Strength Properties of Paper produced from Softwood Kraft Pulp Pulp Mixture, Reinforcement and Sheet Stratification
Abstract: For paper producers, an understanding of the development of strength properties in the paper is of uttermost importance. Strong papers are important operators both in the traditional paper industry as well as in new fields of application, such as fibre-based packaging, furniture and light-weight building material. In the work reported in this thesis, three approaches to increasing paper strength were addressed: mixing different pulps, multilayering and reinforcement with man-made fibres. In specific:The effects of mixing Swedish softwood kraft pulp with southern pine or with abaca (Musa Textilis) were investigated. Handsheets of a softwood kraft pulp with the addition of abaca fibres were made in a conventional sheet former. It was seen that the addition of abaca fibres increased the tearing resistance, fracture toughness, folding endurance and air permeance. Tensile strength, tensile stiffness and tensile energy absorption, however, decreased somewhat. Still it was possible to add up to about 60% abaca without any great loss in tensile strength. As an example, with the addition of 30% abaca, the tear index was increased by 36%, while the tensile index was decreased by 8%.To study the effect of stratification, a handsheet former for the production of stratified sheets, the LB Multilayer Handsheet Former was evaluated. The advantage of this sheet former is that it forms a stratified sheet at low consistency giving a good ply bond. It was shown to produce sheets with good formation and the uniformity, evaluated as the variation of paper properties, is retained at a fairly constant level when the number of layers in the stratified sheets is increased. The uniformity of the sheets produced in the LB Multilayer Handsheet Former is generally at the same level as of those produced in conventional sheet formers.The effects of placing southern pine and abaca in separate layers, rather than mixing them homogeneously with softwood pulp were studied. Homogeneous and stratified sheets composed of softwood and southern pine or softwood and abaca were produced in the LB Multilayer Handsheet Former. It was found that by stratifying a sheet, so that a pulp with a high tear index and a pulp with a high tensile index are placed in separate layers, it was possible to increase the tear index by approximately 25%, while the tensile index was decreased by 10-20%. Further, by mixing a pulp with less conformable fibres and no fines with a pulp with more flexible fibres and fines, a synergy in tensile strength (greater strength than that predicted by linear mass fraction additivity) was obtained.The effects of stratifying sheets composed of softwood and abaca were compared to the effects of refining the softwood pulp. Homogeneous and stratified sheets composed of softwood with three different dewatering resistances and abaca were also produced in the LB Multilayer Handsheet Former. It was found that by stratifying the sheets the tear index was retained while the tensile index was increased by the refining.The effects of reinforcing softwood pulp of different dewatering resistances with man-made fibres with low bonding ability were also investigated. Man-made fibres (i.e. regenerated cellulose, polyester and glass fibres) were added in the amounts 1, 3, or 5 wt% to softwood pulp of three different dewatering resistances. It was found that with refining of a softwood pulp and subsequent addition of long fibres with low bonding ability the tensile-tear relationship can be shifted towards higher strength values. The bonding ability of the man-made fibres was evaluated by pull-out tests and the results indicated that, in relation to the fibre strength, regenerated cellulose (lyocell) was most firmly attached to the softwood network while the glass fibres were most loosely attached.
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