Optical methods for the quantification of the fibrillation degree of bleached MFC materials

Updated: 2013-11-29 | Print

Gary Chinga-Carrasco

Paper and Fibre Research Institute (PFI), Høgskoleringen 6b, NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway

In this study, the suitability of optical devices for quantification of the fibrillation degree of bleached microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) materials has been assessed. The techniques for optical assessment include optical scanner, UV-vis spectrophotometry, turbidity, quantification of the fibre fraction and a camera system for dynamic measurements. The results show that the assessed optical devices are most adequate for quantification of the light transmittance of bleached MFC materials. Such quantification yields an estimation of the fibrillation degree. Films made of poorly fibrillated materials are opaque, while films made of highly fibrillated materials containing a major fraction of nanofibrils are translucent, with light transmittance larger than 90%. Finally, the concept of using images acquired with a CCD camera system, for estimating the fibrillation degree in dynamic conditions was exemplified. Such systems are most interesting as this will widen the applicability of optical methods for quantification of fibrillation degree online in production lines, which is expected to appear in the years to come.

Micron, Volume 48, May 2013, Pages 42–48.