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Analysis of Abrasion Characteristics in Textiles

Author:QINSUN Released in:2018-11 Click:1356

Wear in textile materials is one of a limited number of fault factors in which an object loses its usefulness and the economic implication can be of enormous value to the industry. The terms wear and abrasion are sometimes confused. Wear is a very general term covering the loss of material by virtually any means. As wear usually occurs by rubbing together of two surfaces, abrasion is often used as a general term to mean wear (Brown, 2006).

The resistance of textile materials to abrasion as measured on a testing machine in the laboratory is generally only one of several factors contributing to wear performance or durability as experienced in the actual use of the material. While “abrasion resistance” (often stated in terms of the number of cycles on a specified machine, using a specified technique to produce a specified degree or amount of abrasion) and “durability” (defined as the ability to withstand deterioration or wearing out in use, including the effects of abrasion) are frequently related, the relationship varies with different end uses, and different factors may be necessary in any calculation of predicted durability from specific abrasion data (ASTM D 4966).

Abrasion is the physical destruction of fibres, yarns, and fabrics, resulting from the rubbing of a textile surface over another surface (Abdullah et al., 2006). Textile materials can be unserviceable because of several different factors and one of the most important causes is abrasion. Abrasion occurs during wearing, using, cleaning or washing process and this may distort the fabric, cause fibres or yarns to be pulled out or remove fibre ends from the surface (Hu, 2008; Kadolph, 2007). Abrasion ultimately results in the loss of performance characteristics, such as strength, but it also affects the appearance of the fabric (Collier & Epps, 1999).

The main factors that reduce service life of the garment are heavily dependent on its end use. But especially certain parts of apparel, such as collar, cuffs and pockets, are subjected to serious wear in use (Figure 1). Abrasion is a serious problem for home textiles like as carpets and upholstery fabrics, socks and technical textiles as well. Yarn abrasion is another important subject that should be considered during processing.

Fig. 1. Abraded textile products (a) edge of pants, (b) (c) surface appearances of fabrics - before (left) and after (right) the abrasion test.

In this chapter, detailed information about the abrasion and abrasion resistance of the textile materials are discussed. In the first part, the abrasion and wear mechanism are explained. In the second part, abrasion of the fabrics (factors affecting abrasion such as fibre, yarn and fabric properties, parameters affecting the test results, testing and evaluation methods), yarn abrasion (yarn on yarn and yarn external abrasion), abrasion characteristics of socks and technical textile fabrics are analyzed. Studies on the mentioned subjects are given as well.

Abrasion mechanism of textiles
Abrasive wear in textiles is caused by different conditions mainly given below:
- Friction between textile materials, such as rubbing of a jacket or coat lining on a shirt, pants pockets against pants fabric etc.
- Friction between the textile materials to the external object, such as rubbing of trousers to the seat, friction of the yarn to the needle etc.
- Friction between the fibres and dust, or grit, in a fabric that results in cutting of the fibres. This is an extremely slow process, it may be observed on flags hanging out or swimwear because of the unremoved sand.
- Friction between the fabric components. Flexing, stretching, and bending of the fibres during the usage causes fibre slippage, friction to each other and breakage (Mehta, 1992). The study of the processes of wear is part of the discipline of tribology and the mechanism of wear is very complex. Under normal mechanical and practical procedures, the wear-rate normally changes through three different stages: primary stage or early run-in period, where surfaces adapt to each other and the wear-rate might vary between high and low; secondary stage or mid-age process, where a steady rate of wearing is in motion. Most of the components operational life is comprised in this stage. Tertiary stage or old-age period is where the components are subjected to rapid failure due to a high rate of wearing(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wear). Some commonly referred to wear mechanisms include: Adhesive wear, abrasive wear, surface fatigue, fretting wear, erosive wear.
Adhesive, abrasive wear and surface fatigue mechanism play an important role in theabrasion mechanism of the yarns and fabrics.
Adhesive wear, occurs between surfaces during frictional contact and generally refers to unwanted displacement and attachment of wear debris and material compounds from one surface to another. The adhesive wear and material transfer due to direct contact and plastic deformation are the main issues in adhesive wear. The asperities or microscopic high points or surface roughness found on each surface, define the severity on how fragments of oxides are pulled off and adds to the other surface. This is partly due to strong adhesive forces between atoms, but also due to accumulation of energy in the plastic zone between the asperities during relative motion.
Abrasive wear, occurs when a hard rough surface slides across a softer surface. ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) defines it as the loss of material due to hard particles or hard protuberances that are forced against and move along a solid surface. Abrasive wear is commonly classified according to the type of contact and the contact environment. The type of contact determines the mode of abrasive wear. The two modes of abrasive wear are known as two-body and three-body abrasive wear. Two-body wear occurs when the grits or hard particles remove material from the opposite surface. The common analogy is that of material being removed or displaced by a cutting or plowing operation. Three-body wear occurs when the particles are not constrained, and are free to roll and slide down a surface.
Fatigue wear of a material is caused by a cycling loading during friction. Fatigue occurs if the applied load is higher than the fatigue strength of the material. Fatigue cracks start at the material surface and spread to the subsurface regions. The cracks may connect to each other resulting in separation and delamination of the material pieces. One of the types of fatigue wear is fretting wear caused by cycling sliding of two surfaces across each other with small amplitude (oscillating). The friction force produces alternating compression-tension stresses, which result in surface fatigue (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wear, June2011).

