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Cellulose Microfibers



from 5/23/2012

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Cellulose Fibers



“Cellulose microfibers are described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,511,746 to Collier et al. In the '746 patent there is described a process for manufacturing cellulose microfibers from dissolved cellulose by extruding the dissolved cellulose (lyocell-type) through a converging die. The fibers are reported to have a diameter on the order of 10 .mu.m with constituent structures of smaller diameters. See Col. 15-16. Note also, U.S. Pat. No. 6,235,392 to Luo et al. which describes melt blown Lyocell microfiber.

Lyocell is made by dissolving nearly pure cellulose in N-methyl-morpholine oxide (NMMO) and reforming fibers by injecting a concentrated cellulose/NMMO solution into a water bath through spinnerets. The water dilutes the NMMO as the nascent fiber is drawn through the bath, and the cellulose crystallizes into fibers. The fiber formation process first produces extremely fine fibrils which then align themselves along the axis of the fiber as the NMMO is removed. The strength of the bonds between fibrils has some distribution around a mean such that mechanical action may completely disintegrate some fibers while leaving others mostly intact. In most textile applications, fibrillation is not desired, and there are patents on ways to minimize fibrillation. In other applications such as filter media, it is desired to retain large fibers with fibrils still attached. In co-pending application U.S. Patent Application Ser. No. 60/850,467 (Case 20134), the lyocell is fibrillated to the point where fibrils are separated into distinct microfibers. FIG. 1 shows an example of fibrillated lyocell.”

[Sumnicht, US Patent 8,177,938 (5/15/2012)]


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Roger D. Corneliussen

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Copyright 2012 by Roger D. Corneliussen.
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* Date of latest addition; date of first entry is 5/23/2012.