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A structural fibrillation parameter from small angle X-ray scattering to quantify pulp refining

: Mao, Jia; Heck, Barbara; Abushammala, Hatem; Reiter, Günter; Laborie, Marie-Pierre


Cellulose 26 (2019), Nr.7, S.4265-4277
ISSN: 0969-0239
ISSN: 1572-882X
Fraunhofer WKI ()

Pulp fibrillation results from refining and is of prime importance for papermaking. Yet a structural parameter reflecting the extent of fibrillation remains elusive. In this work, we demonstrate that in refined pulps, the interfibrillar distance at water saturated state (Ls), as derived from the interference factor from small angle X-ray scattering, structurally reflects fibrillation degree. Interestingly, the minimal L obtained at low water content is close to the crystal thickness derived from wide angle X-ray scattering. For a series of refined pulp samples, significant regressions are established between Ls and equilibrium moisture content, transmittance (T%), surface energy components (γLW, γAB), and the normalized crystallinity index (CrIn). These regressions establish Ls as a unique structural parameter for quantifying the fibrillation degree and derived properties of refined pulps without the need of a multi-parameter and time-consuming analyses.