In terms of wear mechanism in textiles, abrasion first modifies the fabric surface and then affects the internal structure of the fabric, damaging it (Manich et.al, 2001; Kaloğlu et al., 2003). Good abrasion resistance depends more on a high energy of rupture than on high tenacity at break. Abrasion is not influenced so much by the energy absorbed in the first deforming process (total energy of rupture), as by the work absorbed during repeated deformation. This work is manifested in the elastic energy or the recoverable portion of the total energy. Thus, to prevent abrasion damage, the material must be capable of absorbing energy and releasing that energy upon the removal of load. Energies in tension, shear, compression, and bending are all important for the evaluation of surface abrasion; however, these energies are unknown, and therefore elastic energies in tension permit at least a quantitative interpretation of abrasive damage in fibres and fabrics (Abdullah et al., 2006; as cited in Hamburger, 1945).

Fibres in use are subject to a variety of different forces, which are repeated many times (Hearle & Morton, 2008). The gradual breakdown of the internal cohesion of the individual fibres or by a gradual breakdown of the forces of structural cohesion between the fibres results fabric failure. The relative occurrence of these two phenomena depends to a great extent upon the fabric geometry, but there are limitless factors involved (e.g., construction of yarns and weaves) depending on the individual behavior of different fibres (Figure 2) (Abdullah et al., 2006).

Fig. 3. Fibre rupture occurred as abraded against standard worsted fabric (Abdullah et al.,2006) During the course of abrasion in textiles, fibre to fibre cohesion plays an important role, usually influenced by yarn twist or close fibre packing. Abrasion behavior indicates that fibre cohesion is strong in the fabric system, and it causes the shear of the fibres themselves. Frictional forces developed in the yarn due to the motion of the abrasion test are dissipated largely in the fibres by the development of tensile and shear stresses; repetition of such stresses results in fibre fatigue, which causes the loss of fibre mechanical properties, leading to rupture. Fibres in the crowns are broken down in succession, and this causes a reduction in fibre cohesion and yarn strength. In lateral abrasion cycles, frictional forces are able to displace fibre from their normal position, and these fibres ruptures through bending and flexing (Figure 3). In addition, it is also possible that some cracking is initiated by abrasion and then propagated by bending action (Abdullah et al., 2006).

Although the mechanism of abrasion is similar, because of the differences in the measurement methods, abrasion resistance of textile materials can be studied in two parts such as fabric abrasion and yarn abrasion.

Abrasion of fabrics
Factors affecting abrasion resistance of fabrics Abrasion resistance of the textile materials is very complex phenomenon and affected by many factors, mainly classified as follows: Fibre, yarn, fabric properties and finishing processes. Some of these parameters affect fabric surface whereas some of them has an influence on internal structure of the fabrics. For example fibre characteristics like wool ratio and fineness play a significant role in surface abrasion, while yarn and fabric characteristics like yarn linear density and interlacing coefficient are significantly related with structural abrasion (Manich et al., 2001).

