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This study presents in-depth scanning electron microscopic (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopic (EDX) analyses of the surface contour of natural bamboo fibers from Phyllostachys rubromarginata species processed under various eco-friendly conditions. Both fresh and dry bamboo were used. Fresh bamboo provided easier and quicker processing. Two age groups, 6-months to 1-year-old and 2 to 4-year-old bamboo plants, were also studied for fiber output. Subjective visual observations suggested that the age of the bamboo affected fiber yield. The diameter of the bamboo fibers was 10-17 µm, which fits within standard spinning parameters. Analysis showed that the bamboo fibers were well-rounded along the longitudinal direction, unlike bamboo viscose typically found on the market. This article provides a detailed description of some successful processes for bamboo fiber production.
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Production of Natural Bamboo Fibers-3: SEM and
EDX Analyses of Structures and Properties
By Bahrum Prang Rocky and Amanda J. ompson, e University of Alabama
is study presents in-depth scanning electron microscopic (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopic (EDX)
analyses of the surface contour of natural bamboo bers from Phyllostachys rubromarginata species processed under various
eco-friendly conditions. Both fresh and dry bamboo were used. Fresh bamboo provided easier and quicker processing.
Two age groups, 6-months to 1-year-old and 2 to 4-year-old bamboo plants, were also studied for ber output. Subjective
visual observations suggested that the age of the bamboo aected ber yield. e diameter of the bamboo bers was 10-17
µm, which ts within standard spinning parameters. Analysis showed that the bamboo bers were well-rounded along the
longitudinal direction, unlike bamboo viscose typically found on the market. is article provides a detailed description of
some successful processes for bamboo ber production.
Key Terms
Bamboo Fiber Production, Bamboo Fiber Structure, Eco-friendly Fibers, EDX, SEM
is study has three parts. Part 1 discussed experimental proce-
dures for various approaches to natural bamboo ber (referred
to hereaer in the present study as “bamboo ber,” as opposed
to “viscose bamboo ber”) production for textile use.1 Appli-
cability for further processing, length, and linear density of
produced ber were reported. Part 2 reexamined the potential
routes derived from Part 1.2 e antibacterial activity of the
produced bers were assessed and compared with raw bamboo
plants and commercial bamboo viscose. e current article
(Part 3) reports the best routes of bamboo ber production and
SEM/EDX analyses of various properties.
In recent years, eco-friendly labeled textile products are
gaining more popularity than equivalent products not adver-
tised as eco-friendly. Consumers are three times more likely
to choose such products.3–9
Manufacturers may choose to produce bamboo bers that
are not chemically converted into viscose,10 following con-
sumers’ inclination toward environmentally-safe products.
is, however. may not be feasible due to the lack of eco-
nomic support, advanced technologies, or adequate research
that could guide an economically-attainable process. As a
result, few of such bers are being produced.
A large portion of the bamboo plant goes unused due to
parts considered direct waste products or unusable ber. For
instance, bamboo bers produced through the mechanical
or steam release processes yield bers of varied length of 2
to 150 mm,11 8.2 to 67.9 mm,12 and 5 to 135 mm,13 result-
ing in an extremely-wide Gaussian distribution—smaller
non-spinnable bers go to waste as they were processed
out during yarn spinning. us, the percent ber yield
from mechanical bamboo textile preparation was very low.
Technological improvements, therefore, are extremely cru-
cial to support eco-friendly ber industries. A related case
study covers the South American and Mexican sisal and
henequen industries that are less productive due to lack of
technological developments.10
New processes that facilitate bamboo ber use in textiles
must be sustainable and capable of providing enough vol-
ume of material for use. Recently, bamboo bers in textiles,
as eco-friendly alternatives, have been a very popular topic
for researchers and popular media alike.11,14,15
An understanding of the chemical composition of bamboo
plants is needed before more eective enzymes or chemicals
for degumming and relevant processing can be selected.
Degumming of bers, sometimes called delignication, is
Table I.
Chemical Composition of Bamboo Plant11,13,18–22
Component Percentage (varies among species)
Cellulose 45–55
Hemicellulose 15–25
Lignin 15–30
Pectin 0.5–1.5
Water-soluble substances (organic and
inorganic compounds)
Water-insoluble constituents (small
particles of resin, ash, tannin, wax,
protein, fats, and pigments)
27 | Vol. 5, No. 6 November/December 2018
AATCC Journal of Research
DOI: 10.14504/ajr.5.6.4 Accepted: 09/03/2018
dened as a process of removing lignin, pectin, hemicellu-
lose, and extractives for ber production. Table I provides
the percentages of major components in bamboo. Unlike
some other bast bers, the lignin content is very high in
bamboo. Lignin, an amorphous and hydrophobic complex
that is a branched polymer of aromatic compounds, must
be removed to access the bers. Two other major constitu-
ents are hemicellulose and cellulose. With a higher degree
of polymerization (higher molecular weight), cellulose
is a straight and non-branched semi-crystalline polysac-
charide. On the other hand, hemicellulose has a lower
degree of polymerization (lower molecular weight), with
hydroxyl and acetyl groups that are water soluble and can
be removed by ber extraction.12,16,17 e main chemical
components of bamboo plants include cellulose, hemicel-
lulose, lignin, and pectin.
