Driven by the results of earlier projects, the new target is to evaluate the amount of damage cellulosic fibers have taken by detecting changes in their swelling behaviour. Swelling is induced (or enhanced) by adding chemicals to pulp fibers. Afterwards, digital images of the highly diluted pulp suspension are taken by means of transmission microscopy. The degree of swelling of the single fibers is determined by applying image analysis algorithms which have been developed at this institute. The collected data of all fibers is then evaluated statistically.
Mechanical (or other, e.g. chemical, thermic) damage to pulp fibers will result in better access of swelling agents to the fiber wall, thus increasing the amount of swelling.