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Rayon Fiber, Zantrel

Rayon Fiber, Zantrel

This is a sample rayon fiber from the sample-set provided by Textile Fabric Consultants, Inc. Zantrel is a trademarked product of the BASF Corporation. The moderate birefringence and small diameter of the fiber results in the mid to upper first order interference colors seen here.

Transmitted 20 Degrees Off Crossed Linear Polarized Light


Rayon fiber is a cellulose derivative. Wood cellulose or cellulose from cotton linters is often used as the starting material. It is formed by drawing the cellulose solution through a spinneret into an acid bath where it solidifies from the outside in. This results in the crenulated cross-section because the outside polymerizes first and is drawn more rapidly though the bath than the interior of the fiber that is still liquid. The draw-rate affects the fiber diameter and the degree of crenulation.

Significance in the Environment:

This is a common clothing fiber.

Characteristic Features:

Rayon fiber has a refractive index along its length of about 1.54 to 1.56 and perpendicular to its length of about 1.51 to 1.53. It has a birefringence of about 0.03 and a positive sign of elongation. It tends to exhibit irregular striations along its length due to the crinulate cross-section of the fiber.

Associated Particles:


DuPont Company Techinical Bulletin X-156: IDENTIFICATION OF FIBERS IN TEXTILE MATERIALS, December 1961.