Bamboo as a plant can grow on infertile land, requiring
little care, irrigation, fertilizers, insecticides, or pesticides
for cultivation. e plants absorb 35% more carbon dioxide
than other plants (e.g., timber) and is therefore benecial to
the environment.23 It produces 20 times more timber than
other timber producing plants.24 It can be introduced to
prevent deforestation and soil erosion, and to provide cook-
ing fuel.24,25 e environmental benets of bamboo as a raw
material would apply to most products made from bamboo,
but the subsequent manufacturing processes may negate
some of the advantages. ere are three dierent classica-
tions of bamboo based on the extraction process used.
Bamboo Viscose Fiber
Bamboo viscose ber is regenerated cellulose from pulp,
similar to other viscose ber. Most of the benecial proper-
ties of bamboo are lost in bamboo viscose ber.15,26 Viscose
bers are regenerated by using a high concentration (16 to
30%) of caustic soda (NaOH), carbon disulde (CS2, ~10%),
sulfuric acid (H2SO4), sodium sulfate (Na2SO4), zinc sulfate
(ZnSO4), and other chemicals.27–31 ese chemicals have strong
harmful impacts on the environment, workers’ health, and
machinery.32,33 erefore, bamboo viscose is not classied as an
eco-friendly ber.2 Most of the textiles made with bamboo in
the current marketplaces are actually made of bamboo viscose.
Bamboo Fiber
e bamboo ber-extraction process is carried out using
mechanical aids and mild chemicals.11-13 is type of ber
contains its natural lengths and some of bamboo’s original
properties. However, some anti-UV and antimicrobial/
bacterial properties may be lost due to the interaction of
chemicals with ber components during processing. us,
its processing is less destructive than bamboo viscose. Some
retailers and producers in the marketplace are claiming their
products to be of this type, but in most instances, the prod-
ucts appear to contain viscose bers.26,34,35
Clean Eco-Friendly Bamboo Fiber
Clean eco-friendly bamboo ber is produced without using
any harsh chemicals. is type is not commercially available
at this time. ough some strong mechanical treatments
can extract bamboo bers, it has not been possible to get
spinnable, so-feeling, and pliable bers without appropriate
degumming. Some researchers have considered using sev-
eral enzymes or microbial cultures, but no successful work
for textiles has been published to date. Bamboo bers have
been reported as non-spinnable and non-pliable when using
enzymatic treatments for ber extraction.12,13,35,36
Research on bamboo as a ber material for textile production
is in its infancy11 and has been performed on bamboo viscose
(chemical regeneration of cellulose) or bamboo bers for use
in composites with synthetic polymers.35–42 Both of these areas
of research do not require the bamboo ber length as starting
material to be within the parameters needed for yarn produc-
tion. Bast bers are generally very suitable for use in polymeric
matrices; most of the research focus has been on bamboo in
ber-reinforced laminates. Blending bamboo bers or ber-
bundles with other materials, not only produces a product with
high quality and durability, it also increases the biodegradability
and renewability of the product. But this research is not highly
focused on an eco-friendly line because of the matrix materi-
als (mostly synthetics) needed for the composites.43 Similarly,
blending bamboo viscose ber with other traditional bers
has also been reported to improve yarn properties. Tausif et al.
conducted a comparative study of bamboo viscose and cotton
when blended with dierent ratios of polyester.44 By investigat-
ing dierent properties of polyester-cotton blend (PC) and
polyester-bamboo viscose blend (PB), it was concluded from
the study that PB had higher strengths, lower bending lengths
(indicating soness) and better comfort, and lower thermal
resistance or higher thermal conductivity. us, bamboo vis-
cose is good for summer clothing and has very similar moisture
management properties to cotton.44 is provides the possibility
of using bamboo bers in blends with synthetic or other natural
bers when it is not solely spinnable. Yet, the use of low use or
no use of chemicals to produce bamboo bers would preserve
more of the unique properties of bamboo, unlike viscose. is
study aims to create bamboo bers using the least amount of
chemicals and to provide analyses of the surface characteristic
of the output bers.
Materials and Equipment
Two dierent age-groups, 0-1-year-old (these were basi-
cally 6-month to 1-year old plants) and 2-4-years-old, fresh
Phyllostachys rubromarginata (red margin) bamboo plants
were obtained from Lewis Bamboo Inc. All the enzymes and
chemicals used in this research are the same as mentioned
November/December 2018 Vol. 5, No. 6 | 28
AATCC Journal of Research
previou sly.1 Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) pellets, sodium car-
bonate (Na2CO3), sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), hydrogen
peroxide (30% H2O2), and an acidic buer of acetic acid and
sodium acetate were American Chemical Society (ACS) grade
from VWR. For processing, a Launderometer (SDL Atlas), bam-
boo splitters, milling machine, reactor, dryer, scanning electron
microscope (SEM, FEI Quanta 200 3D) and energy-dispersive
X-ray spectroscopic (EDX, LYRA3 TESCAN, Ametek Materials
Analysis Division), and regular and/or microbalances were used
as mentioned previously.1 Commercial bamboo viscose, regular
viscose (Dharma Trading Co.), and bleached cotton fabrics
(Testfabrics Inc.) were also used in this study for comparison.
