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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3849648, 10 pages
Research Article

Time-Dependent Variations in Structure of Sheep Wool Irradiated by Electron Beam

1Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Tr. A. Hlinku 1, 94974 Nitra, Slovakia
2University Centre of Electron Accelerators in Trenčín, Slovak Medical University, Limbová 12, 83303 Bratislava, Slovakia

Correspondence should be addressed to Mária Porubská

Received 8 November 2016; Revised 18 January 2017; Accepted 16 February 2017; Published 16 March 2017

Academic Editor: Carlo Santulli

Copyright © 2017 Zuzana Hanzlíková et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Wool scoured in tap water with no special degreasing and containing a balanced humidity responding to usual laboratory conditions was irradiated by accelerated electron beam in the range of 0–350 kGy dose. Time variations of the wool structure were measured using FTIR, Raman, and EPR spectroscopy. The aim was to determine whether preexposure treatment of the wool, as well as postexposure time, affects the properties of the irradiated wool. Reactive products such as S-sulfonate, cystine monoxide, cystine dioxide, cysteic acid, disulphides, and carboxylates displayed a considerable fluctuation in quantity depending on both the absorbed dose and time. Mutual transformations of S-oxidized products into cysteic acid appeared to be faster than those in dry and degreased wool assuming that the present humidity inside the fibres is decisive as an oxygen source. EPR results indicated a longer lifetime for free radicals induced by lower doses compared with the radicals generated by higher ones. The pattern of the conformational composition of the secondary structure (α-helix, β-sheet, random, and residual conformations) also showed a large variability depending on absorbed dose as well as postexposure time. The most stable secondary structure was observed in nonirradiated wool but even this showed a small but observable change after a longer time, too.