THE Australian Wool Testing Authority has funded a large trial to identify raw wool characteristics that influence processing performance.
The non-fleece wool processing trial tested a large number of grab samples at CSIRO's mini-mill in Geelong.
Part of the trial involved the measurement of decrimped staple length of greasy wool.
The decrimped staple length is measured in addition to the normal measurement of staple length, staple strength and position of break.
The measurement is based on the experience of processors that certain types of wools, such as belly wools, process longer than predicted by the TEAM formula. These wools are often characterised by a "stretchiness" that is somewhat greater than that of fleece wools.
The new statistic has been extracted from modified ATLAS software.
From the DSL, a unit-independent ratio (DR) can be derived, allowing comparisons across sale lots of different lengths.
DR clearly shows differences for belly and stretchy belly wool types and indications are that it can highlight differences in other wool types.
Processing results show DR might be able to predict sale lots that do not perform as expected with existing prediction formulae.
There is the potential for DR to add value to prediction formulae, however further analysis will be required to confirm this.