Note that proper laboratory safety precautions, including safety
glasses and personal protective clothing and shielding, should
be used during the following procedures.
Fiber Production Processes
e major focus of this work was to carry out ber production
experiments on fresh Phyllostachys rubromarginata bamboo
collected in August 2016. From previous experiments, it was
speculated that fresh bamboo might be easier to extract bers
from as opposed to dried bamboo, which was dicult to
process during initial steps. Bamboo culms were prepared
aer cutting each node. Culms were refrigerated before use to
keep them fresh. e age of the bamboo was also considered
as a variable, thus the two dierent age-groups of bamboo
specimens were collected.
Both age-groups of bamboo samples were treated separately
to identify if there was any dierence among properties, as
well as ease of ber extraction. Scheme 1 shows the step-
wise pretreatments, processes, and post-treatment that were
carried out during bamboo ber production from fresh
bamboo specimens. Vegetable scrapers were used to remove
the exodermis (green skin) of the culms followed by splitting
into 6-even-sized strips per culm. One set of the strips was
directly crushed in the milling machine followed by comb-
ing with steel brushes. e 0–1-year-old bamboo specimens
were divided into two sets, where one set (labeled CPF-3,
where CPF is the combined process on fresh bamboo—the
Scheme 1. Bamboo ber production from fresh red margin bamboo species.
29 | Vol. 5, No. 6 November/December 2018
AATCC Journal of Research
ber was produced from fresh specimens by combined
mechanical and chemical processes) was treated directly with
8 g/L of NaOH solution at 80 °C for 3 h in a Launderometer
and another set (CPF-4) was soaked in a solution of 6 g/L of
NaOH for three days at room temperature (RT, 21 ± 2 °C),
followed by treatment in a solution containing 5 g/L of NaOH,
5 g/L of Na2CO3, and 4 mL/L H2O2 at 80 °C for 3 h. Visual
observations suggested that bers processed with greater
amounts of NaOH (8 g/L) were short, weak, and damaged,
although these properties were not directly measured. Due to
these ber characteristics, this process was not replicated for
other experiments. Similarly, the 2–4-year-old bamboo speci-
mens were also divided into two sets. One set (CPF-5) was
directly treated in a solution of 6 g/L of NaOH and 6 g/L of
NaHCO3 at 80 °C for 3 h. In this case, a lower concentration
of NaOH was used with the weak base NaHCO3 rather than
using the higher concentration of NaOH alone. is yielded
better ber than the previous experiment based on visual
observations. Another set (CPF-6) of the 2-4-year-old crushed
specimen was soaked in 6 g/L of NaOH at RT for three days
followed by treatment in 6 g/L of NaOH, 6 g/L of Na2CO3, and
4 mL/L of H2O2 solution at 80 °C for 60 min.
Another set of fresh strips for each age group was soaked
in water at RT for three days to see if it would be easier to
process. Aer soaking, strips were crushed and combed
with steel brushes. e 0-1-year-old CPF-1 and the
2-4-year-old CPF-2 bamboo specimens were processed in
a solution of 6 g/L of NaOH and 6 g/L of NaHCO3 at 80 °C
for 3 h in the Launderometer.
Modication of sample processing was performed in two
ways: samples CPF-1, CPF-2, CPF-3, and CPF-5 were modi-
ed using a bleaching solution of 4 g/L of NaOH, 4 g/L of
NaHCO3, and 4–6 mL/L H2O2 solution at 80 °C for 60 min
(Scheme 1). Sample CPF-4 and CPF-6 were treated in 4 g/L
of NaOH, 5 mL/L of H2O2 and 10 mL/L of fabric soener
under the same conditions, followed by washing and drying.
Other Fiber Sample Production
For a comparative study of structure and other properties, high-
temperature chemical (HTC), steam release (SEP), combined
(CP), and enzymatic processes (EP) using pectinase, xylanase,
pectolase, and laccase were replicated as mentioned in the lit-
erature.1 e SEP involved preheating for 60–90 min at 100 °C,
heating at 180 °C for 20 min, followed by the release of steam
under 15-17 bar pressure at 200 ± 5 °C for 3–5 s. A catch pot
and steam stack were used as safety precautions.
Samples SEP-1 and SEP-2 were produced from the SEP;
HTC-2 from the HTC; CP-1m, CP-2, CP-3, CP-4, CP-5,
CP-6m, CP-7m, CP-8, and CP-11 from the CP; and EP-3m,
EP-4m, and EP-6m from the EP. e names of the samples
were kept identical as discussed in the previous article1 to
refer to the pertinent process. e label “m” was added to
the sample names to identify modied sample processing.
It should be noted that all processes used no more than 2%
of NaOH, which are very mild conditions as compared with
the viscose process (16 to 30%).
