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LOGO: Journal of Cotton Science


Portable Color Spectrophotometer Measurements of Cotton Color in Remote Locations

Authors: James Rodgers, Gustave Schild, Xiaoliang Cui, and Christopher Delhom
Pages: 202-211
Textile Technology

The Uster® High Volume Instrument (HVI®) is used in the U.S. to classify cotton, including cotton color. The cotton color parameters measured on the HVI are Rd (diffuse reflectance) and +b (yellowness). Comments from industry have indicated that some cotton bales appeared to have changed significantly in +b (yellowness) from their initial HVI color measurements. As a result of these reports, there was interest in "on-site"/remote location measurements of cotton color that will yield "real time" color values, with emphasis on yellowness. A program was implemented to develop portable color spectrophotometer procedures and protocols to perform rapid, precise, and accurate cotton fiber color measurements at-line in remote locations and to interface those results into the Cotton Incorporated Engineered Fiber Selection® (EFS®) System MILLNet software. AMS standard tiles, cotton samples, and routine cotton samples were used to perform comparative evaluations to establish the relationships between the HVI Rd and +b and portable spectrophotometer L*a*b* color parameters. The best correlations were achieved between 1) the HVI +b and portable spectrophotometer b* and 2) the HVI Rd and spectrophotometer Y. Excellent comparative results were obtained and all end-state criteria were achieved (high R2s, low spectrophotometer analytical variability, and a low number of outliers). The HunterLab MiniScan EZ (MSEZ) results were interfaced with the EFS System MILLNet software, and preliminary field trials were performed on more than 400 bale samples at a non-U.S.-based mill. Very good color agreement was observed between the mill’s HVI unit and the MSEZ- MILLNet system, with distinct and significant +b color shifts detected.