Influence of paper properties and polymer coatings on barrier properties of greaseproof paper

Detta är en avhandling från Karlstad : Karlstads universitet

Sammanfattning: Greaseproof paper has a dense structure and therefore provides a natural barrier against materials like fat and oils. The barrier is obtained by extensive refining of the pulp. This refining is however a costly operation, not only in terms of direct costs for the refining but also in terms of indirect costs because the energy consumption for the drying of the paper is affected by the refining. A full-scale trial was performed to investigate the role of the pulp with respect to the energy demand and the barrier properties of the final papers. Paper made of 100% sulphite pulp with a low degree of refining exhibited the lowest energy consumption at a given level of air permeance. In addition, the effect of refining on the air permeance was compared with that of calendering. The calendering affected the air permeance less than the refining. The papers produced in the full-scale trial were later used as substrates for coatings and for detailed studies of the paper structure. Coating with chitosan was examined on a bench-scale and on a pilot scale. The studies showed that greaseproof paper can be upgraded with an oxygen barrier, but also that suitable coating techniques are lacking for the application of the coating in a sufficient amount. The influence of the base paper on the barrier properties of chitosan-coated paper was investigated in another study, in which it was found that greaseproof paper possesses a unique coating hold-out which cannot be met by other types of paper with a more open structure. It was also found that the coated paper had a lower oxygen permeability than the chitosan coating itself, and this indicates that the dense surface layer of greaseproof paper contributed to the oxygen permeability of the coated paper. The pore volume fraction of the greaseproof paper was found to be approximately 40% and it is therefore surprising that its air permeance is so low. To bring understanding to this question, the structure of greaseproof paper was studied using several methods. It was found that the structure was dominated by very small pores with a median diameter of <0.3 µm. The fraction of closed pores was also substantial. A porosity gradient was also found, indicating that the papers used in the study had a closed surface. The hypothesis that the surface layer of the paper contributed to the oxygen barrier was tested in an experiment in which greaseproof paper was extrusion-coated with polyethylene. The oxygen permeability was measured at 0%, 50% and 90% relative humidity, and the permeability was found to increase with increasing moisture content. Because only the cellulose layer in the paper and not the polyethylene layer in the coating is affected by moisture, this result supports the hypothesis that the surface layer of the paper contributed to the oxygen barrier properties of the coated paper.