SEM and EDX Experiments
Extracted Bamboo Fiber Diameters
e diameter of the extracted bamboo bers (described in the
Introduction under the sub-heading Bamboo Fiber) was mea-
sured by scanning electron microscope (SEM), environmental
scanning electron microscopy (ESEM), and energy-dispersive
X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) by following ASTM E2228–10 and
AATCC TM 20-2013.45,46 EDX was used as an imaging tool
in this project. SEM was not solely used as bers are not good
conductors of current and promote charging on the speci-
men surface. is non-conductivity and the charging eects
made it dicult to collect high resolution and quality images.
EDX allows better imaging in such situations. Fiber samples
were randomly selected and a gold coating was applied before
microscopic study. Averages were calculated from the diame-
ters of 15–20 bers. Bleached cotton bers and bamboo viscose
bers were removed from fabrics and used for comparison.
Extracted Bamboo Fiber Surface Contours
e surface contour of the bers were examined by SEM,
ESEM, and EDX analyses. e samples were suitable for
imaging aer a gold coating was placed on the sample to
avoid charging and to produce high-resolution images.
Results and Discussions
Subjective Fiber Observations
Since one purpose of this study was to assess the extraction
process of bers from fresh bamboo of dierent ages, similar
selected treatments for ber extraction were performed as men-
tioned in the literature.1 e soaking of bamboo strips before
crushing did not help the extraction process noticeably, as was
the case for dried bamboo. Moreover, the produced bers were
almost identical for the respective age group aer either direct
crushing or soaking before crushing. However, from visual
observation, the bers from 0–1-year-old bamboo appeared
to result in a slightly greater number of short bers than the
2–4-year-old bamboo, although this was not measured. When
the greater amount of NaOH (8 g/L) was applied for CPF-3, the
number of short bers signicantly increased when compared
to other specimens, such as CPF-1 and CPF-4 (Scheme 1). A
lower amount of NaOH (4–6 g/L), combined with NaHCO3 or
Na2CO3 yielded bers of improved length. e modication of
bers CPF-1-3 and CPF-5 in one step by the solution contain-
ing H2O2 was not as good as using two steps for CPF-4 and
CPF-6. However, CPF-4 and CPF-6 (Scheme 1) was modied
and soener was used that made the bers very so and pliable,
adding to the characteristics desirable for spinning.
November/December 2018 Vol. 5, No. 6 | 30
AATCC Journal of Research
SEM and EDX Analyses
Fiber Diameters
e diameter of extracted bamboo bers was measured by
SEM and EDX. To maintain the standard of measurement, the
average diameter was taken from diameters of 15–20 bers. A
sample of bleached cotton bers and two viscose bers—one
regular viscose and another bamboo viscose—were also used
in this assessment to compare with extracted bamboo bers
in this research. Table II gives the maximum, minimum, and
average diameters of the specimen bers. e mean diameter
of bers in specimen SEP-1 was least among all the bers.
is specimen was highly damaged by the SEP.
It was noticed that the average diameter (Fig. 1) of all the
bamboo bers were greater than that of bamboo viscose
and regular viscose, except for specimens SEP-1, CPF-4,
and EP-3m. ese three specimens were either completely
or partially damaged, which would account for the smaller
diameters as they appeared broken apart in some areas
or highly delignied. ese three specimens had a wide
Table II.
Maximum, Minimum, and Average Diameter of Extracted Bamboo Fibersa
Sample Maximum Diameter
Minimum Diameter
Average Diameter
Sample Maximum Diameter
Minimum Diameter
Average Diameter
CPF-1 16.74 5.78 10.56 CP-5 18.37 5.77 11.90
CPF-3 15.02 6.87 10.96 CP-6m 18.12 8.31 13.11
CPF-4 12.40 3.92 8.24 CP-7m 23.44 8.15 13.45
CPF-5 17.55 8.03 13.12 CP-8 15.70 7.31 10.30
CPF-6 23.70 4.38 11.79 CP-11 20.96 7.62 14.59
SEP-1 9.17 3.75 5.76 EP-3m 13.07 6.20 9.94
SEP-3m 22.90 8.00 15.80 EP-4m 22.20 12.49 17.33
HTC-2 21.58 8.66 15.90 EP-6m 15.94 12.19 15.17
CP-1m 21.31 4.10 11.29 BV 14.24 7.79 10.30
CP-2 14.16 12.26 13.32 RV 11.90 9.02 10.08
CP-3 18.36 5.71 10.55 BC 16.82 13.18 14.21
CP-4 16.53 6.64 10.64
aCPF = combined process on fresh bamboo, HTC = high-temperature chemical process, SEP = steam release process, CP = combined process, EP = enzymatic process, BV =
bamboo viscose, RV = regular viscose, and BC = bleached cotton.1 m stands for modied process.
Fig. 1. e average diameter of extracted bamboo bers along with bamboo viscose, conventional viscose, and bleached cotton bers. See Table II for sample codes.
31 | Vol. 5, No. 6 November/December 2018
AATCC Journal of Research
Gaussian distribution of lengths as well. Fiber lengths were
measured in a separate study.1 ese three specimens,
and some other damaged bers, had greater dierences
between their respective maximum and minimum lengths
with lower average lengths. However, the average diam-
eter (10–17 µm) of most of the bamboo bers (including
damaged bers) was consistent with the diameter of cotton
bers (14.21 µm). Among the specimens of coarser bers,
CP-11, EP-4m, EP-6m, and HTC-2 were produced mainly
by EPs and did not appear to be well delignied (Fig. 1).
