, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 561–574 | Cite as

Effect of cellulose nanofiber dimensions on sheet forming through filtration

  • Liyuan Zhang
  • Warren Batchelor
  • Swambabu Varanasi
  • Takuya Tsuzuki
  • Xungai Wang


Four different cellulose nanofibers samples were prepared from northern bleached softwood kraft fibers. Fiber diameter distributions were measured from SEM images. Fiber aspect ratios ranging from 84 to 146 were estimated from fiber suspension sedimentation measurements. Three samples had heterogeneous distributions of fiber diameters, while one sample was more homogeneous. Sheet forming experiments using filters with pores ranging from 150 to 5 μm showed that the samples with a heterogeneous distribution of fiber dimensions could be easily formed into sheets at 0.2% initial solids concentration with all filter openings. On the other hand, sheets could only be formed from the homogenous sample by using 0.5% or more initial solids content and a lower applied vacuum and smaller filter openings. The forming data and estimated aspect ratios show reasonable agreement with the predictions of the crowding number and percolation theories for the connectivity and rigidity thresholds for fiber suspensions.


Cellulose nanofiber Nanofiber length Sedimentation Nanofiber sheets 



The authors thank Sally Gras, The University of Melbourne, for SEM images of pulp NIST-1 and Dr. Emily Perkins, Stoney Lei Wang, Ryan Lee, Siti Ibrahim, Azreen Omar, Wei Wei, Yi Mei Chew and Hong Yoong Tai for experimental assistance. Liyuan Zhang also thanks IDP Education Australia Ltd. for the IDP Student Mobility Scholarship, and Swambabu Varanasi thanks Monash University for a MGS Scholarship.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liyuan Zhang
    • 1
  • Warren Batchelor
    • 2
  • Swambabu Varanasi
    • 2
  • Takuya Tsuzuki
    • 1
  • Xungai Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Material and Fiber InnovationDeakin UniversityGeelongAustralia
  2. 2.Australian Pulp and Paper Institute, Department of Chemical EngineeringMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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