Optimizing Refining Conditions of Pinus massoniana Cellulose Fibers for Improving the Mechanical Properties of Ultra-Low Density Plant Fiber Composite (ULD_PFC)

Tingjie Chen, Zhenzeng Wu, Wei Wei, Yongqun Xie, Qihua Wei, Xiaodong (Alice) Wang, Olle Hagman, Olov Karlsson


Response surface methodology was used to optimize the refining conditions of Pinus massoniana cellulose fiber and to improve the mechanical properties of ultra-low density plant fiber composite (ULD_PFC). The effects and interactions of the pulp consistency (X1), the number of passes (X2), and the beating gap (X3) on the internal bond strength of ULD_PFC were investigated. The results showed that the optimum internal bond strength (91.72 ± 2.28 kPa) was obtained under the conditions of 8.0% pulp consistency, two passes through the refiner, and a 30.0 μm beating gap. Analysis of the physical properties of the fibers and handsheets showed that the fibrillation of fibers with optimum refining conditions was improved. Also, the tear index of the optimal specimen was 13.9% and 24.5% higher than specimen-1 with a lowest beating degree of 24 oSR and specimen-6 with a highest beating degree of 73 oSR, respectively. Consequently, the optimal refining conditions of the fibers are valid for preparing ULD_PFCs.


Refining; Physical properties; Handsheet; Internal bond strength; Optimization

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