All bamboo bers from specimens that showed good anti-
bacterial properties in the prior study2 had greater diameters
than bamboo viscose. is greater diameter may be related
to remnants of lignin and other contents in bamboo bers
responsible for any antibacterial activity still present in
these extracted bers. Afrin et al. noted that hemicellulose
or soluble components in bamboo are not responsible for
antimicrobial activity.47 Lignin is insoluble in water or in
mild alkali solutions. us, bamboo ber may have some
remaining antimicrobial activity if no excessive or harsh
chemicals were used for extraction and the lignin compo-
nent was intact.
Fiber Structures
e surface contour of the produced bers was examined
using the previously described standard test methods.45,46
Since no standard of the bamboo surface structure has
been established or documented, 14 dierent types of
extracted bamboo bers, along with traditional viscose
bers, were used to analyze the surface contour of the
bers. is analysis can provide the standard shape and
structure of bamboo bers. SEM and EDX techniques
were used to analyze individual ber’s structure. While
some bers were very coarse or in bundle-form, others
were very ne. erefore, varying magnications are pre-
sented for individual bers. All the images were collected
to focus on the surface structures and elements present
on the ber’s surface so that the eectiveness of various
processes could be assessed qualitatively.
Analysis shows that the bers from intensive SEP were
slightly burnt and not well-separated (Fig. 2 for specimen
SEP-1) leaving high lignin content (the non-brous part
of the ber bundle) on the surface. Subjective visual and
hand assessment suggested that these bers were too sti
and brittle to undergo any further modication. However,
the application of moderate SEP followed by modication
produced less damaged bers with improved removal of
non-brous content (SEP-3m in Fig. 2). ese
bers might have become well-separated by
further mechanical treatment (e.g., brushing and
combing). So, moderate SEP (i.e., less heat and
fewer number of steam releases), brushing, and a
very light chemical treatment is one possible way
to produce bamboo ber under gentle condi-
tions. Most of the enzymatic processes were also
ineective in producing ne ber, even aer mild
chemical treatment (NaOH, Na2CO3/NaHCO3,
H2O2). us, specimen EP-3m and CP-11 were
still very coarse (bundle of bers) but showed a
cleaner surface with some round-shaped (cylin-
drical) bers (Fig. 2).
e mild-chemical HTC process produced
cleaner ber bundles, but the bers were still
bonded by some non-brous material as shown
in Fig. 3 for HTC-2. Similarly, the CPF-5, EP-6m,
and EP-4m bers in Fig. 3 are well-separated with
traces of extraneous matter that could possibly
be removed with additional processing. All four
specimens were produced either in a minimal
number of steps or by minimal mechanical
applications in the process. is indicates that
mechanical applications (e.g., carding/combing)
are very important for producing ne and spin-
nable bamboo bers.
Fig. 2. Surface structures of the bamboo bers that were least separated. SEP = steam
release process; CP = combined process; EP = enzymatic process.
November/December 2018 Vol. 5, No. 6 | 32
AATCC Journal of Research
Non-brous material was easily removed as par-
ticulate matter aer combing. However, bamboo
ber combing requires specially-adapted machinery,
making the process unlike conventional combing
processes for cotton or wool.
Although the specimen CPF-3 used a bamboo sample
less than 1-year-old and was treated in highly alkaline
solution (8 g/L NaOH), visual observation suggested
that its yield may be less than ber produced either
from fresh or from dried raw bamboo, although this
was not tested. But the ber was nicely separated
(Fig. 4). e specimen CP-3, from dried bamboo, was
produced using a lower chemical concentration, but
greater mechanical processing (Fig. 4), suggesting that
a greater yield was obtained than CPF-3.
e image of CPF-1 also shows a very clean surface
with almost no traces of binding matter and was uni-
form along the length of the bers. CP-4 bers, one
of the best specimens of produced bers, were very
clean and well-separated. CP-4 was produced using a
combination of chemical and mechanical processes,
with modication done using bleaching solu-
tion (NaOH, Na2CO3, and H2O2) along with fabric
soener. It is assumed that the use of fabric soener
improved ber quality due to the soener’s ability to
weaken the bonds of lignin and other contents and
promoted better action by the bleaching solution.
All four images in Fig. 4 present standard shapes of
bamboo bers that are very well-rounded along the
longitudinal direction.
Bamboo bers are rod-like or cylindrical in shape as
shown in Fig. 5. CP-1m and CP-8 are two of the best
ber specimens produced through CP followed by a
modication process used in this research. Commer-
cial bamboo viscose (BV) and regular viscose (RV)
bers are completely dierent in shape as they are
controlled by the shape of spinnerets used in viscose
ber production. e surface structures of viscose
bers from dierent plants or wood pulps can be
identical. e surface structures of the bamboo bers
were found to be round-shaped for all the specimens
tested in this research.
