The objectives of this work were (i) to develop a new methodfor the preparation of thin cellulose model films, (ii) to usethese model films for swelling measurements and (iii) to relatethe swelling of fibers and films to the dry strength ofpaper.
In the new film preparation method, NMMO(N-methylmorpholine-N-oxide) was used to dissolve cellulose andDMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) was added to control the viscosity ofthe cellulose solution. A dilute solution of the cellulose wasspin-coated onto a silicon oxide wafer and the cellulose filmthus prepared was then precipitated in deionised water. Asaturated layer of glyoxalated-polyacrylamide was used toanchor the film onto the silicon oxide wafer. This proceduregave films with thicknesses in the range of 20-270 nm. Thefilms were cleaned in deionised water and were found by ESCAanalysis and contact angle measurements (θ<20°)to be free from solvents. Solid state NMR measurements onfibers spun from NMMO also indicated that the model filmconsisted of about 50% crystalline material and that thecrystalline structure was of the cellulose II type.Determination of the molecular weight distribution of thecellulose surface material showed that the NMMO treatmentcaused only a minor breakdown of the cellulose chains and thatlow molecular mass oligomers of glucose were not created.
It was further shown that atomic force microscopy (AFM)measurements could be used to determine the thicknessof thecellulose films, in both the dry and wet states. The thicknesswas determined as the height difference between the top surfaceand the underlying silica wafer measured at a position where anincision had been made in the cellulose film. The cellulosesolutions were also directly spin-coated onto the crystal usedin the Quartz crystal microbalance (QCM-D), pre-treated withthe same type of anchoring polymer. With this application,these model surfaces were shown to be suitable for swellingmeasurements with the QCM-D. The extent of swelling and theswelling kinetics in the presence of electrolytes, such asNaCl, CaCl2 and Na2SO4, and at different pH were measured inthis way. The films were found to be very stable during thesemeasurements and the results were comparable to the swellingresults obtained for the corresponding pulps. The swelling ofboth fibers and films followed the general behavior ofpolyelectrolyte gels in the presence of electrolytes and was inaccordance with the Donnan equilibrium theory. The films havebeen shown to differ from fibers with regard to the absence ofa covalent interior network. This influences the evaluation ofthe deswelling effects measured on the model films. Theswelling effect seen with different electrolytes has also beenconsidered in relation to the tensile strength of paperprepared from a kraftliner-pulp. In this study, it was foundthat there was no direct relationship between the swelling ofthe fibers, measured as WRV, and the strength of the paper inthe presence of different electrolytes at pH 5.
KEYWORDS:absorption, carboxymethyl cellulose,cellulose, cellulose fibers, dissolving pulps, donnanequilibrium, electrolytes, film, ion exchange, ionization,kinetics, liner boards, microscopy, spinning, surfaces,swelling, tensile strength, water, water retention value.
Stockholm: Fiber- och polymerteknologi , 2003. , 34 p.