Study of the mechanical behavior of recycled fibers. Applications to papers and paperboards.

Abstract : Incorporation of recycled fibres in high value paper products can reduce costand environmental loads. Papermaking potential of cellulosic fibres decreaseswith recycling. The phenomenon of fibre hornification during pressing anddrying is normally held responsible for the loss in strength. To study the impactsof recycling on pulp, fibre and paper properties some non conventionalcharacterisation techniques like fibre saturation point, X-rays microtomography,environmental scanning electron microscopic observations, atomic forcemicroscope (PeakForce QNM mode) and inverse size exclusion chromatography(ISEC) were used. In order to achieve good reproducibility of ISEC measurements,a semi-automatic column fabrication pilot system was built. Thetechniques were first validated on refining process before being applied to therecycling process. In this study, it was found that fibre hornification alone cannot fully explain loss in strength during recycling. The loss in strength is muchmore complex and it is required to understand the morphological and ultrastructural changes associated with recycling. Fibre width, cell wall thickness,curl, kink, irregularities decreased during recycling. Fibre became hard andbrittle in dry state. Number of weak points in the fibre wall were increasedinitially and in the later recyclings. The increase in wet breaking length indicatesincreased surface friction and capillary forces with recycling. Decreasein bonded area during first recycle may be caused by the loss of fines and fibreflexibility whereas the increase afterwards may be linked to the lumen collapse.The strength of fibres did not decrease with recycling as shown by zero-spanbreaking lengths therefore the quality of bond may be deteriorated. It wasthought that the partially delaminated P/S1 layers may be responsible for theloss of paper strength. It is suggested since the significant change is associatedwith the pressing and drying of never dried pulp therefore the drying processneeds to be revisited. The delaminated layer should be restored so as to increasethe recyclability of the recovered fibres for high value paper. Influenceof recycled pulp blends on physical properties of paper was also studied. It wasrevealed that small quantity of recycled pulp can be used without significantlyaffecting the mechanical strength properties.
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Imtiaz Ali. Study of the mechanical behavior of recycled fibers. Applications to papers and paperboards.. Other. Université de Grenoble, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012GRENI075⟩. ⟨tel-00872112⟩

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