Improving the Mechanical Properties of Ultra-Low Density Plant Fiber Composite (ULD_PFC) by Refining Treatment

Tingjie Chen, Yongqun Xie, Qihua Wei, Xiaodong (Alice) Wang, Olle Hagman, Olov Karlsson, Jinghong Liu, Ming Lin


To improve the mechanical properties of ultra-low density plant fiber composite (ULD_PFC), a suitable beating process to improve the fibrillation of cellulose fibers and maintain their length was investigated. The physical properties of cellulose fibers and papers, surface chemical bonds, and internal bond strength (IB) of ULD_PFCs were analyzed. The results showed that the beating degrees, degree of fibrillation, and fiber fines increased with the decreasing of beating gap, except for the fiber weight-average length, width, kink index, and curl index. The tensile index and burst index of paper showed an increasing trend with an increase in beating degree, while the tear index showed a decreasing trend. FTIR results showed that intermolecular and intramolecular hydrogen bonds in ULDF were broken. A suitable beating gap of 30 μm with a beating degree of 35 °SR was obtained. The corresponding IB was 50.9 kPa, which represented an increase of 73.1% over fibers with a beating degree of 13 °SR.


Beating; Ultra-low density; Mechanical properties; Microstructural characterization; Papermaking

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