A comparison of the effect of the mechanical wash action on textile fabric deterioration and soil removal efficiency

Gericke, Adine (2001-12)

Thesis (MSc )--University of Stellenbosch, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Washing and cleansing in an aqueous washing solution is a complex process involving the interaction of numerous physical and chemical processes. Investigations indicate that various factors present during repeated laundering might have an adverse effect on textile fabrics. Little is known, however, about the effect of the different mechanical wash actions on the deterioration of textiles. The automatic washing machines commonly used in South African households are often broadly classified as top loaders and front loaders. On closer inspection, however, it becomes clear that marked differences exist between the horizontal drum machines (H), vertical drum agitator type (V(A)) and vertical drum impeller type machines (V(/)). The effect of laundering on the wear life of textile fabrics has been extensively investigated, but a serious need for research on the effect of the different mechanical washing actions of the different washing machines on textile fabrics exists on both national and international level. A number of factors have an effect on textile deterioration during washing, e.g. number of washes, temperature of wash liquid, detergent type as well as fabric finishes and water quality. Fabric properties like changes in tensile strength, print deterioration and fraying, as well as electron microscope photographs, were used as indicators of mechanical deterioration to textiles. The broad aim of this exploratory study was firstly, to compare the effect of repeated washing in different domestic automatic washing machines (commonly used in South Africa) on the possible mechanical damage to textile fabrics and, secondly, to compare the soil removal efficiency of the mechanical wash actions of the different machines. An experimental study was therefore decided on. The washing of the test fabrics, as well as the testing, was carried out under controlled conditions in a laboratory. Apart from the different mechanical wash actions of the individual machines, the effect of the variables wash temperature, level of detergent and number of washes, was also investigated. This was done by measuring tensile strength, print deterioration and fraying propensity on samples laundered repeatedly at 40°C or 60°C, with and without detergent in the washing liquid, and comparing the colour change measured on laboratory-soiled test fabrics after washing. Analysis of the mechanical wash actions of the seven washing machines compared in this study indicated conspicuous differences among machines. It can be concluded that the mechanical wash action in the category V(A) machines is the most severe, and causes the highest reduction in tensile strength, the greatest print deterioration and the highest degree of fraying. These machines did not, however, exhibit greater soil removal efficiency than the other two categories of washing machines. The machines from category H did not exhibit a significantly different soil removal efficiency than those from category V(A), but their mechanical wash action proved to be less severe. Category V(/) machines seem to have the most delicate wash action and will probably cause the slightest fabric deterioration over the long term, but unfortunately produces poor soil removal efficiency results. This study also confirmed that washing fabrics in water alone causes more deterioration of tensile strength in fabrics than washing with detergent in the wash solution. Due to the limited scope and exploratory nature of this research/study, certain aspects of automatic washing machine processes could not be tested empirically. Recommendations for future research and implications for consumers were formulated.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Was en skoonmaak in 'n waterige oplossing is 'n komplekse proses wat 'n interaksie tussen verskeie fisiese en chemiese prosesse behels. Ondersoeke dui aan dat verskeie van die faktore teenwoordig tydens herhaalde wasprosesse 'n nadelige effek op tekstielstowwe mag he. Baie min is egter bekend oor die effek van die verskillende meganiese wasaksies op die degenerasie van tekstiele. Die outomatiese wasmasjiene wat algemeen in Suid-Afrikaanse huishoudings gebruik word, word dikwels breedweg geklassifiseer as bolaaiers en voorlaaiers. By nadere ondersoek word dit egter duidelik dat daar opvallende verskille bestaan tussen die horisontale drom masjiene (H), die vertikale drom roerder tipe ((V)A)) en die vertikale drom stuwer tipe (V(/)) masjiene. Die effek van was op die draleeftyd van tekstielstowwe is uitvoerig ondersoek, maar daar bestaan op beide nasionale en internasionale vlak In ernstige behoefte aan navorsing oor die effek van die verskillende meganiese wasaksies van die verskillende wasmasjiene op tekstielstowwe. Faktore 5005 die aantal wasse, temperatuur van die wasoplossing, detergent tipe, water kwaliteit en tekstielstoftipe en -afwerking(s) het In effek of tekstieldegenerasie gedurende was. Tekstielstofeienskappe 5005 veranderinge in die breeksterkte van die tekstielstof of die tekstielstofmassa per eenheidsarea, agteruitgang van bedrukking, rafeling, sowel as elektronmikroskoop foto's word as aanduiding van meganiese degenerasie t.o.v. tekstiele beskou. Die oorkoepelende doe I van hierdie eksploratiewe studie was eerstens, om die effek te vergelyk van herhaalde was in verskillende outomatiese wasmasjiene (algemeen in gebruik in Suid-Afrika) op die moontlike meganiese beskadiging aan tekstielstowwe, en tweedens, om die doeltreffendheid van vuilverwydering op die wasaksies van die verskillende masjiene te vergelyk. Daar is gevolglik op In eksperimentele studie besluit. Die was van die tekstielstowwe, sowel as die laboratoriumtoetse, is onder gekontroleerde atmosferiese toestande in In laboratorium uitgevoer. Afgesien van die verskillende meganiese wasaksies van die individuele masjiene, is die effek van die veranderlikes westemperetuur, detergentv!ak en aanta! wasse ook ondersoek. Dit is gedoen deur die bepaling van breeksterkte en die meting van die mate van agteruitgang van bedrukking en mate van geneigdheid tot rafeling van kledingstowwe na herhaalde was by 40°C en 60°C, met en sonder detergent in die wasvloeistof. Die kleurverandering na was is ook gemeet op laboratorium gevlekte monsters. Die analise van die meganiese wasaksie van die sewe wasmasjiene wat in hierdie studie vergelyk is, het opvallende verskille tussen masjiene uitgewys. Daar kan tot die gevolgtrekking gekom word dat die meganiese wasaksie in kategorie V(A) masjiene die ergste is, wat gevolglik die grootste verlaging in breeksterkte en die meeste afieruitgang van bedrukking en rafeling veroorsaak het. Hierdie masjiene het egter nie meer doeltreffende vuilverwydering tot gevolg gehad in vergelyking met die ander kategoriee van wasmasjiene nie. Die masjiene in kategorie H het nie 'n betekenisvolle verskil in doeltreffenheid van vuilverwydering van die van kategorie V(A) getoon nie, maar die meganiese wasaksie was minder straf. Kategorie V(/) masjiene het blykbaar die mees delikate wasaksie en sal moontlik die minste tekstielstof degenerasie oor die langtermyn toon, maar ongelukkig is die resultate t.o. v. die doeltreffendheid van vuilverwydering swak. Die studie bevestig dat die was van tekstielstowwe in water aileen 'n groter verlaging in breeksterkte van tekstielstowwe veroorsaak as wat die geval is wanneer met 'n detergent in die wasvloeistof gewas word. Weens die beperkte omvang en eksploratiewe aard van die studie kon sekere aspekte van die outomatiese wasprosesse nie empiries getoets word nie. Aanbevelings vir toekomstige navorsing en implikasies vir verbruikers is geformuleer.

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