Fibre properties
The mechanical properties and dimensions of the fibres are important for abrasion. Fibretype, fibre fineness and fibre length are the main parameters that affect abrasion.Fibres with high elongation, elastic recovery and work of rupture have a good ability to withstand repeated distortion; hence a good degree of abrasion resistance is achieved. Nylon is generally considered to have the best abrasion resistance, followed by polyester, polypropylene (Hu, 2008). Blending either nylon or polyester with wool and cotton is found to increase abrasion resistance at the expense of other properties (Saville, 1999). Higher wool rate increase the mass loss (Manich et al., 2001). Acrylic and modacrylic have a lower resistance than these fibres while wool, cotton and high modulus viscose have a moderate abrasion resistance. Viscose and acetates are found to have the lowest degree of resistance to abrasion. However, synthetic fibres are produced in many different versions so that the abrasion resistance of particular variant may not conform to the general ranking of fibres(Saville, 1999).

The removal of the fibres from yarn structure is one of the reasons of the abrasion. Therefore factors that affect the cohesion of yarns will influence the abrasion resistance of fabrics as well. Longer fibres incorporated into a fabric confer better abrasion resistance than short fibres because it is harder to liberate them from the fabric structure. For the same reason filament yarns are more abrasion resistant than staple yarns made from the same fibre(Saville 1999; Hu, 2008).

The using of finer fibres in the production of yarns causes increment in the number of the fibre in cross section with higher cohesion which results better abrasion resistance. So abrasion retention is better for fabrics with finer fibres (Kaloğlu et al., 2003).

Yarn properties
Yarn structure, count, twist and hairiness are the main properties which affect abrasion of the textile fabrics. Increasing linear density at constant fabric mass per unit area increases the abrasion resistance of the fabrics (Saville, 1999). As yarn got thinner,abrasion resistance values of knitted fabrics decrease and breaking occurs in lower cycles(Özgüney et al., 2008).

Twist is another parameter affecting abrasion. There is an optimum amount of twist in a yarn to give the best abrasion resistance. At low-twist, fibres can easily be removed from the yarn so that it is gradually reduced in diameter. At high twist levels the fibres are held more tightly but the yarn is stiffer so it is unable to distort under pressure when being abraded(Saville, 1999).

Yarn hairiness has a negative effect in terms of mass loss during abrasion. An increase in yarn hairiness, due to the higher level of protruding fibres from yarn surface, reduces fabric abrasion resistance.

The production method of yarn has also an influence on the abrasion resistance, such that carded fabric gives lower resistance than that of combed fabric (Manich et al., 2001). Even yarn structure, using long fibre and lower yarn hairiness are the reasons of that result. Knitted fabrics from ring spun yarns have better abrasion resistance than knitted fabrics from OE spun yarns (Candan et al.,2000; Candan & Önal, 2002). Ring spun yarns are hairier but more compactly structured than OE yarns, this well aligned compact structure doesn’t promote easy fibre wear off (Paek, 1989).

Compact yarn fabrics have higher abrasion resistance values compared to the ring yarn fabrics with the same fabric construction. Since the fibres of compact yarns are held more tightly within the yarn structure and higher participation of the fibres into the yarn structure exists, compact yarns have a denser and closer structure compared to the ring yarns. The compact yarn has lower hairiness, high tensile resistance as a result of that fibre movements causing limited abrasion (Akaydın, 2009, 2010). Fabrics woven from compact yarns have also lower weight loss compared to those woven from ring yarns (Ömeroglu & Ülkü, 2007). Sirospun is a modified ring spinning process that two rovings per spindle are fed to the drafting system within specially developed condensers separately and drafted simultaneously. Fabrics knitted from sirospun yarns show better abrasion resistance than ring, air-jet and OE yarns because of the better evenness, hairiness, regular and tightly structure (Örtlek et al., 2010). However as considering the results of fabrics produced with two ply yarns, fabrics from sirospun yarns wear faster than two fold ring spun yarn(Kaloğlu et al., 2003).

Another factor that affects the abrasion is the number of yarn plies. As the number of ply threads per yarn increases, the thickness and the mass per unit area increases and it causes an improvement in abrasion characteristics of the fabric.

Fabric properties
Fabric construction, thickness, weight, the number of yarn (thread density) and interlacing per unit area are the fabric properties affecting abrasion.

