Strategies for improving kraftliner pulp properties
Sammanfattning: A large part of the world paper manufacturing consists of production of corrugated board components, kraftliner and fluting, that are used in many different types of corrugated boxes. Because these boxes are stored and transported, they are often subjected to changes in relative humidity. These changes together with mechanical loads will increase the deformation of the boxes compared to the case where the same loads are applied in a static environment. This enlarged creep due to the changes in relative humidity is called mechano-sorptive or accelerated creep. Mechano-sorptive creep forces producers to use high safety factors when designing boxes, and therefore, this is one of the key properties of kraftliner boards. Different strategies to decrease mechano-sorptive creep, and to simultaneously gain more knowledge about the causes for this phenomenon in paper, are the aim of this work. Derivatised and underivatised black liquor lignins, a by-product produced in pulp mills in large quantities, have been used together with biomimetic methods, to modify the properties of kraftliner pulp. Furthermore, the properties of kraftliner pulp have been compared to other pulps in order to evaluate the influence of fibre morphological factors, such as fibre width and shape factor, on the mechano-sorptive creep. In addition the influence of the chemical composition of the kraftliner pulp has been evaluated both by means of treating a kraftliner pulp with chlorite and xylanase and by producing pulps with different chemical composition. By using lignin and biomimetic methods, to create radical coupling reactions, it has been shown that it is possible to increase the wet strength of kraftliner pulp sheets. This method of treating the pulp showed, however, no significant effects on the mechano-sorptive creep. The addition of an apolar suberin-like lignin derivative, which has been shown to be possible to produce from natural resources, did show a positive effect on mechano-sorptive creep properties, but at the expense of stiffness properties in constant climate. Different pulps were compared with a kraftliner pulp and it was observed that the ratio between tensile stiffness and hygroexpansion can be used to estimate the mechano-sorptive creep properties. The hardwood kraft pulps investigated had lower hygroexpansion, probably due to more slender and straighter fibres, and higher tensile stiffness, probably due to lower lignin content. As the lignin content was varied by different methods in kraft pulps, it was observed that increased lignin content gives an increased hygroexpansion and decreased tensile stiffness as well as an increased mechano-sorptive creep. There were also indications of increased mechano-sorptive creep due to higher xylan content.
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