Fiber identification is a difficult task but if we know the characteristics of that fiber then it is easy to identify the fiber. Another thing is that, if anyone want to know the name of an unknown fiber then what can we do? Simple answer is that, we can carry out various types of fiber identification test. Fiber can be identify by physical test, chemical test, burning test, density test and many more test.
Here, I like to give a chemical test procedure which is known as solubility test. It is a common testing procedure of all types of fiber. I think it will help to identify the fiber.
Procedure of Solubility Test for Fiber Identification: Followings are the solubility testing procedure:
- If we want to carry out the test then we have to maintain room temperature and place a small sample of the fiber in a watch crystal, test tube or 50 ml beaker and cover with test solvent. Here, 1 ml of solvent is used for 10 ml of fiber.
- If the test is conducted at boiling point of the solvent then first bring the solvent to a beaker for boiling on an electric hot plate in a vertical hood.
- Hot plate temperature is adjusted to maintain slow boiling and keep watch so that the solvent does not boil dry. Then the fiber sample is dropped into the boiling solvent.
- If the test is conducted at some intermediate temperature then beaker of water is heated on a hot plate and adjusts the temperature with a thermometer.
- Then, place the fiber sample in the test solvent in a test tube and immerse in the heated water bath.
- If the fiber dissolves completely then softens to a plastic mass or remains insoluble.
- Finally, compare the observation data to the standard data to identify the fiber by the solubility test.
So, that’s all about the solubility test. It is common testing process. I will discuss about the solubility testing procedure for individual fiber in my next blog.