Since bamboo bers are bonded strongly together by
dierent chemical components (e.g., lignin, pectin,
and hemicellulose), it is dicult to produce bamboo
bers. Combinations of various processes at various
stages can be applied to produce bamboo ber suc-
cessfully. Pectinase enzyme had a signicant eect
Fig. 3. Surface structures of the bamboo bers that were moderately separated.
HTC = high temperature, mild chemical; CPF = combined process on fresh
bamboo; EP = enzymatic process.
Fig. 4. Surface structures of the bamboo bers that were well separated.
CP = combined process; CPF = combined process on fresh bamboo.
33 | Vol. 5, No. 6 November/December 2018
AATCC Journal of Research
on chemically-treated bamboo ber. is resulted in bers
that were broken into short lengths, but with a very ne
diameter. erefore, more research needs to be conducted
with combined enzymatic and/or chemical or mechanical
treatments to nd out which combinations of variables cause
damage and which give the desired results for spinnable
ber. It may be possible to produce high-quality bers using
enzymes at various stages of the process and to maintain
bamboo’s properties.
In most cases, the combination of chemical and mechani-
cal processing tested in this research successfully produced
bamboo bers usable for textiles. Use of fresh rather than
dried bamboo proved to be benecial in allowing milder
process conditions as well as to reduce total number of steps
and time required for ber production. Selection of the
proper age of the bamboo plant can inuence the processes
used and the ber yield obtained. It was found qualitatively
that plants at least 2–4 years-old were better candidates for
greater ber yield.
An analysis of the ber diameter showed that the average
diameter of bamboo bers from the Phyllostachys rubromar-
ginata species fell within the range of 10–17 µm for bers
not damaged by processing. is diameter range was consis-
tent with traditional natural bers used in textile production.
Fig. 5. Structure comparison of bamboo bers and bamboo viscose bers.
CP = combined process; BV = bamboo viscose (commercial);
RV = regular viscose (commercial).
A comprehensive study on the surface structure of
bamboo bers demonstrated that bers are well-
rounded in shape and smooth along the length, unlike
viscose bers that are striated. Microscopic analy-
sis also revealed how much the ber surfaces were
cleaned and separated by various processes.
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Amanda J. ompson, Dept. of Clothing, Textiles, &
Interior Design, 306-D Doster Hall, University of Ala-
bama, Box 870158, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA; phone
What you’re reading is more than just copy. It’s also copyrighted. So before you head over to
the photocopier, make sure you have permission. Contact the publisher or visit
35 | Vol. 5, No. 6 November/December 2018
AATCC Journal of Research
... Due to its growth, sustainability, eco-friendliness, and many other advantages, bamboo has been studied with the purpose of extracting fibers for apparel manufacturing Rocky & Thompson, 2018a, 2018c and as a reinforcing material in composites Hebel et al., 2014;Hu & Yu, 2014;K. Liu, Takagi, Osugi, & Yang, 2012;W. ...
... Moso is also widely used in viscose fiber production Erdumlu & Ozipek, 2008). However, most of the studies have reported only natural fiber extraction, rather than assessing Moso fiber applicability in the subsequent processes of apparel manufacturing, such as spinning, weaving or knitting (Rocky & Thompson, 2018a, 2018c. Actually, subsequent processes with different bamboo species are most often unfeasible because of the poor quality of the natural bamboo fibers (L. . ...
... The average values for Moso were within 10-13 μm. These values were consistent with other observations of 4-20 μmRocky & Thompson, 2018c;. Though there was a wide variety in maximum diameters, minimum diameters were within 4-6 μm. ...
In an effort to extract natural bamboo fiber (NBF) from bamboo for textiles and other uses, four bamboo species Bissetii, Giant Gray, Moso, and Red Margin were chosen for investigation. Conventional fibers such as cotton, polyester, regular rayon, and 12 commercial bamboo viscose were included for comparative study. By using different chemicals and routes, 144 types of NBFs were produced. Assessments on fiber yield percentages (40-77%), average lengths (1.50-37.10 cm), fineness (9.68—93.3 Tex), and overall qualities, determined at least 47 sets were prospective for commercial use. Hand-spinning was executed on three sets of NBFs after blending with cotton fibers. Investigation on moisture regain (M_R) and moisture content (M_C), revealed that bamboo plants and NBFs had M_R=8.0% and M_R=7.5% which was lower than rayon and bamboo viscose fiber (~11% and ~10%) but higher than raw cotton …
... Not only is bamboo the fastest growing plant on the earth, but the bamboo plant is also identified as one of the most ecological plants. It has a high percentage (60-80%) of holocellulose, a combination of cellulose and hemicellulose, and is a very good potential source of fiber for textiles [18]. However, extracting natural fiber from bamboo is a very complex and time-consuming process and currently the conventional chemical-dependent viscose process is mostly used for extracting reconverted cellulose from the bamboo biomass [8,17,19]. ...
... Natural bamboo fibers are described as rough and less soft than other natural fibers. The probable reasons behind this may include retention of lignin and coarser fibers [8,17,18]. Some of the retailers actually gave information about the difference in hand of the two different fibers in the 'frequently asked questions' sections. ...
