Stiffening of cellulose fibres: a comparison between crosslinking the fibre wall and lumen loading

Stiffer fibres with improved resilience could lead to improvements for example in the fluff pulp area. Fluff pulp in absorbent products often collapse in a wet state at repeated insults. The products are also compressed for ease of handling and lowering the shipping costs. An increase in stiffness as well as spring back could solve the collapse problem and make the fibres spring back better after the compression, leading to better products. Two methods were used to improve these properties, crosslinking of the fibre wall using Butanetetracarboxylicacid (BTCA) and loading the lumen with TiO2.

Wet stiffness was improved for unbeaten fibres, both from laboratory made sheets and machine made sheets, when BTCA was added. For the beaten pulp, the shape of the fibres may explain why these fibres did not exhibit improvements in wet stiffness. No improvements in spring back could be seen for any of the tested fibres. The lumen loaded fibres gained a higher density due to the TiO2 treatment and since the samples were tested on a weight basis, a good comparison could not be done.

Author: Kling, Mattias

Source: LuleƄ University of Technology

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