TJ Beall

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New Peer Reviewed Paper in Journal of Engineering on True Cotton

Fluid handling and fabric handle profiles of hydroentangled greige cotton and spunbond polypropylene nonwoven topsheets


Wettable nonwoven topsheets are traditionally spunbond polypropylene nonwoven fabrics. The fluid handling performance of hydroentangled greige cotton nonwovens was studied to determine their suitability for topsheet applications based upon analysis of fluid rewet, strikethrough, and acquisition properties; and the relative contributions of nonwoven cotton’s cellulosic and wax components to hydrophobic and hydrophilic fluid transport properties are addressed. It was observed that mechanically cleaned greige cotton nonwovens exhibit certain fluid handling properties that are similar to polypropylene spunbond-meltblown topsheets, partly as a result of the residual wax content. Subsequently, the surface polarity, swelling, and moisture uptake of 100% greige cotton and 50:50 blends of greige cotton and polypropylene hydroentangled nonwovens were studied in comparison with the performance of a commercially available 100% polypropylene spunbond-meltblown topsheets. The surface polarity, swelling, and wettability values obtained from electrokinetic and water contact angle analysis were found to be in agreement with the hydrophobic polypropylene topsheets. Additionally, comfort assessment was undertaken based upon fabric handle profiles using the Leeds University Fabric Handle Evaluation System, which is an objective evaluation based on the quantification of fabric buckling deformations. Of the fabrics studied in this work, 50:50 greige cotton/polypropylene hydroentangled fabrics were the softest as determined by the Leeds University Fabric Handle Evaluation System and exhibited fluid handling properties consistent with the requirements of commercial topsheets.