Superior non-woven sheet forming characteristics of low-density cationic polymer-cellulose nanofibre colloids
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- Varanasi, S. & Batchelor, W. Cellulose (2014) 21: 3541. doi:10.1007/s10570-014-0370-8
This work examines the addition of cationic polymers, cationic polyacrylamide (CPAM) and polyamide–amine–epichlorohydrin (PAE), to cellulose nanofibres to produce superior forming characteristics. The addition of 2 mg of high MW CPAM/g of nanofibres halved the drainage time to under 1 min at 0.1 wt% solids content due to increasing the floc size and the fibre forming a bulky and porous filter medium during drainage. The more open structure created in the wet state was partially preserved during the drying process, reducing the sheet density from 760 to 680 kg/m3, at the highest level of polymer addition. The addition of CPAM resulted in significant additional bridging between nanofibres, which then substantially increased the non-uniformity of the filter medium. PAE addition at 10 mg/g of micro fibrillated cellulose (MFC), also reduced drainage time, while increasing retention, but without changing the sheet uniformity. Wet strength increased continuously with PAE addition level, reaching 31.6 kN m/kg at the highest level of 20 mg of PAE/g of MFC.