A novel approach to determining the contribution of the fiber and fines fraction to the water retention value (WRV) of chemical and mechanical pulps

Melanie Mayr*, Rene Eckhart, Heribert Winter, Wolfgang Bauer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The swelling behavior of pulp fibers has a significant influence on process and product properties. The water uptake of fibers is controlled by a different mechanism. While fiber charge is a driving factor for swelling, the swelling is hindered by the solid structure of the fiber wall. In the case of the fines fraction of pulps, this structure is broken to some extent and the fines are able to swell two to three times more compared to fibers. Thus fines are an important factor regarding the swelling behavior and water retention of pulps, although, at least for chemical pulp, their mass fraction is only between 4 and 15%. For this reason, it is of interest to investigate not just the swelling behavior of pulps, but also of the fiber and fines fractions separately. Swelling is often characterized using the water retention value (WRV) based on a centrifugation technique. WRV measurement is a standardized method for the measurement of the amount of water retained in a given pulp sample. For fine cellulosic materials the standardized procedure cannot be performed. Thus, various modifications of the standard method have been applied by different groups for the evaluation of these materials. Due to these modifications the values obtained cannot be related to the standardized method. In this work a novel approach to determining the WRV of the fines fraction in a given pulp based on the standard procedure will be presented. This allows a quantitative investigation of the contribution of the fibers and fines fraction to the WRV of any given pulp sample.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3029-3036
Number of pages8
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2017


  • Fibers
  • Fines
  • Refining
  • Swelling
  • Water retention value

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics

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