Theory of X-ray measurement of microfibril angle in wood
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The property of fibre symmetry as exhibited by wood cellulose can be used to derive an explicit relationship between the orientation of a cellulose microfibril and the orientation of the X-ray beam diffracted by any of its crystallographic planes. The solution applies to a microfibril of any orientation and so is well suited to evaluating the microfibril angle distribution in wood containing cells of any cross-sectional shape. The (002) and (040) reflections of cellulose have complementary properties that could be exploited to enable current problems associated with the use of each individually for evaluating the mean microfibril angle of the S2 layer to be overcome. It is expected that it will be possible to measure the microfibril angle distribution throughout the whole cell wall and also measure the average cell cross-section of a wood sample, by analysing (002) and (040) diffraction profiles in conjunction with each other.
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