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M. Gimåker, A.-M. Olsson, L. Salmén and L. Wågberg. On the mechanisms of mechano-sorptive creep reduction by chemical cross-linking. In Advances in Pulp and Paper Research, Oxford 2009, Trans. of the XIVth Fund. Res. Symp. Oxford, 2009, (S.J. I’Anson, ed.), pp 1001–1017, FRC, Manchester, 2018


Despite the technical importance of mechano-sorptive creep in paper, the exact mechanism behind this phenomenon is still not fully understood. In this study it was shown that the mechanosorptive creep of paper sheets can be significantly reduced by chemical cross-linking through periodate oxidation. The mechanism behind this reduction has been examined through creep measurements of both sheets and individual fibres. For sheets the creep acceleration due to varying humidity was significantly reduced by the chemical cross-linking. For single fibres, however, the creep acceleration was not affected by the chemical crosslinking. In fact the absolute creep rate for the periodate oxidised fibres were higher than that of the reference fibres. This clearly showed that the improvement in mechano-sorptive creep found on a sheet level does not originate from an improved creep resistance for individual fibres but rather from mechanisms operating at the fibre network level. Hygroexpansion and moisture sorption of the sheets during the humidity cycling used for creep testing have also been measured, and the results showed that both was reduced by the periodate oxidation. Reduced moisture sorptivity and hygroexpansion probably minimises stress concentrations at the fibre network level and thereby also the creep acceleration.

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