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what makes fiber stick together??

what makes fiber stick together??

what makes fiber stick together??

Hello All,
 I am currently working for a company that processes coir (coconut) fiber. The processed fiber is used to make coir pads, geotextile material and several other products. My duties as a design engineer is to improve our processes and machines to meet the stringent quality standards demanded by the current market.
 Since there is very little research data available on the internet and outside about the nature of coconut fiber, I am trying to get a feel for the physical characteristics by looking at other kinds of fiber such as flax, cotton and hemp.
 My question is, what sort of mechanisms are associated with fiber sticking together without seperation?? Is it static electricity or just the surface texture or some other factor/factors? Also what are some of the methods used for fiber separation? The only method that has looked halfway effective (for coir) has been vibration of a fiber clump until individual fibers start falling away. But if there are any other more effective standard techniques I would appreciate the enlightenment. Thank you in advance for any input.

RE: what makes fiber stick together??

This is not my area of expertise, but I have an interesting brainstorm to throw out there.  Try washing it.... I was doing some research on cationic surfactants and came to learn that it was these surfactants in shampoos that cause "bad hair days", where residual surfactant bound to hair made the hair partially charged.  The hair actually repels itself.  Might work for you...

RE: what makes fiber stick together??

Thank you for the idea, the only problem with washing is that Coconut fibers absorb a lot of water. However its good to know that static electric charging can cause significant change in fiber adhering qualities. can you tell me what other mechanisms that hold the fiber together.
Thanks again,

RE: what makes fiber stick together??

Well, I can't say as I am some expert with coconut fibers, and I would have to actually be testing them to get a handle on the mechanism of attractions.  There could be electrostatic forces holding them together.  Being that they are cellulose material, look at the structure of cellulose and how that holds together, (hydrogen bonding? static attraction?)  You say they absorb water quickly.  Are the fibers completely dry and sticking toghether?  Do they have a mechanical interaction, say like velcro?  Just some food for thought.  I couldn't say for sure myself.

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