Properties Of A Carpet

Fibers
A fibre can be defined as any substance which can be made into a yarn. These fibres’ strengths and weaknesses will be the deciding factor in how each fibre is used in the manufacturing process. Some of these will be used as backings while others will be used as face.

There are two basic types of Fibers

Fibre Identification
It is very important that the carpet cleaning personnel be able to identity the carpet fibre before any cleaning takes place. This will ensure that the proper cleaning solutions and procedures will be used for each fibre. Failing to do so can result in the deterioration of the fibre, colour bleeding, fibre texture change, cellulose browning and neutralization of acid dye blockers and flurochemicals.

Burn Test
The fibers used in manufacturing carpet or upholstery fall into two major categories: natural and synthetic. The natural fibers can be from animals–protein, or plant cellulose. The synthetic fibers are usually petroleum or cellulose based. If the type of fiber known you can avoid potential damage. The simplest method of identification is the burn test. This tip is so important that even the professional is so lazy to check. Dont ever forget especially if you’re unsure of the properties of the carpet.

When the Burn Test is performed there are 3 basic components that are observed.

  • the flame
  • the odour
  • the ash

The Following is an equipment list needed for doing the a burn test

  • Butane cigarette lighter set on a low flame
  • Pair of tweezers or a large paper clip
  • Pair of sharp scissors

 

Once the equipment has been assembled, cut a couple of fibres from an inconspicuous are and place them in the tweezers or paper clip. Hold the butane lighter about 1/2″ below the fibre, and ignite it (this should be done over a sink or ashtray). Pull the flame away and observe the flame, one the flame has gone out smell the odour and then once the fibre has cooled check the ash.

 

Fiber When in Flame After Flame Removed Odor Ash
Nylon burns slowly with melting self extinguishing celery hard, tough, round, gray
Olefin burns with melting continues to burn and melt ashpalt hard, tough, tan
Polyester sputters with melting self extinguishing black sooty smoke sweet plastic hard, tough, round, black
Acrylic burns quickly white orange sputters black smoke charred meat irregular, hard can be crushed
Acetate burns quickly with melting continues to burn rapidly hot vinegar brittle,irregular, black
Rayon burns quickly without melting continues to burn burning paper almost none, light, fluffy
Wool burns slowly and sputters self extinguishing burning hair brittle, small, black, crumbles easily
Silk burns slowly and sputters self extinguishing burning hair bead-like, black, crushable
Cotton burns quickly without melting continues to burn burning paper light, feathery, gray to charcoal
Jute burns quickly without melting continues to burn burning paper light, feathery, gray to charcoal
Linen burns quickly without melting continues to burn burning paper light, feathery, gray to charcoal

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