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Hygro- and hydroexpansion of paper: Influence of fibre-joint formation and fibre sorptivity
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Fibre Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7410-0333
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Paper is a versatile, cheap and environment-friendly material. Nevertheless, there are several factors limiting its usefulness, and one of the major issues is that cellulosic and ligno-cellulosic fibres spontaneously sorb water. At the same time, the water uptake changes the dimensions of the paper. This phenomenon is usually referred to as a lack of dimensional stability and is often evident as misregister during multicolour printing, or curl, cockle and wavy edges during printing, copying, and storage, or, in a widerperspective, as a shortened lifetime of boxes during storage due to mechano-sorptivecreep.

This thesis aims to improve the understanding of the mechanisms behind the dimensional(in)stability of paper. It looks beyond finding the best starting material and explores what can be done chemically to further improve the dimensional stability. Furthermore, it compares traditional hygroexpansion measurements, where the dimensional change is measured as a function of atmospheric relative humidity, and dimensional changes caused by liquid water, referred to here as hydroexpansion.

The main parameters which have been studied are the ability of the fibres to join together and their ability to sorb water. In other words, how the degree of molecular contact within the fibre joints, as well as how the fibres are dried, affect the dimensional stability of the final paper, and whether it is possible to reduce the sorptivity of the fibres, and thus their ability to expand, by chemically cross-linking the fibre-wall.

It was found that the degree of fibre-fibre contact, modified by drying or adsorption of polyelectrolyte multilayers, had little influence on the hygroexpansion or on the hydroexpansion if the sheets were dried under restraint, whereas freely dried sheets with a reduced degree of contact showed a slightly better dimensional stability, at least during hygroexpansion. What, however, had a positive effect on both hygro- and hydroexpansion was the fibre-wall cross-linking. In this work, cross-linking was achieved by oxidising the cellulose to dialdehydecellulose which can form cross-links with adjacent cellulose molecules, and thus reduce the rate of water diffusion into the fibre and hence the uptake of water. In the case of the most oxidised and cross-linked fibres, the diffusion coefficient was found to be 2–3 times lower than that of the non-oxidisedreference. The effect of the cross-linking was, however, the most prominent the first time the moisture content of the paper was increased since cycled samples no longer show this lower adsorption rate. It is suggested that this is due to the formation of a new pore system when the moisture content is increased, and the slow creation of this pore system reduces the moisture uptake of the sample.

If hygroexpansion is compared with hydroexpansion, it is evident that a given change in moisture content does not correspond to the same absolute expansion, the maximum hydroexpansion being lower by a factor of 2–3 than the hygroexpansion of the same paper. This is probably because the applied liquid water is never equally distributed in the fibre network before it evaporates. Another effect of the more dynamic absorption of liquid water and the subsequent hydroexpansion is that at least in non-restrained samples there is first a rapid initial expansion which is followed 5 to 15 seconds later by a rapid in-plane contraction. It is suggested that this contraction is due to a combination of the release of dried-in strains, drying, and an increase in surface roughness.

Abstract [sv]

Papper är ett mångsidigt, billigt och miljövänlig material. Det finns dock ett antal faktorer som begränsar papperets användbarhet, och en av de mest problematiska är att cellulosa- och lignocellulosafibrer spontant tar upp vatten. Samtidigt som papperet tar upp vatten ändras dess dimensioner. Detta fenomen brukar kallas bristande dimensionsstabilitet och uppträder vanligen i form av registerfel vid flerfärgtryck eller som krökning ut ur planet, buckling eller vågiga kanter vid tryckning, kopiering och lagring eller, med en bredare definition, också som en förkortad livslängd hos lådor på grund av mekanosorptiv krypning.

Den här avhandlingen syftar till att öka förståelsen för mekanismerna bakom pappers dimensions(in)stabilitet och söker förbättringar bortom det bästa utgångsmaterialet genom att kemiskt försöka förbättra godtyckligt startmaterial. Vidare har syftet varit att jämföra resultaten från traditionella hygroexpansionsmätningar, där papperets dimensionsförändring mäts efterhand som fuktinnehållet ändras vid en given förändring i relativ luftfuktighet, med de dimensionsförändringar som uppstår då papperet utsätts för flytande vatten, som i den här avhandlingen benämns hydroexpansion.

