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Cellulose nanofibrils—adsorption with poly(amideamine) epichlorohydrin studied by QCM-D and application as a paper strength additive

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In this paper cellulose nanofibrils were used together with a cationic polylelectrolyte, poly(amideamine) epichlorohydrin (PAE), to enhance the wet and the dry strength of paper. The adsorption of nanofibrils and PAE on cellulose model surfaces was studied using quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The differences in fibril and polyelectrolyte adding strategies onto cellulose fibres were studied by comparing layer-structures and nano-aggregates formed by the nanofibrils and PAE. The results showed that when PAE was first adsorbed on the model fibre surface a uniform and viscous layer of nanofibrils could be adsorbed. When PAE and nanofibrils were adsorbed as cationic aggregates a non-uniform and more rigid layer was adsorbed. Paper sheets were prepared using both the bi-layer and nano-aggregate adding strategy of the nanofibrils and PAE. When PAE and nanofibrils were adsorbed on pulp fibres as a bi-layer system significant increase in both wet and dry tensile strength of paper could be achieved even at low added amounts of PAE. When the substances were added as nano-aggregates the improvements in paper strength properties were not as significant. Bulk and surface nitrogen content analyses of the paper samples showed that the adding strategy does not affect the total adsorbed amount of PAE but it has a strong effect on distribution of substances in the paper matrix which has a crucial effect on paper wet and dry strength development.

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This work has been performed as a part of “Nanostructured cellulose products”-project in the Finnish-Swedish Wood Material Science Research Program. Prof. Tom Lindström and M.Sc. Mikael Ankerfors at STFI-Packforsk are acknowledged for providing the nanofibril samples. Dr. Leena-Sisko Johansson is greatly acknowledged for performing the XPS analysis and helping in the analyzing process. Mrs. Gunborg Glad Nordmark at STFI-Packforsk is acknowledged for performing the bulk nitrogen analysis. The experimental assistance of Mrs Marja Kärkkäinen and Mrs Aila Rahkola is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Susanna Ahola.

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Ahola, S., Österberg, M. & Laine, J. Cellulose nanofibrils—adsorption with poly(amideamine) epichlorohydrin studied by QCM-D and application as a paper strength additive. Cellulose 15, 303–314 (2008).

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