Contact Angle Measurement of Wood Fibers in Surfactant and Polymer Solutions

Yulin Deng, Marcos Abazeri


The Wilhelmy principle was used to investigate the wettability of wood fibers in various aqueous solutions. The sensitivity and reproducibility of the measurement were significantly improved by using a group of separated fibers as compared to a single-fiber method that was reported previously. This accurate and reproducible method allowed us to investigate contact angle and wettability of wood fibers in aqueous solutions using a common dynamic contact angle analyzer without the interference of capillary and roughness from the paper sheet surface.

The wettability of different solutions on various wood fibers, including bleached and unbleached, and AKD (alkyl ketene dimer) sized and unsized fibers, was studied. The results indicated that the receding contact angle of aqueous solution against wood fibers is zero or close to zero regardless of the nature of the wood fiber surface. However, the advancing contact angle of aqueous solution against wood fibers strongly depends on the fiber surface properties.

A decrease in advancing contact angle with an increase of the surfactant concentration was observed for all types of surfactants and fibers used in this study. The water-soluble cationic polyDADMAC [poly(diallydimethylammonium chloride)] and nonionic PEO (polyethylene oxide) have no significant effect on the wettability of wood fibers in aqueous solutions.


Contact angle;hydrophobic;wood fiber;wettability;surfactant;polymer;adsorption

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