De faktorer som huvudsakligen har studerats, är fibrernas förmåga att foga sig samman med varandra i pappersnätverket och deras förmåga att ta upp vatten. Med andra ord, hur påverkas dimensionsstabiliteten av en hög respektive låg grad av fiber-fiberkontakt samt fri respektive inspänd torkning och huruvida det går att minska fibrernas förmåga att ta upp vatten, och således deras förmåga att expandera, genom att kemiskt tvärbinda fiberväggen.

Det konstaterades att graden av fiber-fiberkontakt, förändrad genom torkning eller adsorption av polyelektrolytmultilager, hade ringa inflytande på såväl hygro- som hydroexpansionen om papperet hade torkats inspänt, medan en något ökad dimensionsstabilitet kunde uppnås för fritt torkade ark vid en minskad kontaktgrad. Det som däremot genomgående påverkade båda expansionssätten positivt var fiberväggstvärbindningen, som i det här arbetet åstadkoms genom att oxidera cellulosan till dialdehydcellulosa, vilken i sin tur kan bilda kovalenta bindningar med angränsande cellulosamolekyler. Detta minskade diffusionshastigheten, mätt som en minskning i effektiv diffusionsko efficient, med en faktor 2–3 jämfört med den obehandlade referensen. Det visade sig dock att tvärbindningen hade bäst effekt första gången fukthalten i papperet ökades, då papper som utsatts för fuktcykling inte längre uppvisade samma reducerade adsorptionshastighet. Detta misstänks bero på att det bildas ett nytt porsystem när fuktinne hålleti fibrerna ökar och att det är den långsamma bildningen av detta som är orsaken till det långsamma fuktupptaget. När expansion orsakad en av förändring i relativ luftfuktighet jämfördes med expansion orsakad av flytande vatten, det vill säga vid jämförelse mellan hygro- och hydroexpansion, visade det sig att vid en given förändring i ett givet pappers fuktinnehåll, orsakade flytande vatten en 2–3 gånger lägre expansion. Detta är troligen en effekt av att det pålagda vattnet inte hinner fördelas helt jämnt i fibernätverket innan det börjardunsta. En annan effekt av den snabbare och mer dynamiska absorptionen av flytande vatten är att efter en snabb initial expansion börjar papperet kontrahera efter 5 till 15 sekunder. Detta föreslås bero på en kombination av frigörelse av intorkad töjning, torkning och en ökad ytråhet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2010. , xiii, 68 p.
Series
Trita-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2010:8
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12171ISBN: 978-91-7415-587-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-12171DiVA: diva2:305257
Public defence
2010-04-09, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC20100709Available from: 2010-03-23 Created: 2010-03-23 Last updated: 2013-10-29Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Influence of fibre-fibre joint properties on the dimensional stability of paper
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Influence of fibre-fibre joint properties on the dimensional stability of paper
2008 (English)In: Cellulose (London), ISSN 0969-0239, E-ISSN 1572-882X, Vol. 15, no 4, 515-525 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Measurements have been performed to clarify the connection between fibre-fibre joint properties and dimensional stability using laboratory sheets prepared from never-dried fibres, from heavily hornified fibres having a low molecular contact area between the fibres, and from both hornified and never-dried fibres treated with a polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM) technique to increase the molecular contact area in the fibre-fibre joint. The influence of the drying mode, i.e. whether the sheets are dried freely or under restraint, was also evaluated. The results showed that neither paper strength nor fibre-fibre joint contact area had any significant influence on the dimensional stability of sheets dried under restraint. On the other hand, when the sheets were dried freely, the PEM-treated sheets expanded to the same extent as, or to an even greater extent than the non-PEM-treated sheets, even though they adsorbed less water for a given change in relative humidity. There was also a correlation between drying shrinkage and dimensional stability, where greater shrinkage was associated with a greater hygroexpansion in the freely dried sheets.

