Demonstration of Strength Development in Initial Wet Paper Web using Field Emission-Scanning Electron Microscopy (FE-SEM)

Jürgen Belle, Stephan Kleemann, Jürgen Odermatt, Andrea Olbrich


Various models exist that explain strength development in the wet web. Furthermore the scanning electron microscope (SEM) has been used in the paper industry to characterise cellulosic fibres and paper. The documentation of the initial wet web properties needs very specific requirements for sample preparation. An SEM image shows the sample´s surface, so the wet sample’s water film would cover all fine fibre structures. For this reason the samples must be dried prior to analysis. Freeze drying is a common method that is described to prepare samples for characterisation of single fibres before and after mechanical treatment. In this investigation the structure of the initial wet web was physically fixed by rapid freezing, followed by freeze drying. Afterwards, the samples were analyzed by Field Emission SEM (FE-SEM). The generated images support the hypothesis that fibrils partially extend themselves from the fibre and interact with adjacent fibres.


Dryness; Fibre collapse; Form fit; Hornification; Initial wet web strength

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