, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 891–901

Diffusion-induced dimensional changes in papers and fibrillar films: influence of hydrophobicity and fibre-wall cross-linking



The initial dimensional stability of paper measured as hydroexpansion, i.e. when paper is exposed to liquid water, has been considerably improved by combining a periodate-oxidation-induced cross-linking of the fibre wall with the subsequent adsorption of a hydrophobic polyelectrolyte multilayer consisting of three layers of poly(allylamine hydrochloride) and two layers of poly(acrylic acid). This reduced the rate of diffusion of water into the fibre wall at the same time as the diffusion distance was increased, i.e. the water has to diffuse all the way from the top of the sheet and not only from the individual fibre surfaces since capillary absorption was prevented. However, as a consequence, the hydrophobic sheets present a greater expansion maximum before contraction. It is suggested that this may be due to a higher moisture content in the top fibre layers of the hydrophobically modified papers than in the hydrophilic sheets, since all the water is concentrated to the top fibre layers of the hydrophobic papers. Sheets made from bleached kraft pulp or thermo-mechanical pulp as well as model sheets made from microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) were studied. The MFC-sheets were intended as a model of the fibre wall, i.e. a sheet without any fibre joints. The behaviour of the MFC-sheets was similar to that of ordinary sheets when subjected to water, which indicates that the properties of the fibre joints do not affect the hydroexpansion to any great content and that the expansion of the paper is directly linked to the expansion of the fibre wall.


Cross-linking Diffusion Dimensional stability Dynamic absorption Hydroexpansion Microfibrillated cellulose Polyelectrolyte multilayers 


