Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Materials Science and Engineering

Major Professor

Gajanan S. Bhat

Committee Members

Kermit E. Duckett, David C. Joy, Larry C. Wadsworth


Cotton-based biodegradable nonwoven products have been receiving increasing attention in recent years with the growing environmental awareness throughout the world. A majority of the cotton-based nonwoven products are processed by carding with the binder fibers, and then point-bonding using a thermal calender.

In this work, different biodegradable binder fibers were used to produce cotton-based nonwovens. The structure and the properties of the resulting fabrics were studied. The effect of bonding temperature and binder fiber content on the bond morphology was investigated. The fracture and failure mechanisms of the fabrics produced with different binder fiber content and at different bonding temperature were analyzed.

Binder fiber distribution was determined by both qualitative and quantitative methods. The results show that DSC is a useful method to quantitatively characterize the binder fiber distribution in the carded cotton-based nonwovens. By determining the specific enthalpy from crystallization of one of the binder fiber components in the fabrics, it is possible to calculate the fiber composition.

Tensile properties of the resultant nonwovens under different processing conditions were studied. The optimal processing conditions for the nonwovens processed using different binder fibers were determined based on their tensile properties. Consequently, effects of binder fiber type, binder fiber content, and bonding temperature on the tensile property of the nonwoven fabrics are discussed. The best binder fiber under the experimental conditions was selected based on the tensile property of the resulting fabrics. Based on the interactions of binder fiber composition and bonding temperature, empirical models have been developed to predict the breaking load of the webs bonded by the best binder fiber using the General Linear Models Procedure in JMP 5.0 statistical analysis software.

The absorbent behavior and flexural rigidity of the nonwoven fabrics bonded by one of the binder fibers were investigated. The results indicate that the resultant fabrics have low flexural rigidity and good absorbency which show that the fabrics have potential applications as absorbent materials.

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