Keyword
dimensional stability, drying, hornification, hygroexpansion, multilayer, polyelectrolytes, shrinkage, STRENGTH PROPERTIES, CELLULOSIC FIBERS, WOOD FIBERS, SURFACE, HYGROEXPANSIVITY, WATER, PULP
National Category
Chemical Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12168 (URN)10.1007/s10570-008-9203-y (DOI)000256909700002 ()2-s2.0-45949110424 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20150630

Available from: 2010-03-23 Created: 2010-03-23 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
2. The influence of periodate oxidation on the moisture sorptivity and dimensional stability of paper
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The influence of periodate oxidation on the moisture sorptivity and dimensional stability of paper
2008 (English)In: Cellulose (London), ISSN 0969-0239, E-ISSN 1572-882X, Vol. 15, no 6, 837-847 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The hygroexpansion of paper was significantly reduced, up to 28% lower amplitude of change when the paper was subjected to a change in relative humidity from 20 to 85% RH, by oxidation of the fibre wall. Never-dried bleached kraft fibres were oxidised with sodium periodate, which specifically oxidises the C2-C3 bond of 1,4-glucans so that the cellulose is partly converted into dialdehyde cellulose. Since both the dry and wet strength of laboratory sheets were significantly improved, the dry tensile strength increased from 24 kNm/kg up to 66 kNm/kg and the relative wet tensile strength increased from 1.5% up to 40%, it is suggested that the aldehydes form hemiacetal linkages within the fibre wall during the consolidation and drying of the sheets. The mechanical, hygroexpansive and moisture sorptive properties of the sheets made from the oxidised fibres were studied. The results showed that the main reason for the reduced hygroexpansion was a decrease in moisture sorptivity, i.e. when the sheets made of fibres with different degrees of cross-linking were subjected to the same change in relative humidity, the more cross-linked fibres showed a smaller change in moisture content. It was also shown that the hygroexpansion coefficient, i.e. the moisture-normalised dimensional change, was not significantly changed by the periodate oxidation, i.e. indicating that there are no improvement in dimensional stability if the paper is subjected to a specific amount of water.

Keyword
Cross-linking, Dimensional stability, Hygroexpansion, Moisture adsorption, Periodate oxidation, RELATIVE HUMIDITY CHANGES, POROUS STRUCTURE, FIBER JOINT, CELLULOSE, STRENGTH, WATER, WOOD, MECHANISM, CREEP
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12169 (URN)10.1007/s10570-008-9243-3 (DOI)000260307000009 ()2-s2.0-54949090722 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC20100616Available from: 2010-03-23 Created: 2010-03-23 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
3. A novel approach to study the hydroexpansion mechanisms of paper using spray technique
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A novel approach to study the hydroexpansion mechanisms of paper using spray technique
2009 (English)In: Nordic Pulp & Paper Research Journal, ISSN 0283-2631, E-ISSN 2000-0669, Vol. 24, no 4, 371-380 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A new method has been developed to measure the dimensional stability of printing paper by measuring the impact of liquid water on the in-plane dimensional change, i.e. the hydroexpansion, without any simultaneous mechanical interference that can occur when water is pressed into the sheet. This was achieved by using a specially developed spray technique and using electronic speckle photography to continuously measure the dimensional change as water is applied.

The in-plane expansion for a given change in moisture content was found to be lower in the case of hydroexpansion than for earlier reported hygroexpansion. After the initial expansion following the water application, it was found that sheets rapidly start to contract again already 10-20 seconds after being wetted, i.e. despite still having a fairly constant and significantly higher moisture content than the initial moisture content before water application. These effects suggest that there are different mechanisms behind hydroexpansion than hygroexpansion of paper, and that hygroexpansion measurements should be extrapolated with caution when evaluating papers with respect to printability.

