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Unique SiroMat Technology on show at Cotton Conference
04
Aug '08
CSIRO will be launching SiroMat, the only instrument - in existence - that measures cotton fibre maturity directly, at the 14th Australian Cotton Conference.

“SiroMat is unique, providing a direct measurement of cotton fibre maturity and the percent of immature fibres in a cotton sample,” explains Dr Stuart Gordon, a Project Leader in the Cotton Research Unit at CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering.

SiroMat is funded by CSIRO and Australian cotton growers through CRDC and CCC CRC and is nearly ready for commercialisation.

Worldwide, the cotton industry is looking for more accurate methods of measuring immature fibre content, especially in countries where the crop is machine-harvested. Machine-harvested cotton often has higher immature fibre content. “Immature fibres are a significant problem,” says Dr Gordon.

“They are more likely to form entanglements, known in the industry as neps, and take up dyes differently from mature fibres, leading to uneven finishes and dull colours in fabric.

“SiroMat yields valuable statistical information about the levels of maturity that we can't get from any other method, allowing us to judge more precisely how serious the immature fibre content is, and how the cotton will spin.”

SiroMat is an optical technique for measuring fibre maturity. It uses a high-resolution colour digital camera and innovative colour image analysis to measure the relative maturity of cotton fibres presented under a polarized light microscope.

“The image analysis system used in SiroMat? is also able to provide a measurement of fibre ribbon width,” Dr Gordon says.

Delegates will be able to see this new technology at the Cotton Catchment Communities (CCC) CRC stand where the internationally successful OFDA technology – a wool fibre diameter test instrument - will also be on show to demonstrate similarities with SiroMat in terms of speed and practicality and to emphasise the industry readiness of SiroMat.

BSC Electronics, an Australian company, manufactures the OFDA instrument and is one of three manufacturing companies that have expressed an interest in commercialising SiroMat?

Australian Cotton Conference

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