Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.


a. a viscous orange-brown solution obtained by dissolving cellulose in sodium hydroxide and carbon disulphide. It can be converted back to cellulose by an acid, as in the manufacture of rayon and cellophane
b. (as modifier): viscose rayon
2. rayon made from this material
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a concentrated solution of cellulose xanthate in a dilute solution of caustic soda. Viscose is used to produce viscose fibers and films (cellophane), artificial coverings (tarpaulin), and so on. The main source of viscose is wood cellulose. The cellulose is first treated with an aqueous solution of caustic soda (mercerization) until the formation of so-called alkaline cellulose, which is then crushed to increase its reactivity and is subjected to oxidative breakdown in air to decrease its molecular weight. The cellulose is then treated with carbon disulfide, resulting in the formation of cellulose xanthate, which is further dissolved in an aqueous solution of caustic soda at a temperature of 10°-12° C. All these processes take place in one or more constant-operation and periodic-operation devices. In the USSR a method for producing viscose in one piece of equipment (the VA apparatus) was developed in the late 1940’s and is widely used. The viscose is put through double or triple filtration to eliminate contaminants and is thoroughly freed of air bubbles (usually under vacuum), which would hinder its final processing.

Viscose is a highly viscous solution, with a density of 1.12 g/cm3; it is bright orange, but in the presence of admixtures it is brown or greenish. The viscose used for the formation of fibers and films usually contains 6.5-9.0 percent cellulose (in the form of its xanthate), 6.5-7.5 percent caustic soda, and approximately 2.0-2.5 percent bound sulfur; the remainder is made up of water and a small quantity of admixtures (sulfur compounds of sodium, carbonates, calcium salts, ferrous sulfide, and dissolved hemicellulose). The viscosity of solutions of viscose varies from 3 to 10 newtons · sec/m2 (30 to 100 poises) and increases sharply with an increase in the cellulose content; in addition, the viscosity value is directly proportional to the degree of polymerization (to the molecular weight of cellulose) and to the amount of caustic soda in the viscose. Free carbon disulfide in the viscose gradually bonds with the caustic soda and is transformed into thiocarbonate and other sulfurous admixtures. The so-called maturation of the viscose—that is, the partial hydrolysis of the cellulose xanthate—takes place because of this process. As a result of hydrolysis, the degree of esterification of the cellulose xanthate decreases, with a corresponding decrease in its sulfur and sodium content.

The ripeness of the viscose increases continuously with an increase in the time of maturation. Temperature exerts a strong influence on the speed of maturation. The maturation time for the production of viscose fibers is 35-45 hours, and for the production of films (cellophane) it is 80-90 hours.

In some cases various substances—for example, matting agents (to eliminate glassy sheen in the finished fiber), dyes (to color the finished articles evenly and permanently), and modifiers and surface-active substances (in the production of high-strength and structurally uniform fibers)—are added to the viscose.


Rogovin, Z. A. Osnovy khimii i tekhnologii proizvodstva khimicheskikh volokon, 3rd ed., vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964. Chapters 8, 9, and 10.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Viscose fibers (5 g) was suspended in 700 mL of distilled water under vigorous stirring, following by the addition of TEMPO (0.08 g, 0.5 mmol) and NaBr (0.5 g, 5 mmol).
Viscose filament yarn, made from a group of (15-120) viscose fibers excepting for cloth having certain effects such as on voile and crepe.
Mr Rowlands said: "For me, buying into Viscose was an unmissable opportunity as it's a profitable, international business which has been trading for more than 100 years.
Global demand for both viscose and dissolving pulp has exceeded supply due to high cotton prices, and Avilon will not be able to sustain profitable production volumes.
1 Rizzy Rugs' Pure design in the Avante-Garde group is handknotted in India with hand-spun semi-worsted New Zealand wool and viscose. 2 Safavieh has added animal prints to its new Paradise collection, which features a combination of chenille loop and cut pile.
In addition, the company plans to open another production site for viscose fibre in India.
This work is focused on laser surface activation of viscose textiles and controlled observance of permeability properties.
The pads are made of tree-based viscose rayon, fluffed wood pulp (bleached with the elemental chlorine-free process) and sodium polyacrylate super absorber.
Microfiber fabrics include acrylic, nylon, Lycra, rayon, and viscose, which Armstrong says is the same as rayon.
Viscose Closures has been working closely with a chemical company that have been developing new special-effect pigments and with ink suppliers, looking at the range of colour effects and special finishes that can be delivered using gravure printing.
Using an extraordinary natural and environmentally friendly fabric called Viscose, Pacific Dry Goods of Hayward, Calif., has introduced their PubTowl (20" x 9") and ChefTowl (14" x 10") for use in any section of the store.
The merger would have led to very serious competition concerns in the production of viscose staple fibres (viscose) - a man-made fibre obtained from wood-pulp - where Lenzing is the leading supplier in the European Economic Area.