Rayon is a/an: (A)- natural silk (B)- artificial silk (C)- regenerated silk (D)- synthetic rubber
Hint: Rayon is a fiber made from raw material derived from natural sources. The natural raw material used is treated chemically to manufacture rayon. Rayon was the first fiber to be used as a substitute for silk.
Complete answer: Rayon is a man-made fiber obtained from natural polymer, i.e. purified cellulose. Cellulose used for making rayon is obtained from wood pulp-generally from pine, hemlock trees, spruce, etc. Rayon is not a naturally occurring silk but manufactured from natural material, i.e. cellulose. It is a natural based fiber as it is not solely synthesized from the chemical compounds. Since it is neither a natural occurring nor an entirely artificial fiber, we can say that it is a semi synthetic fiber.
Rayon is manufactured from cellulose involving the following steps: Purified silk is chemically treated with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution to form sticky liquid which is called viscose. This sticky liquid is then passed through a metal cylinder having holes. The long fibers are collected in a solution of sulphuric acid where silk like threads of rayon are produced. Since cellulose is regenerated by chemical treatment to form rayon, thus, we can say that rayon is a regenerated fiber. So, the correct answer is “Option C”.
Additional Information: Rayon imitates natural silk in look and texture. Since it resembles silk in appearance it is widely known as artificial silk. The most uses of rayon are as follows: It is used in textile industries to make articles of clothing. It is also used in making house wares like bed sheets, blankets, curtains, carpets, etc. It is used in medicinal areas for making surgical products, bandages. It can also be used to manufacture tire cords.
Note: The options might seem confusing. Two of the above options could be correct. Since the question is asked about the nature of rayon. The option which adequately defines rayon is (C). Rayon is a regenerated silk. However, if the question was about what rayon is commonly known as, then the correct answer would be option (B), i.e. artificial silk.