filling yarn between
which is combined with pile warp to the sheds of a weaving machine
Loom beam – A beam of yarn from
produce a pile fabric, such as terry. (e.g., 500 “picks” per minute).
the slasher, which is now ready for
The ground warp forms the
weaving. Pile warp – The warp yarn which is
foundation of the fabric, while the
combined with a ground warp to
pile warp forms the pile. Lubricant – An additive in a sizing
produce a pile fabric, such as terry.
formulation which enhances the
Hairiness; yarn hairiness – A The ground warp forms the
lubricity of the dried sizing material
measurement of the number of hairs foundation of the fabric, while the
on the yarn, thereby reducing
per unit length on a sized or unsized pile warp forms the pile.
sticking during the drying process
yarn. Typically, fibers which pro- and avoiding clinging of yarn to Polyamide – A synthetic polymer
trude 3mm or more from the yarn machine parts and other yarns on the consisting of a chain of amides.
surface are counted as “hairs” when loom.
evaluating yarn hairiness. Polyester fiber – A manufactured
fiber made from a polymer primarily
Heatset; heatsetting – The Microtome – A device used to hold
composed of an ester of a substituted
application of heat to fabrics, sample specimens for cutting with a
carboxylic acid.
particularly those composed of sharp knife, such as the preparation
synthetic materials, to enhance the of yarn cross-sections. Polyester binder – A liquid solution
dyeability of the fabric and minimize of a polyester resin; a sizing additive
Muslin sheeting – A plain weave
dye variation. normally used to increase adhesion
fabric with a count of at least 128
to synthetic fibers.
Humectant – An additive in a sizing yarns per square inch.
formulation which enhances the Polyester resin – A resin produced by
absorption of moisture. Near infrared – An instrument used polymerizing a hydroxy-carboxylic
to scan samples for the purpose of acid or by forming a condensation
Humidity – A measure of the quantifying a given parameter, such product between a dihydroxy alcohol
amount of moisture in the air. as percent add-on. The near infrared and a dicarboxylic acid.
Hydrolysis – A measurement of the region of the spectrum is outside the
Pre-drying – In the case of a
number of hydroxyl units along the visible region and comprises
multiple-box slasher, pre-drying is
polymer chain of polyvinyl alcohol, wavelengths from 660 to 2500
accomplished by locating drying
expressed as percent. nanometers.
cans above the size boxes for the
NIRA – Near Infrared Reflectance individual warp sheds. After
Instron – An instrument used to Analysis, which is one application of pre-drying, the sheds of yarn come
measure breaking strength and elon- near infrared technology. together for final drying on a sepa-
gation of yarns and fabrics. rate set of drying cans. Adequate
Nylon fiber – A manufactured fiber
pre-drying is required to keep yarns
Kettle wax – A solid wax, usually made from a polymer primarily
from different sheds from sticking
derived from animal fats, which is composed of amide linkages.
together while drying is completed.
added to the sizing cook kettle,
hence the name “kettle wax”. Open-end spinning – A yarn Preparation – A process performed
manufacturing process whereby on textile goods to ready them for
Lease – The separation of yarns so sliver is spun directly into yarn, dyeing, finishing or printing.
that they may be properly tied in on eliminating carding and roving Processes included in preparation of
a loom. Proper leasing will separate operations. greige cloth typically include
all of the yarns travelling through singeing, desizing, scouring and
Oxford shirting – A soft, porous
one dent in the comb at the front of bleaching. Other preparation
fabric made using a modified plain
the slasher. processes, such as mercerization,
or basket weave. Frequently dyed
may be included, depending on the
yarns are incorporated in the warp to
greige fabric and its end use.
produce stripes.
Rapier loom – A weaving machine Size add-on – See Add-on. Tex – A measurement of yarn size
which uses two flexible steel tapes using a direct numbering system.
Size box – The vessel which holds
to guide yarn through the sheds. One The unit of Tex expresses the mass
the sizing solution and applicator
tape carries the yarn to the middle of in number of grams of 1 kilometer
assembly (squeeze rolls) on the
the machine where it is transferred of yarn.
to the other tape.
Viscometer; Brookfield viscometer –
Sizing – Material applied to warp
Rayon fiber – A manufactured fiber An instrument which measures the
