Changes in the axial dimension of chemical pulp fibres were studied, using various combinations of drying and wetting. It was found that the commonly experienced elongation, brought about as a result of wetting, was exchanged for a shrinkage when the applied load before wetting was considerably lower than that applied before the preceding drying. Dimensional stabilisation was found for certain combinations of drying and wetting loads.
In addition, fibre stiffness was studied. During drying, the stiffness increased sharply within a dry solids content range of 15-35 percent. Upon further drying, the stiffness of the latewood fibres did not change, whereas that of the earlywood fibres was decreased. The former effect is most likely associated with an increased modulus of elasticity, whereas the latter is probably a result of changes in the fibre cross-section involving collapse.