New Fiber Testing Device Gives Cotton An Edge

March 9, 2010, Australia — A ‘fibre maturity’ testing device designed to improve the quality of
fibre produced by Australian cotton growers and yarn quality in overseas spinning mills has been
licensed to new-start Australian company, Cottonscope Pty Ltd.

Developed by CSIRO’s Cotton Research Unit – with support from the Cotton Research Development
Corporation (CRDC) and the Cotton Catchment Communities CRC – the ‘Cottonscope’ instrument
automatically measures cotton maturity, directly and accurately, in around 25 seconds.

“A fast, accurate and direct measurement of cotton fibre maturity has been sought by the
industry for decades,” says the Unit’s Leader, Dr Stuart Gordon.The ‘Cottonscope’ instrument
automatically measures cotton maturity, directly and accurately, in around 25 seconds.

“In 2001, a CSIRO team took up the challenge to create and test a new prototype instrument
for the industry. The team built several prototypes and put them through some rigorous trials to
verify consistency of performance and results.”

Those trials were followed by ‘real-life’ tests in which the instrument’s results were used
to measure when a crop was mature enough for harvest, thereby allowing for predictions of the
‘textile consequences’ of immature fibre on neps and dye uptake in fabric generated from in-field
and ginning practices. (Neps are small fibre knots associated with immature fibre that cause cotton
yarn and fabric quality to be downgraded.)

“Cottonscope will also be valuable in the spinning mill where it will enable more accurate
prediction of nep creation, dye uptake and overall quality control when cotton bales are laid down
for processing at the mill,” Dr Gordon says.

“Of further benefit is the instrument’s ability to monitor the maturity and fineness of
various cotton breeds to assist in the selection of better cotton varieties for the production of
high quality fabric.”

BSC Electronics Pty Ltd in Western Australia has established Cottonscope Pty Ltd to produce
and market the instrument in Australia and overseas.

In late March this year, BSC Engineering Director, Mark Brims, will join Dr Gordon in
presenting Cottonscope to the International Committee for Cotton Test Methods at the 30th
International Cotton Conference in Bremen, Germany.

Posted on March 9, 2010

Press Release Courtesy of CSIRO