  1. Ahlen AT (1970) Diffusion of sorbed water vapor through paper and cellulose film. Tappi 53(7):1320–1326Google Scholar
  2. Araujo CD, MacKay AL, Whittall KP, Hailey JRT (1993) A diffusion model for spin-spin relaxation of compartmentalized water in wood. J Magn Reson Ser B 101(3):248–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Åslund P, Johansson PÅ, Blohm E (2005) Water-induced surface roughness of offset papers. Nordic Pulp Pap Res J 20(1):72–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brecht W, Gerspach A, Hildenbrand W (1956) Tensions on drying and their effects on various paper properties. Das Papier 10:454–458Google Scholar
  5. Bristow JA (1967) Liquid absorption into paper during short time intervals. Sven Papperstidn 70(19):623–629Google Scholar
  6. Eriksson M, Torgnysdotter A, Wågberg L (2006) Surface modification of wood fibers using the polyelectrolyte multilayer technique: Effects on fiber joint and paper strength properties. Ind Eng Chem Res 45:5279–5286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Forseth T, Helle T (1997) Effect of moistening on cross-sectional details of calandered paper containing mechanical pulp. J Pulp Pap Sci 23(3):95–100Google Scholar
  8. Forseth T, Helle T (1998) Moisture-induced roughening during “water coating” of precalendered wood-containing paper. J Pulp Pap Sci 24(10):301–307Google Scholar
  9. Harris J, DeRose P, Bruening M (1999) Synthesis of passivating, nylon-like coatings through cross-linking of ultrathin polyelectrolyte films. J Am Chem Soc 121(9):1978–1979CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jarrell TD (1927) Effect of atmospheric humidity on the moisture content of paper. Pap Trade J 85:47–51Google Scholar
  11. Kananen J (2003) Water transfer and dimensional changes of paper in a wet nip. Licentiate thesis, Helsinki University of Technology: Department of Forest Products TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  12. Ketoja JA, Kananen J, Niskanen KJ, Tattari H (2001) Sorption and web expansion mechanisms. In: Baker CF (ed) The science of papermaking: transactions of the 12th fundamental research symposium held in Oxford, vol 2, pp 1357–1366Google Scholar
  13. Kettle J, Matthews P, Ridgway C, Wågberg L (1997) Investigation of the pore structure of paper by novel porosimetric techniques: application to super and soft-nip finishing. In: Baker CF (ed) The fundamentals of papermaking materials: transactions of the 11th fundamental research symposium held at Cambridge, vol 2, pp 1355–1393Google Scholar
  14. Larsson PA, Wågberg L (2008) Influence of fibre-fibre joint properties on the dimensional stability of paper. Cellulose 15(4):515–525CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Larsson PA, Wågberg L (2009) Highly hydrophobic paper surfaces by wax adsorption onto polyelectrolyte multilayer treated fibres. In: 7th international paper and coating chemistry symposium, Hamilton, Canada, pp 299–300Google Scholar
  16. Larsson PA, Gimåker M, Wågberg L (2008) The influence of periodate oxidition on the moisture sorptivity and dimensional stability of paper. Cellulose 15(6):837–847CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Larsson PA, Hoc M, Wågberg L (2009a) A novel approach to study the hydroexpansion mechanisms of paper using spray technique. Nordic Pulp Pap Res J 24(4):371–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Larsson PA, Hoc M, Wågberg L (2009b) The influence of grammage, moisture content, fibre furnish and chemical modifications on the hygro- and hydro-expansion of paper. In: I’anson S (ed) Advances in pulp and paper research: transactions of the 14th fundamental research symposium held in Oxford, pp 355–388Google Scholar
  19. Lindström T, O’Brian H (1986) On the mechanism of sizing with alkylketene dimers. Part II. The kinetics of reaction between alkylketene dimers and cellulose. Nordic Pulp Pap Res J 1(1):34–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lingström R, Notley SM, Wågberg L (2007) Wettability changes in the formation of polymeric multilayers on cellulose fibres and their influence on wet adhesion. J Colloid Interface Sci 314(1):1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mao CQ, Kortschot MT, Farnood R, Spelt JK (2003) Local rewetting and distortion of paper. Nord Pulp Pap Res J 18:10–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Niskanen KJ, Kuskowski SJ, Bronkhorst CA (1997) Dynamic hygroexpansion of paperboards. Nordic Pulp Pap Res J 12:103–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Page DH, Tydeman PA (1962) A new theory of the shrinkage, structure and properties of paper. In: Bolam F (ed) Formation and structure of paper, transaction of the symposium held at Oxford, September 1961, vol 1, pp 397–413Google Scholar
  24. Salmén L, Fellers C, Htun M (1985) The in-plane and out-of-plane hygroexpansional properties of paper. In: Punton V (ed) Papermaking raw materials—their interaction with the production process and their effect on paper properties: transactions of the 8th fundamental research symposium held at Oxford, vol 3, pp 511–527Google Scholar
  25. Sehaqui H, Liu A, Zhou Q, Berglund LA (2010) Fast preparation procedure for large, flat cellulose and cellulose/inorganic nanopaper structures. Biomacromolecules (in press)Google Scholar
  26. Stone JE, Scallan AM (1967) Effect of component removal upon the porous structure of the cellwalls of wood. II. Swelling in water and the fiber saturation point. Tappi 50(10):496–501Google Scholar
  27. Ström G, Borg J, Svanholm E (2008) Short-time water absorption by model coatings. In: TAPPI 10th advanced coating fundamentals symposium, pp 204–216Google Scholar
  28. Topgaard D, Söderman O (2001) Diffusion of water absorbed in cellulose fibers studied with proton NMR. Langmuir 17(9):2694–2702CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Trollsås PO (1995) Water-uptake in newsprint during offset printing. Tappi J 78(1):155–160Google Scholar
  30. Uesaka T, Qi D (1994) Hygroexpansivity of paper—effects of fiber-to-fiber bonding. J Pulp Pap Sci 20:175–179Google Scholar
  31. Uesaka T, Kodaka I, Okushima S, Fukuchi R (1989) History-dependent dimensional stability of paper. Rheol Acta 28:238–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wågberg L, Hägglund R (2001) Kinetics of polyelectrolyte adsorption on cellulosic fibers. Langmuir 17:1096–1103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Wågberg L, Forsberg S, Johansson A, Juntti P (2002) Engineering of fibre surface properties by application of the polyelectrolyte multilayer concept. Part I. Modification of paper strength. J Pulp Pap Sci 28:222–228Google Scholar
  34. Wågberg L, Decher G, Norgren M, Lindström T, Ankerfors M, Axnäs K (2008) The build-up of polyelectrolyte multilayers of microfibrillated cellulose and cationic polyelectrolytes. Langmuir 24(3):784–795CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Yamazaki H, Munakata Y (1993) A liquid absorption model. In: Baker CF (ed) Products of papermaking: transactions of the 10th fundamental research symposium held at Oxford, pp 913–933Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.KTH Fibre and Polymer Technology, The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)StockholmSweden
  2. 2.BIM Kemi Sweden ABStenkullenSweden

Personalised recommendations