Weave type has a significant effect on abrasion resistance of the fabrics. Woven fabric properties will differ by changing the weave pattern which is evaluated not only as an appearance property, but also as a very important structure parameter. If one set of yarns is predominantly on the surface then this set will wear most; this effect can be used to protect the load bearing yarns preferentially. Long yarn floats and a low number of interlacings cause the continuous contact area of one yarn strand to expand and this facilitates the yarn to lose its form more easily by providing easier movement as a result of the rubbing motion. So long floats in a weave such as sateen structures are more exposed and abrade faster, usually cause breaking of the yarns and increasing the mass loss. In this way, holding the fibres in the yarn structure becomes harder and the removal of fibre becomes easier (Kaynak & Topalbekiroğlu, 2008). But the fabrics that have lower floats such as flat plain weave fabrics have better abrasion resistance than other weaves because the yarns are more tightly locked in structure and the wear is spread more evenly over all of the yarns in the fabric (Hu, 2008).

Like as woven structure, knitting structure has also an important effect on abrasion characteristics of knitted fabrics. Average abrasion resistance values of interlock knitted fabrics are higher than rib and single jersey fabrics (Özgüney et al., 2008). The reason of that is more stabile, thicker and voluminous structure of the interlock fabrics (Akaydın, 2009). Course length for the knitted fabrics is so important that the weight loss percent after abrasion increases with increasing course length. Open, slack knitted fabric structure is abraded more than denser fabrics (Kaloğlu et al., 2003). The fabric mass per square meter and fabric thickness that are the main structural properties of fabrics have an effect on abrasion resistance. Higher values of these factors ensure higher abrasion resistance.

The other parameter that affects the abrasion is thread density of the fabric. The more threads per unit area in a fabric are the less force to each individual thread is, therefore the fabrics with a tight structure have higher abrasion resistance than those with a loose structure. However as the threads become jammed together they are the unable to deflect under load and thus absorb the distortion (Saville, 1999). The literature contains papers dealing with the abrasion resistance of the specific type of the fabrics. One of them characterizes certain properties of flocked fabrics produced from different fibre type by measuring the abrasion resistance. Abrasion resistance of the flocked fabrics is related to the flock fibre length and density of flock fibre ends. The flocked fabrics with low flock fibre density and high flock fibre length show more resistance to abrasion in comparison with the flocked fabrics which have high flock fibre density and short flock fibre length. The wet rubbing resistance of the flocked fabrics is less than the dry rubbing resistance (Bilişik, 2009). Another study is about the performance of upholstery fabrics woven with chenille yarns. Chenille yarn material, yarn twist, and pile length have a significant effect on the abrasion resistance of the chenille yarns and fabrics. Twist levels and pile lengths affect yarn cohesion. There is an improvement in abrasion resistance of the fabrics with increasing twist, pile length, and the use of natural fibres as pile materials, which may be due to increasing frictional behavior between the pile and lock yarns (Özdemir & Çeven,2004).

Finishing process:
Finishing treatments, the types and concentration of the chemicals used in the treatment processes are also the parameters affecting the abrasion characteristics of the fabrics. Grey fabrics have lower abrasion resistance compared to dyed fabrics with the same construction. During the dyeing operation, fibres on the fabric surface will cling to it, hence the fabric will achieve a closer state, and the movement of fibres within the yarn will be
limited (Akaydın 2009, 2010).

Laundering process affects the abrasion resistance. The abrasion resistance of both undyed and dyed fabrics is negatively influenced by the laundering treatment (Candan etal., 2000). The degree of damage in fibres within the fuzz entanglements tends to increase with an increased number of launderings, and that the damage varies from small cracks and fractures to slight flaking depending on the fabric and yarn (Candan & Önal, 2002). Another process that is important for fabric abrasion is bleaching and enzymatic process. The fabrics applied bleaching and enzymatic processes have higher abrasion resistance with regard to grey knitted fabrics. However as enzymatic treatment is applied to the dyed fabrics the abrasion tendency become worse compared to non-enzymatic dyed fabric (Kretzschmar et al., 2007) Nano-silicone softener treatment causes decrease in abrasion resistance of the fabrics.

The mass loss ratios of the samples with nano-silicone softeners are higher than mass loss ratios of the samples without nano-silicone softener. It is the probable result of fibre mobility inside the fabric which is increased by nano-silicone softener. Silicone softeners provide better wrinkle recovery, tear strength, and abrasion resistance than the cationic softener for 100% cotton woven fabric (Çelik et al., 2010).

The laser fading process is acknowledged as a very strong alternative compared to the conventional physical and chemical processes used for aged-worn look on denim fabrics.Even with the lower pulse time of laser beams, abrasion resistance significantly decreases after fading process and with the higher pulse times, the decrease in abrasion resistance values is much more apparent (Özgüney et al., 2009).