Retaining Raised Fibrils and Microfibrils on Oak Fiber Surfaces


  • Irving B. Sachs


Hexamethyldisilazane treatment, air-drying, paper-machine-drying, bonding, fibers, fibrils, microfibrils, hardwood pulp, scanning electron microscopy, strength properties


Drying of spruce softwood kraft fibers treated with hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) has been found to: (1) maintain fibrils and microfibrils in a raised position on fiber surfaces, (2) raise fibrils and microfibrils that had been dried down on fiber surfaces, and (3) increase strength properties of handsheets made from dried fiber. The question whether shorter thick-walled hardwood fibers behave similarly is examined in the present study of the effect of HMDS-drying on oak kraft pulp fibers. The effects of HMDS-drying, air-drying, and paper-machine-drying were evaluated by observing the surfaces of refined hardwood kraft pulp fibers. Using scanning electron microscopy, the fiber surfaces of these dried fibers were compared with those of never-dried fiber whose morphology was preserved by critical point drying. In addition, air-dried and paper-machine-dried fibers were examined after rewetting and HMDS-treatment to recover fibrils and microfibrils. Overall strength properties were considerably greater when handsheets were made from pulps treated with HMDS than from pulps that were dried in air or on the paper machine.


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