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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2005

Dislocations in Norway spruce fibres and their effect on properties of pulp and paper

Terziev N, Daniel G, Marklund A


Wood "cell-wall deformation" is a comprehensive term describing any physical dislocation in the wall caused by mechanical forces. The development and effect of fibre dislocations on wood fibres, and their ultimate impact on the mechanical properties of paper remain rather obscure and controversial. Dislocations are difficult to quantify through a lack of defined measurable features, and research is aggravated by the inherent difficulties of applying statistical tools. A direct approach for studying the effect of dislocations on the mechanical properties of paper was used in this study. Dislocations in fibre cell walls were introduced by exposing whole wood fibres in mature and juvenile wood samples to compression stress. Sapwood samples of Norway spruce (Picea abies Karst.) were loaded by compression to their ultimate strength using an Alwetron-50 universal testing machine. Failure of samples conditioned to a moisture content of 9-15% always occurred in an oblique (relative to the fibre axis) plane and all fibres in the plane were deformed. When samples were loaded in a wet condition (i.e., moisture content close to the fibre saturation point), failure occurred at one end of the samples, resulting in highly disorganised fibres. Pulp and paper from the compressed fibres were produced and the mechanical properties of the paper were tested. Results of the mechanical tests were compared statistically to results derived from paper made from matched non-compressed control samples. Morphological features of fibres and dislocations after compression failure were characterised using microscopy (scanning electron microscopy, polarised light) on the whole wood and macerated fibres before and after paper testing. The above experimental approach showed that paper made from control samples had significantly better mechanical properties than paper made from samples loaded by compression under dry or wet conditions. At a tensile index of 90 N m/g, the tear index was measured as 23.6 mN m(2)/g for controls, while the corresponding values for compressed wet wood samples was 12.6 and 16.3 mN m(2)/g for samples at 9-15% moisture content. Paper made from juvenile wood also showed lower mechanical properties compared to controls. The results prove the negative effect of dislocations on the mechanical properties of paper in the worst case scenario and are of practical importance


Fibre cell wall; compression; kraft cooking; kappa number; scanning electron microscopy; tear index; tensile index

Published in

2005, Volume: 59, number: 2, pages: 163-169

    SLU Authors

    • Terziev, Nasko

      • Department of Forest Products, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Daniel, Geoffrey

        • Department of Forest Products, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Forest Science

      Publication Identifiers


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