Swelling and dissolution mechanisms of regenerated Lyocell cellulose fibers
The swelling and dissolution mechanisms of dry, never-dried and re-wetted Lyocell fibers were investigated using mixtures of N-methylmorpholine N-oxide and water with various contents of water (from monohydrate to 24% w/w). A radial dissolution starting from the outer layers was observed. Dissolution kinetics was dependent on the water content, the drying state and the spinning conditions. A buckling of the core of dry fibers was observed during swelling. This phenomenon was attributed to the deformation of the unswollen core to accommodate the contraction of the swollen parts of the fiber. In purely swelling conditions with no dissolution, a huge swelling of a very thin skin layer was observed in the first stage, followed then by a progressive swelling of the inside of the fiber. We postulate that this mechanism arose from the fact that this skin is much less crystalline than the core.
KeywordsCellulose Swelling Dissolution Lyocell N-methylmorpholine N-oxide
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support received from Lenzing AG, Austria, and their collaboration with Dr. C. Schuster.
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