Inter-Comparison of Two Instrumental Test Methods for Diameter Analysis of Fibre Materials: Scope and Challenges


Two instrumental test methods—FibreShape flatbed scanning and Dia-Stron laser diffraction technology—are used for diameter analysis of lignocellulosic hollow fibrous material produced from biomass of two different canola cultivars, 5440 and 45H29. Although FibreShape is capable of working with any size of dataset, a larger dataset would generate the optimum analytical test results. Interestingly, FibreShape operates faster and saves time. On the contrary, Dia-Stron is restricted to data size, due to the limitation of its cassette slots for specimen storage. Further, this machine is slow in processing—which takes hours to complete—and the presence of microscopic cracks on the fibre surface will generate erratic test results for that specific fibre, which, however, is not notified by the computing system until the test-run is completed for all the loaded fibres. Such a practice might become challenging due to research time constraints. The requirement of consistent gauge length is another limitation of this laser diffraction test method to test staple fibres and filaments unlike the FibreShape. Upon testing the 45H29 cultivars, FibreShape and Dia-Stron exhibited a smaller difference of 12 µm (= 88.26 − 76.26) in fibre diameters between their test results, whereas the difference was as large as 44.6 µm (= 120.29 − 75.69) for the 5440 fibres. However, the statistical t-test did not identify any significant variation between the observed test results obtained from FibreShape and Dia-Stron as p = 0.34 > α = 0.05 (95% confidence interval). The current study favours using FibreShape over Dia-Stron for analysing textile fibre diameters due to the versatility of working capacity with any specimen shape or configuration, size of a dataset, speed of conducting a test, flexibility of sample selection and preparatory processes, and gauge-length independence.

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Reproduced with permission from our previous work [2]. Copyright 2019, TRJ, SAGE publications)

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Bundle fibre (mixed fibres containing both single fibres and overlapped fibres)


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The authors would like to thank Dr. Mashiur Rahman, Dr. Robert Duncan, Dr. Lin-P’ing Choo-Smith, and Garett Keith.


The project was supported by University of Manitoba, MITACS Canada, and CIC Engineering, Canada.

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Correspondence to Ikra Iftekhar Shuvo.

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Shuvo, I.I., DuCharme, S. Inter-Comparison of Two Instrumental Test Methods for Diameter Analysis of Fibre Materials: Scope and Challenges. J. Inst. Eng. India Ser. E (2021).

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  • Fibre
  • Diameter
  • Dia-stron
  • FibreShape
  • Canola
  • Textile