Wool fabrics, ultrasonically treated in various chemical conditions and for different time durations, were analysed for thermal properties by thermo-gravimetric analysis and differential scanning calorimeter, in comparison with the untreated fabric. Fabric mechanical properties, such as bending and tensile performance, and changes in fibre morphology were also evaluated before and after ultrasonic treatment.It is found that wool treated with ultrasonics at the appropriate time, has less mass loss and a higher thermal degradation temperature than that without ultrasonic treatment or with prolonged ultrasonic treatment. Resistance to thermal degradation is reduced when wool is ultrasonically treated in the presence of alkali. Differential scanning calorimeter analysis shows that while ultrasonic treatment has little effect on fibre crystallinity, an appropriate treatment can provide wool with increased water absorption. Ultrasonic treatment stiffens wool fabric to some extent when the treatment time is prolonged. The addition of detergent alone to the ultrasonic bath has little effect on fabric tensile behaviour, whereas a treatment with both detergent and alkali produces severe fibre damage and significant loss of fabric tensile strength.
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