Textiles Testing – Determining how Washing Impacts Fabric Elasticity

One of the world’s top 100 institutions, Durham University was also the first ever institution to establish overseas campuses. The Department of Physics includes Research and Undergraduate programs that cover different disciplines that also include applied areas such as Material Physics. A clear understanding about various real-world industrial applications is obtained by the combination of Materials Science, Chemistry, and Solid Mechanics.

One area of investigation, performed in association with Procter & Gamble, is the impact of detergent on the elasticity of different kinds of fabrics, where practical measurement of data is employed in support of scientific theory.

Consumer’s perception of the quality of the garment mainly depends on the elasticity (impacting tactile feel) of clothing. Any visible change in this physical attribute promotes opinion that the material is deteriorating prematurely, shrinking or aging. Repeated washing can lead to a change in tensile elongation characteristics and the knowledge of the effect of cleaning product formulation is important to the clothing maker, textile fabric manufacturer and the detergent producer (for care and washing instructions).

Solution

The AFG, paired with a force tester is a versatile instrument for tension tests with data exported to plotting or analysis software.

The AFG, paired with a force tester is a versatile instrument for tension tests with data exported to plotting or analysis software.

A motorized MultiTest-d tension testing system

with a software and digital force gauge, delivered by Mecmesin, was used to obtain the data for export and subsequent analysis. One of the key parameters in these comparative studies is the calculation of the material’s spring rate from the linear portion of the force-displacement graph; accuracy is also equally important for distinguishing between relatively small force values.

The accuracy is optimized by matching the full-scale capacity of the gauge loadcell to the expected maximum sample load and the comparison of results benefits from the increased resolution. The students are able to carry out precise, rapid, measurements of the physical properties of the treated materials by using the user-friendly gauge and test stand combination available in this academic environment.

Bespoke research calculations, which may be unique to the detergent producer or the clothing manufacturer, can be performed due to the flexibility of the software, and performance against any relevant industry standards can also be evaluated — for instance ASTM D5034: Elongation of Textile Fabrics (Grab Test).

System

  • MultiTest 2.5-d or dV motorized force tester
  • Emperor™ Lite or VectorPro™ Lite data acquisition software
  • AFG 10 N digital force gauge, std. accessories and wedge grip

Testimonial

Only measuring up to a few Newtons of force with an AFG 2500 N was not enabling us to proceed with our investigation and Mecmesin kindly lent us a more sensitive AFG 10N which instantaneously improved the quality of data we were collecting.


Alex Radford, Undergraduate Student (Department of Physics), Durham University

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Mecmesin Limited.

For more information on this source, please visit Mecmesin Limited.

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