Viscose is a viscous organic liquid used to make rayon and cellophane. Viscose is becoming synonymous with rayon, a soft material commonly used in shirt, coats, jackets, and other outer wear.
Cellulose from wood or cotton fibers is treated with sodium hydroxide, then mixed with carbon disulfide to form cellulose xanthate, which is dissolved in more sodium hydroxide. The resulting viscose is extruded into an acid bath, either through a slit to make cellophane, or through a spinneret to make rayon. The acid converts the viscose back into cellulose.
Cellulose is treated with alkali and carbon disulfide to yield viscose.
Viscose currently is becoming less common because of the polluting effects of carbon disulfide and other by-products of the process, forcing some factories to close.
French scientist and industrialist Hilaire de Chardonnet (1838-1924) — who invented the first artificial textile fiber, artificial silk—created viscose in Échirolles in 1891. Three British scientists, Charles Frederick Cross, Edward John Bevan, and Clayton Beadle patented the process in 1902.
Products made from viscose
• Art silk
• Synthetic velvet
Rayon Fiber Characteristics
o Highly absorbent
o Soft and comfortable
o Easy to dye
o Drapes well
Spinneret refers to a multi-pored device through which a plastic polymer melt is extruded to form fibers. Streams of viscous polymer usually exit into cool air or liquid to solidify. The individual polymer chains tend to align in the fiber because of viscous flow. This air stream liquid-to-fiber formation process is similar to the production process for cotton candy. The process may be referred to as Gel spinning or Polymer spinning.
Some Major Rayon Fiber Uses
• Apparel: Accessories, blouses, dresses, jackets, lingerie, linings, millinery, slacks, sport shirts, sportswear, suits, ties, work clothes
• Home Furnishings: Bedspreads, blankets, curtains, draperies, sheets, slipcovers, tablecloths, upholstery
• Industrial Uses: Industrial products, medical surgical products, nonwoven products, tire cord
• Other Uses: Feminine hygiene products