Full-text available
Recently, bamboo has been broadly studied for textile use. Most of the studies concluded some difficulty producing natural fibers. However, textiles associated with bamboo have entered the market. This study on 115 online retailers around the world found that 81.74% of the apparel products associated with the word "bamboo" were viscose that were mainly produced in China and largely retailed in developed countries: USA (42.61%), Australia (17.39%), and the UK (12.17%). Only 9.91% of the retailers labeled their product as "viscose from bamboo" and 41.44% mentioned viscose in descriptions of their products. Furthermore, 87.82% did not include any process description and 53.04% highlighted the properties of the bamboo plant rather than that of the product. Terms such as Sustainable (52.63%), Eco-friendly (46.32%), and Organic (34.74) were used in descriptions of the apparel to capture eco-caring consumers. Other terms such as Soft-Feeling (87.50%), Antibacterial activity (65.18%), Comfortability (58.04%), Moisture absorbency (57.14%), Thermo-regulating (56.25%), Breathability (50.89%) and other properties were advertised in descriptions of the viscose apparel without scientific substantiations. This study also provides insights into business strategies and other interesting findings from the current global online bamboo viscose retailing market.
... The cellulose content of the raw material is the basic basis for evaluating the pulp and paper value (Yao and Wei 2021). Retaining a high hemicellulose content can improve the paper-forming properties and increase the pulp yield (Rocky and Thompson 2018). Cellulose and hemicellulose are collectively called holocellulose and are important indicators to measure the pulping extent of fiber raw materials. ...
... Scanning electron microscopy was used to analyze the surface morphology of fibers, including their surface roughness and degree of fiber damage (Rocky and Thompson 2018). ...
As a by-product of bamboo processing, bamboo powder is incinerated or buried due to its ineffective utilization, which contributes to pollution. The large amount of waste bamboo powder generated during the processing of bamboo products cannot be effectively utilized. Meanwhile, multiple recycling leads to the loss of fiber quality of corrugated cardboard (OCC) pulp, reducing the mechanical properties of paper. In an effort to obtain high value from waste bamboo powder, this study pulped it using the kraft process. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) observations showed that the surface of bamboo fiber had more cracks, which made bamboo fiber have better air permeability. The permeability of bamboo paper was 146% that of the OCC. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis showed that the crystallinity of bamboo pulp was 133% that of the OCC pulp. The results of physical testing of paper showed that the tensile strength of bamboo paper was 116% that of the OCC. The tear strength of bamboo paper was 61.7% that of the OCC, and the bursting strength of bamboo paper was 59.1% that of the OCC. Based on the above results, bamboo powder can be used as raw material for making OCC pulp.
... The micro morphology of the bamboo culms and isolated bamboo microfibers are displayed in Fig. 4. The cross-section of the bamboo culms appeared with many intact vascular bundles consisting of hollow vessels surrounded by fibrous sclerenchyma cells before SE [19]. It is observed that CQ had thicker and smaller vessels than those of QT, as shown in Figs. ...
... Bamboo is a highly studied plant, especially in investigations on manufacturing fibers for textiles, fiberreinforced composite materials, and other applications of the fiber. The major constituents of bamboo biomass are cellulose (45 to 55%), hemicellulose (15 to 25%), lignin (15 to 30%), pectin (0.5 to 1.5%), and other organic and inorganic compounds (Liu et al. 2011;Nayak and Mishra 2016;Tolessa et al. 2017;Rocky and Thompson 2018b). BFs exist in the bamboo structure in the form of bundles that are bonded (by multiple roots vertically and horizontally) to each other longitudinally and laterally and surrounded by basic tissue (Ray et al. 2005). ...
Full-text available
Bamboo pretreatment is a key technology for the preparation of bamboo fibers (BFs) for composites. This study examined the properties of BFs prepared by steam explosion (SE) BFs following pretreatment by enzyme, alkali, and salt. The microstructure, functional groups, crystallinity, and surface chemical elements of BFs were characterized by environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The results indicated that bamboo could be separated into fiber bundles through SE after pretreatment. The separation of BFs pretreated by enzyme and alkali were better, but colloid remained and was able to stick the fibers together. Through performing different pretreatments before SE, the lignin and hemicellulose of BFs were partially removed, and alkali pretreatment had the best effect on lignin removal. The crystal structure of the BFs did not change significantly, and the crystallinity of BFs was highest at 2 MPa and 6 min when pretreated by alkali. The XPS results showed that the effect of alkali pretreatment at 2 MPa for 6 min was the best.
... The details of the NBF extraction processes were documented in several previous publications (Rocky & Thompson, 2018a, 2018b, 2019, 2020. A brief description is included here for this article. ...
Full-text available
A comprehensive crystallographic investigation was performed by using X-ray (from cobalt source) dif-fraction (XRD) technique on different bamboo species, natural bamboo fibers (NBFs), commercial bamboo viscose products, and different conventional fibers. Crystallinity indexes (CIs) were estimated as 61-67% of bamboo plants, 69-73% of NBFs, 35-40% of bamboo viscose, and 77-80% of cotton fibers in this study. Results suggest that CI gradually increased during the delignification process to create NBFs up to a certain point and then decreased with further processes. Knowing this behavior informs decisions of the appropriate chemicals or enzymes for further modification processes and continuing to maintain the expected strength of the fiber. Therefore, delignifying raw bamboo increased the strength of the fibers until the maximum CI was achieved, but further extraction of lignin reduced the strength of the NBF resulting in a higher number of fiber breakage and short fibers. Red Margin was found to have lower CI that hinted at easier NBF extraction. With overall crystallite size of 35-39 Å, four crystalline peaks were detected in all bamboo and NBF specimens.
