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Description: The main causes of damage to fiber are the effect of moisture (inherent in some fibers), or contact with water or oil, which may give rise to hoop rust and heating, followed by spontaneous combustion. Some fibers contain moisture when pressed and in such cases a suitable interval is usually allowed before shipment to allow the moisture to be worked off. In cases of damage arising from these causes, it will usually be found that this extends from the middle of the bales outwards. Fiber may be subject to a natural loss in weight and also have a tendency to absorb moisture. Before attributing a cause of damage to contact with fresh or salt water, consideration should be given to the possibility of moisture having been absorbed from a humid or moist atmosphere. Care should also be taken in attributing cause of damage to contact with salt water, as in the case of some fibers a softening treatment is adopted before manufacture which may involve the use of river water with a salt content. A test for chlorides should be made with samples from both sound and damaged material. It is essential that wet damaged or heated bales be opened up, dried, and, if necessary, reprocessed as speedily as possible in order to minimize the damage. Some fibers of poor quality may contain a small quantity of slightly soiled or poorly brushed fiber with green residue adhering. Country damaged fiber may be found dry but discolored and friable, the bales in such cases giving the appearance of having been stored in the open air or on damp ground. Stowing of fiber, fiber mats, etc, with other commodities liable to give off moisture may cause discoloration. Most fibers are very subject to mold growth. When material is carried in jute bags (e.g. sugar) any development of mold fungi on the bags may adversely affect the contents. Fabrics and ropes are customarily either "mildew proofed" to resist occasional damp storage, or "rot-proofed" to resist more continuous exposure to moisture. Fiber that has become useless for the purpose intended, may have an alternative market as inferior stuffing for mattresses, etc. If fiber is shipped in a damp condition, heating may occur which, while not actually causing a conflagration, will tend to rot the fiber. This cannot be observed from the outside of the bale and may only be discovered after the bale has been opened up, when the fiber damaged by heating it will be found to be in an extremely brittle condition. In such cases, the value of the damaged commodity may fall considerably, the amount of loss sustained being dependent upon the intended use. A contributory cause of fiber suffering damage through heating is the pressure put on the bales. Fiber has a tendency to absorb moisture. If the bales show signs of wetting or staining, the weight of such bales should be compared with the weight of sound bales. See also IMDG Code & US CFR.
Index: 299
Commodity Name: FIBERS

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