Letter | Published:

Action of Mercuric Chloride on Strained Keratin

Naturevolume 199pages10911092 (1963) | Download Citation



FURTHER evidence that the strained disulphide bonds of stretched animal fibres are more reactive than unstrained bonds has been obtained in experiments with mercuric chloride. Purified human hair fibres of measured cross-sectioned area were immersed in a solution of mercuric chloride (0.1 M) in hydrochloric acid (0.1 N) for 24 h at 22.2° C and then stretched different amounts in the same medium. After being released, the fibres were washed for 7 days in running water before their load/extension curves were determined up to the breaking point in distilled water at 22.2° C. Values for the work required for 55 per cent extension were derived from the load/extension curves and give the lower curve in Fig. 1.

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  1. 1

    Speakman, J. B., J. Text. Inst., 27, P, 236 (1936). Challenger, F., and Rawlings, A. A., J. Chem. Soc., 868 (1937).

  2. 2

    Hoare, J. L., Ripa, O., and Speakman, J. B., Nature, 196, 268 (1962).

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  1. Department of Textile Industries University of Leeds

    • J. L. HOARE
    •  & J. B. SPEAKMAN


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