yarn to protect it from breakage and
made from regenerated cellulose. viscosity of a liquid by quantifying
abrasion during weaving.
its resistance to shear.
Refractometer – An instrument,
Sizing blend – A blend of sizing
typically hand-held, which is used to Viscosity – A measure of thickness
materials in one package.
indirectly measure the amount of of a liquid, either by resistance to
solids in a solution. The instrument Slasher – Machine used to apply flow or resistance to shear.
channels light through a chamber sizing material to warp yarns.
where it is refracted by the liquid Warp; warp beam – A beam of yarn
Sley – Moving part on a loom which
being tested and then reflected to a produced on the slasher.
carries the reed; number of ends per
graduated “window”. The instrument
inch in a fabric construction. Warp density – The number of ends
is calibrated to convert the amount
per inch in the size box.
of refraction to percent solids. Spin finish – Material composed of
antistats and/or lubricants which is Wax – See Kettle wax.
Ring spinning – A system of
applied to synthetic fibers to
spinning yarn from roving sliver. Waxless size – A sizing material
improve processing in spinning.
formulated with synthetic lubricants
Section beam – A beam of yarn Squeeze roll – Rubber roll, typically to replace typical kettle wax.
loaded on the creel of the slasher for made of acrylonitrile, which
Weaving – The process of making
the purpose of sizing. Several squeezes the yarn on the slasher to
fabric from yarn.
section beams are required to make remove excess sizing solution.
each warp beam, depending on the Weft – Yarn in the width direction of
Staple – A mass of fibers having the
sley of the fabric to be produced. a fabric as it is woven.
same physical characteristic,
Selvedge – The edge of the fabric at typically length.
Yarn – A strand of fibers, usually
the sides of the loom as the fabric is
Starch – A complex carbohydrate twisted or entangled together for
derived from plants. Typical starches strength.
Shed; warp shed – The opening used in textile sizing are corn and
Yarn count – A measurement of
formed when warp yarns are potato starches and their derivatives.
yarn size using an indirect yarn
separated to insert filling yarn on a
numbering system. For example,
weaving machine. Taper, tapered roll – A simulation of
cotton count is a numbering system
a crowned roll where the diameter of
Shedding – The separation of size which indicates the number of hanks
the squeeze roll increases from the
film or broken fibers from the main in one pound of yarn, where a hank
sides to the center at a standard
body of the yarn. equals one 840-yard length of yarn.
slope. Tapering is a short-cut attempt
Shirley hairiness monitor – An to crown the roll, but without
Zahn cup – A steel cup of standard
instrument designed to measure yarn consistent lengthwise curvature,
volume which is used to measure the
hairiness by using an electric “eye” squeeze pressure is not evenly
viscosity of a liquid by quantifying
to count the number of hairs distributed across the roll at a given
its resistance to flow. Liquids are
protruding a given length from the pressure loading at the ends of the
timed as they flow through a hole in
surface of the yarn. roll.
the bottom of the cup. A variety of
Shuttle loom – A weaving machine Terry – A fabric made from ground standard hole sizes are available, and
in which the filling yarn package is and pile warps, where the pile is in cup selection depends on the thick-
transported back and forth through the form of loops, such as in bath ness of the liquid being tested.
the shed during weaving by means towels and bath mats.
of a shuttle.

International Offices
Celanese Chemicals Europe GmbH
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Tel +49 (0)69-305-1 33 00
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Tel +65-733-17 67
Fax +65-733-12 67
North America:
Celanese Chemicals
1601 West LBJ Freeway This information is based on our present
Dallas, Texas 75234-6034 state of knowledge and is intended to provide
general notes on our products and their uses.
Tel +1-866-284-0927 It should not therefore be construed as guar-
Fax +1-972-443-4945 anteeing specific properties of the products
described or their suitability for a particular
application. Any existing industrial property
rights much be observed. The quality of our
products is guaranteed under our General
Conditions of Sale.

Celanese Chemicals
1601 West LBJ Freeway
Dallas, Texas 75234-6034
Tel 1-972-443-4000

© Celanese Ltd. 2002

Pub 2002-PVOH-1050