In the context of carbon neutrality, it is of good economic and ecological value to replace synthetic fibres with natural fibres as reinforcing materials in the preparation of composites. The effect of the hot pressing process parameters on the physical and mechanical properties of the LBF/PP composites was further investigated. The distribution of LBF in the composites was observed by CT. The experimental results show that the hemicellulose content of the BF decreases and the lignin content decreases after the alkali treatment. The mechanical properties of the LBF/PP composites were better at a hot pressing temperature of 180°C, a hot pressing pressure of 8 MPa, a hot pressing time of 15 min and a mass fraction of 70% LBF, with bending strength and bending modulus reaching 226.1 MPa and 15.1 GPa respectively. CT results show that the fibres are evenly distributed in the composites and that the hot pressing process allows the molten PP to penetrate the pores of the LBF surface, forming a good physical and mechanical bond. These composites can be used in various applications such as construction, automotive, consumer goods etc. They are considered to be a suitable alternative to solid plastic products and materials.
Four bamboo species, natural bamboo fibers (NBF) from each species, commercial bamboo viscose, and other conventional fibers were investigated to determine and compare elemental compositions, chemical bonds, and behaviors. Elemental analyses with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were executed to identify elemental compositions, O/C ratios of raw bamboo (0.26–0.42) and NBFs (0.44–0.70), binding energies, and components of C 1s and O 1s peaks and corresponding chemical bonds: C-C, C-H, C-O, C=O, O-C-O, and O-C=O. It was revealed that O/C ratio and moisture regain or content increased as the fineness of NBFs increased. Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR) with attenuated total reflectance (ATR) and Raman spectroscopies were employed to make a broad list of identified characteristic peaks and their chemicals information of different bamboo species, NBFs, cotton, and regenerated cellulosic fibers. The investigation suggests that NBFs may possess most of the chemical groups and behaviors from the respective bamboo plants, and thus the properties. It was observed that bamboo viscose had similar bands as regular viscose/rayon, unlike raw bamboo and NBFs spectra. Results also revealed that bamboo and NBFs had some unique peaks that were not detected in cotton or viscose fibers.
Full-text available
Four widely grown bamboo species, Bissetii, Giant Gray, Moso, and Red Margin, were studied for natural bamboo fiber (NBF) extraction using 36 routes with respective fiber yield percentages where total use of NaOH was less than 24 g/l in any specific processing route. The Red Margin species was found to have the most potential for NBF extraction. This study provides reports on moisture regain (average 8.0 %) and moisture content (average 7.5 %), incineration behavior, solubility properties, surface morphology, length and diameter of single NBF (10-13 μm), and fineness of NBFs from four plants and comparative results with conventional fibers. Yarns of NBFs blended with cotton were created and their tensile properties were tested. NBFs that were longer and coarser in initial stages, with high breaking tenacity of 63.74-138.63 N/Tex and lower elongation of 2.06-2.46 % were judged to be good for some textile applications. Finer and shorter NBFs provide a lower strength in the blended yarns than cotton fibers.
Full-text available
Since fibers are strongly bonded in bamboo, extraction of fibers in their natural form is very difficult. This difficulty has allowed the leading production of fibers from bamboo to become viscose processing. This study reveals routes to produce spinnable natural bamboo fibers through eco-friendly processes retaining antibacterial and other innate properties. It was found that natural bamboo fibers showed better antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus than the raw red margin bamboo plant (Phyllostachys rubromarginata). It seems that bamboo has both bacterium/microbe attracting and resisting compounds. If bacteria-resisting soluble compounds are removed, the antibacterial activity increases in natural bamboo fibers. However, even when the viscose process removes both kinds of compounds it may still show bacterial resistance due to the presence of some residual process chemicals. This study provides such interesting evidence of antibacterial activity in red margin bamboo, natural bamboo fibers, and commercial bamboo viscose.
Bamboo viscose, a new cellulose-based textile material was investigated for biomedical applications such as ultraviolet protective ability and antimicrobial activity. Untreated bamboo viscose fabric was found to afford poor protection against UV radiation and also possessed minimal antimicrobial properties. To enhance UV protection characteristics, fabrics were subjected to different treatments viz., dyeing; finishing with commercial UV absorbers; and one-bath dyeing and finishing with UV absorber. Treatment conditions were optimized with regard to the concentration of UV absorber and dye. Results obtained showed that the UPF values increase with increase in UV absorber and dye concentration. Subsequently, a single bath process to apply both antimicrobial and UV protective treatments to bamboo fabric was studied. Results showed that both treatments are compatible for application from a single bath. The effectiveness of the antimicrobial agent was not adversely affected by the presence of an UV absorber and the treated fabric also retained excellent UV protective properties.
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