X-ray Diffraction of Cotton Treated with Neutralized Vegetable Oil-based Macromolecular Crosslinkers

Ericka N. Johnson Ford, University of Southern Mississippi
Sharathkumar K. Mendon, University of Southern Mississippi
Shelby F. Thames, University of Southern Mississippi
James W. Rawlins, University of Southern Mississippi


Maleinized soybean oil (MSO) has been investigated as a flexible, macromolecular crosslinker for cotton fabrics. The ability of MSO to penetrate crystalline cellulose and crosslink aligned cellulose chains upon cure has been in question. This study compares the penetration capability of MSO to dimethyloldihydroxyethyleneurea (DMDHEU), which is the commercial standard for durable press finishing and is an efficient cellulose crosslinker. Xray diffraction was employed to characterize changes in the crystalline morphology upon heating un-mercerized cotton fabrics treated with aqueous DMDHEU and soybean oil derivatives. Displacement of characteristic interplanar spacings and the genesis/elimination of diffraction intensities from quintessential planes were evidence of structural modification. The penetration of ammonia neutralized MSO (acid value 230.00 mg KOH/g) into the microstructure of cotton cellulose is similar to that of DMDHEU in terms of expanding the interplanar spacings of characteristic planes. Moreover, polymorphism of cotton and mercerized cotton occurred upon treatment with aqueous solutions of MSO. These findings suggest that macromolecular reagents can diffuse into cellulose fibrils if they are sufficiently hydrated or enshrouded by more favored penetrants.