Keyword
Dimensional stability, Hydroexpansion, Electronic speckle photography, Controlled spraying, RELATIVE HUMIDITY CHANGES, CREEP
National Category
Paper, Pulp and Fiber Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12170 (URN)000273724200001 ()2-s2.0-76349113333 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC20100709Available from: 2010-03-23 Created: 2010-03-23 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
4. The Influence Of Grammage, Moisture Content, Fibre Furnish And Chemical Modifications On The Hygro- And Hydro-Expansion Of Paper
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Influence Of Grammage, Moisture Content, Fibre Furnish And Chemical Modifications On The Hygro- And Hydro-Expansion Of Paper
2009 (English)In: ADVANCES IN PULP AND PAPER RESEARCH, OXFORD 2009, VOLS 1-3 / [ed] IAnson, SJ, 2009, 355-388 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The conventional way to evaluate dimensional stability, regardless of end-use purpose, is to measure the change in dimensions when the moisture content is changed by changing the relative humidity. Sorption of moisture from moist air is a relatively slow process and for the evaluation of printing papers this may not be the most appropriate method. In the present work, data from conventional hygroexpansion measurements has been compared with data from hydroexpansion measurements, i.e. expansions caused by the sorption of liquid water, sprayed onto papers printed with a random speckle pattern, the expansion being monitored by electronic speckle photography. Sheets made from different pulps, with different fines contents and different modifications were studied at different grammages and water-transfer levels. The effect of drying-mode, i.e. restrained drying or free drying, was also studied. It was concluded that sheets expand less with a given amount of adsorbed water when it is sorbed in liquid form rather than from moist air. Chemical treatments known to increase both the dry and the wet strength, e.g. polyelectrolyte multilayers and cross-linking through periodate oxidation, did not significantly improve the dimensional stability when the papers were exposed to liquid water.

National Category
Materials Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12173 (URN)000281142700010 ()978-0-9545272-6-6 (ISBN)
Conference
14th Fundamental Research Symposium on Advances in Pulp and Paper Research Location: St Annes Coll, Oxford, ENGLAND Date: SEP 13-18, 2009
Note
QC 20100709Available from: 2010-03-24 Created: 2010-03-24 Last updated: 2013-10-29Bibliographically approved
5. Diffusion-induced dimensional changes in papers and fibrillar films: influence of hydrophobicity and fibre-wall cross-linking
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Diffusion-induced dimensional changes in papers and fibrillar films: influence of hydrophobicity and fibre-wall cross-linking
2010 (English)In: Cellulose (London), ISSN 0969-0239, E-ISSN 1572-882X, Vol. 17, no 5, 891-901 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The initial dimensional stability of paper measured as hydroexpansion, i.e. when paper is exposed to liquid water, has been considerably improved by combining a periodate-oxidation-induced cross-linking of the fibre wall with the subsequent adsorption of a hydrophobic polyelectrolyte multilayer consisting of three layers of poly(allylamine hydrochloride) and two layers of poly(acrylic acid). This reduced the rate of diffusion of water into the fibre wall at the same time as the diffusion distance was increased, i.e. the water has to diffuse all the way from the top of the sheet and not only from the individual fibre surfaces since capillary absorption was prevented. However, as a consequence, the hydrophobic sheets present a greater expansion maximum before contraction. It is suggested that this may be due to a higher moisture content in the top fibre layers of the hydrophobically modified papers than in the hydrophilic sheets, since all the water is concentrated to the top fibre layers of the hydrophobic papers. Sheets made from bleached kraft pulp or thermo-mechanical pulp as well as model sheets made from microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) were studied. The MFC-sheets were intended as a model of the fibre wall, i.e. a sheet without any fibre joints. The behaviour of the MFC-sheets was similar to that of ordinary sheets when subjected to water, which indicates that the properties of the fibre joints do not affect the hydroexpansion to any great content and that the expansion of the paper is directly linked to the expansion of the fibre wall.

Keyword
Cross-linking, Diffusion, Dimensional stability, Dynamic absorption, Hydroexpansion, Microfibrillated cellulose, Polyelectrolyte multilayers
National Category
Paper, Pulp and Fiber Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12175 (URN)10.1007/s10570-010-9433-7 (DOI)000281935300003 ()2-s2.0-77956884729 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100709. Uppdaterad från submitted till published (20101203).Available from: 2010-03-24 Created: 2010-03-24 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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