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Why is rayon also known as artificial silk? Give its two uses.

Last updated date: 15th Jul 2024
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Hint: Rayon is a cellulose fiber which is regenerated and made from the natural sources of cellulose like wood and related agricultural products. It is produced by dissolving cellulose which is then followed by the conversion of this solution back to insoluble fibrous cellulose.

Complete step by step answer:
- Rayon is a synthetic fiber or man-made fiber or artificial fiber as it is prepared from the natural raw material called cellulose. So, rayon has the same kind of molecular structure just like cellulose.
- The cellulose required for this preparation is obtained from wood pulp by chemical treatment. There are many kinds of viscose rayon fibers which have been made artificially. Some of these fibers have shine and strength and imitate or resemble the feel and texture of natural fibers like silk, wool, cotton and linen. The kind of rayon fibers which imitate the feel and texture of natural silk is therefore termed as ‘artificial silk’.
There are many uses of rayon. Two of them are listed below.
- Rayon fiber is used in textile industries for clothing and other purposes.
- Rayon fiber is also used in the medical field for surgical dressings and making bandages.

- Nitrocellulose is another derivative of cellulose which is soluble in organic solvents. Nitrocellulose is mostly used as a lacquer or as an explosive.
- Another derivative of cellulose is cellulose acetate. It shares many similarities with viscose rayon fibers and it was initially considered to be the same textile. The difference between the two is that rayon can resist heat but cellulose acetate cannot and so it is prone to melting.