Skip to main content

A procedure for measuring the flexibility of single wood-pulp fibres


A way of determining the flexibility of wood-pulp fibres is developed, which involves i) a precise measurement of the topology of single-fibres by using a confocal laser scanning microscope and ii) the measurement of the elastic modulus of the fibres by using a single-fibre fatigue cell. Reported in this paper are the initial results of tests carried out on black spruce fibres, which have been subjected to three different levels of mechanical refining energy, namely ∼1100, 2300, and 3500 kWh/t. It is found that the fibre flexibility rises significantly between the first and second energy levels, but it does not change to the same degree between the second and third ones. The described procedure of measuring the flexibility of fibres may be used to establish the appropriate refiner energy necessary for the production of a specific grade of paper.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. P. M. Wild, J. W. Provan, R. Guin, and S. Pop, “The effects of cyclic axial loading of single wood pulp fibres at elevated temperature and humidity,” TAPPI J., Paper Phys., 82, J209–J215 (1999).

    Google Scholar 

  2. C. Baker, Refining Technologies. Pira Reviews of Pulp and Paper Technology, Pira International, United Kingdom (1991).

    Google Scholar 

  3. G. A. Smook, Handbook for Pulp & Paper Technologists, 2nd Ed., Angus Wilde Publications, Vancouver, Canada (1992).

    Google Scholar 

  4. D. H. Page, F. El-Hosseiny, K. Winkler, and R. Bain, “The mechanical properties of single wood fibres. Part I. A New Approach,” Pulp Paper Mag. Canada, 73, No. 8 (1972).

    Google Scholar 

  5. M. Tchepel, C. Lam, and J. W. Provan, “Behaviour of refined single wood-pulp fibres,” in: 86th Annual PAPTAC Meeting, Montreal (2000), p. C11.

  6. M. Tchepel and J. W. Provan, “Viscoelastic modelling of the orthotropic properties of wood-pulp fibre,” in: International Mechanical Pulping Conference, Helsinki, Finland, June 4–8, (2001).

  7. Tam Doo and R. J. Kerekes, “The flexibility of wet pulp fibres,” Pulp Paper Mag. Canada, 83, No. 2, 46–50 (1982).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

Russian translation published in Mekhanika Kompozitnykh Materialov, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 115–128, January–February, 2006.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Tchepel, M., Provan, J.W., Nishida, A. et al. A procedure for measuring the flexibility of single wood-pulp fibres. Mech Compos Mater 42, 83–92 (2006).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • refining
  • specific energy (SE)
  • single wood fibres
  • thermomechanical pulp (TMP)
  • softwood
  • S2 layer
  • confocal laser scanning microscope
  • fibril angle
  • single fibre fatigue cell
  • axial fatigue
  • second moment of area
  • modulus of elasticity
  • fibre flexibility
  • fibre properties