Impact of high temperature and pressure on sericin scouring of muga silk cocoons
Silk cocoons from Antheraea assamensis silkworms have been degummed under high temperature and pressure (autoclave) conditions and the efficiency of degumming is assessed in terms of weight loss, reeling length and fibre quality. The silk cocoon sericin removal percentage by autoclave degumming is found to be maximum (23.67%) as compared to conventional alkali degumming (22.28%). The autoclaved fibre is found easily reelable and produce 280 m of length with 10 numbers of fibre breaks. The morphology of fibres shows smooth surface throughout the length and improved mechanical behavior in terms of tensile properties. The molecular conformation estimated by FTIR and thermal behavior analysis shows unchanged nature of the core fibroin fibre degummed under autoclave conditions. Taken together, these results show the utilization of ecofriendly and less hazardous method of autoclave degumming for production of mechanically strong fibres with uniform surface smoothness.
Antheraea assamensis; Degumming; Muga silk; Reeling; Tensile properties
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