The effect of microfibrillated cellulose  on the wet-web strength of paper, TAPPI Journal January 2021



Application: The positive effect of MFC on paper machine runnability is demonstrated with measurements of wet web strength from pilot machine trials. The combination of MFC and higher filler loading can increase both strength and solids content after the machine press section.

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Author: Jonathan Phipps, Tom Larson, Mark Paradis, and Diana Tanase
The effect of microfibrillated cellulose on the wet-web str
ABSTRACT: The wet-web strength of paper immediately after the press section of a paper machine is a critical factor in determining machine runnability. However, it is difficult to determine at commercial scale, because the web has to be broken and production interrupted in order to obtain a sample for measurement. The use of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) is believed to increase wet-web strength, as it has allowed filler level increases of 10% or more on many commercial paper machines. In this paper, we describe a laboratory method for estimating the effect of MFC on wet sheet strength after press-ing, as well as actual measurements of wet-web strength from a pilot paper machine trial. These experiments have demonstrated the positive effect of MFC. At solids contents in the range typically observed after pressing, sheets with MFC at fixed filler content are significantly stronger, but also wetter, than those without it. When the use of MFC is combined with a typical increase in filler content, the wet web remains slightly stronger, but also becomes drier than the reference condition. These results are compatible with the theory put forward by van de Ven that wet-web strength is mainly a result of friction between entangled fibers, and they also suggest that the presence of MFC increases this friction.
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