NC State
M.R. McNeal, H. Nanko and M.A. Hubbe. Imaging of macromolecular events occurring during the manufacture of paper. In Advances in Paper Science and Technology, Trans. of the XIIIth Fund. Res. Symp. Cambridge, 2005, (S.J. I’Anson, ed.), pp 1225–1268, FRC, Manchester, 2018.


A novel transmission electron microscopy (TEM) technique, developed to observe the nano-scale interactions of polymeric additives and cellulosic fibrils under idealized laboratory conditions, was applied for the first time in a comprehensive study of the colloidal interactions within a mill producing light-weight coated publication paper. The technique allows the observation of incremental changes in the nano-scale appearance of the paper-making slurry as successive additives are introduced to the system. Such changes include the coagulation of colloidal and dissolved substances present in thermomechanical (TMP) pulp after the addition of a low molecular weight, high charge density polymer, and the subsequent flocculation of the coagulated matter, hydrophobic materials, and fines following the introduction of talc, aluminum sulfate, a high mass cationic polyelectrolyte, and silica nanoparticles. The new results demonstrate that the TEM technique can be applied even in systems as complex as commercial papermaking, leading to a more accurate understanding of what happens on a macromolecular level.

Download PDF