The Measurement of Fibril Angle of Wood Fibers Using Polarized Light

F. El-Hosseiny, D. H. Page


The fibril angle of the S2 layer of wood pulp fibres can be determined microscopically from the extinction position of intact cell walls between crossed polars. It is always assumed in this method that the S1 and S3 layers are so thin that they do not affect the state of polarization of light.

The complete theory of the extinction position has been derived, taking into account the contribution of the S1 and S3 layers, for the light path used in the mercury reflectance method of Page. For certain thicknesses of the S2 layer, the presence of the S1 and S3 layers can introduce serious errors in the fibril angle measurement. However, there is a range of S1, S2, and S3 thicknesses for which the error is small and the fibres of most softwoods lie within this range. For thick-walled species the method must be used with caution.


cell-wall models;wall layers;softwoods;birefringence;mercury

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