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Along with the emergence of micro and nanofibrillated celluloses and their application in papermaking, the influence of the so called fines fraction of pulps on both process and product properties has received increasing research interest in recent years. Several researchers have experimented with primary and/or secondary pulp fines to assess their effects on paper properties with not always consistent results. Our work focuses on the targeted application of the primary fines fraction of an unbleached softwood kraft pulp. The primary fines are separated from the pulp to be subsequently added to achieve blends of 5%,9% and 12% primary fines content. These blends were then refined in a PFI mill to evaluate the effect of the primary fines on refining as well as on paper properties of hand sheets prepared from these pulps. It is shown that the addition of primary fines enhances tensile strength in the unrefined and slightly refined state, while the maximum tensile strength of the highly refined reference pulp is not increased. A slightly increased dewatering resistance (Schopper Riegler) at comparable air permeability (Gurley) for a given tensile strength was also observed. The linear relationship between tensile index and apparent sheet density seems to be affected in the unrefined and slightly refined state where the breaking length of the fines enriched samples is higher for a given apparent density.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Polymere und Kunststoffe
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