Atomic force microscopy for the measurement of flexibility of single softwood pulp fibres
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A new method based on the atomic force microscope has been developed to measure the lateral flexibility of single wood pulp fibres. In this method, individual wet pulp fibres from earlywood and latewood of Pinus radiata were placed on a newly designed two-point support, and the load and the deflection of fibres were measured under three-point bending test using a modified cantilever probe. The lateral flexibility values of the fibres were then calculated using propped cantilever beam theory. The results obtained indicate that earlywood fibres are substantially more flexible, and have a greater range of flexibility values than latewood fibres.
KeywordsAtomic Force Microscope Bacterial Cellulose Pulp Fibre Flexibility Measurement Cantilever Deflection
We would like to acknowledge Dr. John Smaill of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, for his support in preparation of the grooved glass slide. We would also like to thank Dr. Lloyd Donaldson and John Lloyd of Scion, Rotorua, New Zealand, for the SEM micrograph of the beaded cantilever probe and advice with the kraft pulping, respectively.
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