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What is the standard fabric pilling test?

2023-11-16 14:08

The standard fabric pilling test is a method used to evaluate the pilling resistance of textile fabrics. Pilling refers to the formation of small, unwanted balls of fiber on the fabric surface, typically caused by friction or abrasion during use. The test helps assess a fabric's ability to resist pilling and provides information on its potential performance and durability.

The most commonly used standard for fabric pilling testing is the ASTM D4970 standard, titled "Standard Test Method for Pilling Resistance and Other Related Surface Changes of Textile Fabrics (Martindale Pilling Tester Method)." This standard is developed by ASTM International and provides a widely accepted procedure for evaluating fabric pilling resistance.

The ASTM D4970 test method involves the following steps:

1. Specimen Preparation:

Fabric specimens of specified dimensions are cut from the sample material. The number of specimens required may vary depending on the specific testing requirements.

2. Test Apparatus:

A Martindale pilling tester is typically used for conducting the test. The Martindale tester consists of a circular test platform with multiple test stations. Each test station has a rubbing head covered with an abrasive material, such as Sørensen abrasive fabric.

3. Conditioning:

The fabric specimens are conditioned in a controlled environment to establish a standardized moisture content and temperature. This step ensures uniformity and repeatability of the test results.

4. Test Procedure:

The fabric specimens are mounted on the test apparatus, and the specified number of test cycles is performed. During each cycle, the rubbing heads on the test stations move in a circular motion, causing friction and abrasion against the fabric specimens. The combination of pressure, speed, and duration of rubbing is standardized.

5. Evaluation:

After completing the specified number of test cycles, the fabric specimens are visually evaluated for pilling resistance. The evaluation typically involves assessing the severity of pilling, the appearance of fabric surface changes, and any other relevant observations. A rating system or a standard reference photograph may be used to assign a numerical or descriptive rating to the fabric's performance.

6. Reporting:

The test results are reported, including details such as the fabric type, testing conditions, number of test cycles performed, and the observed pilling resistance and surface changes. This information enables fabric manufacturers, designers, and consumers to make informed decisions regarding the fabric's suitability for specific applications.

It's important to note that the ASTM D4970 standard provides a standardized framework for fabric pilling testing using the Martindale pilling tester. However, other test methods and apparatus may also be used for pilling testing, depending on specific industry requirements or preferences.

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