A Direct X-Ray Technique for Measuring Microfibril Angle


  • M. Lotfy
  • M. El-osta
  • R. M. Kellogg
  • R. O. Foschi
  • R. G. Butters


<i>Pseudotsuga menziesii</i>, <i>Tsuga heterophylla</i>, meridional diffraction, microfibril angle, X-ray diffraction, (040) peak, numerical analysis, mercury reflectance method, texture goniometer


A texture goniometer was utilized for measuring the azimuthal intensity distribution of the (040) meridional diffraction from some coniferous wood tissues. A computerized iterative fitting method was used to generate mathematically the experimental diffraction curve and to resolve the (040) diffraction pattern from the composite profile. The mean microfibril angle was then estimated from the shape of the resolved (040) profile.

The technique developed herein is a direct and simple method for determining the mean microfibril angle with a generally satisfactory level of precision. In addition, the technique is applicable to material with a wide range of microfibril angles.


Alexander, L. 1969. X-ray diffraction methods in polymer science. John Wiley, New York. 582 pp.nCave, I. D. 1966. Theory of X-ray measurement of microfibril angle in wood. For. Prod. J. 16(10):37-42.nCowdrey, D. R., and R. D. Preston. 1966. Elasticity and microfibrillar angle in the wood of Sitka spruce. Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) B 166:245-272.nDeLuca, L. B., and R. S. Orr. 1961. Crystallite orientation and spiral structure of cotton. Part 1. Native cottons. J. Polymer Sci. 54:457-470.nEl-Hosseiny, F., and D. H. Page. 1973. The measurement of fibril angle of wood fiber using polarized light. Submitted to Wood and Fiber.nEl-osta, M. Lotfy M., and R. W. Wellwood. 1972. Short-term creep as related to micro-fibril angle. Wood Fiber 4(1):26-32.nEl-osta, M. Lotfy M., and R. W. Wellwood., and R. G. Butters. 1972. An improved X-ray technique for measuring microfibril angle of coniferous wood. Wood Sci. 5(2):113-117.nFletcher, R., and M. Powell. 1963. A rapidly convergent descent method for minimization. Comput. J. 6:163-168. (FMFP routine in IBM's Scientific Package).nHearle, J. W. S. 1963. The fine structure of fibers and crystalline polymers. III. Interpretation of the mechanical properties of fibers. J. Appl. Polymer Sci. 7:1207-1223.nHermans, P. H. 1949. Physics and chemistry of cellulose fibers. Elsevier, New York. 534 pp.nKellogg, R. M., J. Gonzalez, and B. A. Meylan. 1972. Some observations on techniques of measuring fibril angle. Can. Forest. Serv., Western For. Prod. Lab., Vancouver, B.C. (Paper presented to 26th Annual Meeting For. Prod. Res. Soc., Dallas, Texas, June 18-23).nMann, L., L. Roldan-Gonzalez, and H. J. Wellward. 1960. Crystalline modifications of cellulose. Part IV. Determination of X-ray intensity data. J. Polymer Sci. 42:165-171.nMeredith, R. 1951. On the technique of measuring orientation in cotton by X-rays. J. Textile Inst. 42:T275-290.nMeylan, B. A. 1967. Measurement of micro-fibril angle by X-ray diffraction. For. Prod. J. 17(5):51-58.nMeredith, R., and M. C. Probine. 1969. Microfibril angle as a parameter in timber quality assessment. For. Prod. J. 19(4):30-34.nNomura, T., and T. Yamada. 1972. Structural observation on wood and bamboo by X-ray. Wood Res. (Japan) 52:1-12.nPage, D. H. 1969. A method for determining the fibrillar angle in wood tracheids. J. Microscopy 90(10): 137-143.nPage, D. H., F. El-Hosseiny, K. Winker, and R. Bain. 1971. The mechanical properties of single wood pulp fibers. Part 1: A new approach. Pulp Pap. Mag. Can. 73(8):T198-203.nPreston, R. D. 1952. The molecular architecture of plant cell walls. Chapman and Hall, London. 176 pp.nRadhakrishnan, T., N. B. P. Patil, and N. E. Dweltz. 1969. Crystalline orientation in natural cellulose fibers. Textile Res. J. 39:1003-1014.nSisson, W. A. 1935. X-ray studies of crystallite orientation in cellulose fibers. Ind. Eng. Chem. 27:51-56.nSobue, N., N. Hirai, and I. Asano. 1971. Studies on structure of wood by X-ray. II. Estimation of the orientation of micells in cell wall. J. Jap. Wood Res. Soc. 17(2):44-50.nSuzuki, M. 1967. The relationship between elasticity and strength properties and cell wall studies of coniferous wood. Bull. Govt. For. Exp. Sta. (Japan) 212:89-149.nWatanabe, S., and S. Inoue. 1964. Spiral angle of cellulose fiber. Kogyo Kagaku Zasshi (Tokyo) 64(1):42-44.n






Research Contributions