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Crystallinity of Cellulose Fibers as Determined by Acid Hydrolysis

Philipp, Howard J., Nelson, Mary L., Ziifle, Hilda M.
Textile research journal 1947 v.17 no.11 pp. 585-596
X-ray diffraction, absorption, acid hydrolysis, cellulose, cotton, crystal structure, fabrics, rayon, textile fibers
A study of the kinetics of the heterogeneous hydrolysis of cellulose indicates that there are two distinct rates which have been attributed to the rapid hydrolysis of the loose amorphous regions and to the slow hydrolysis of the dense crystalline portions of the fiber. Based on this interpretation, a simple method for the determination of the relative proportions of crystalline and amorphous cellulose has been developed. The method was applied to a series of natural and regenerated cellulose fibers and the resulting "degree of crystallinity," defined as the amount of crystalline cellulose in a sample expressed as a decimal fraction of the total cellulose, was tabulated. Results obtained on four samples of rayon are very well correlated with crystal linity data derived from x-ray diffraction patterns. There is apparently no correlation between the degree of crystallinity and the tenacity of five samples of rayon. In six samples of Stone , ville cotton there appeared to be no relationship between the degree of crystallinity and crystal lite orientation. There are indications that the ultimate elongation and the moisture absorption of the rayon samples are proportional to the content of amorphous cellulose.