Mini-Encyclopedia of Papermaking Wet-End Chemistry
Part Two: Definitions and Concepts


The word "dispersion" has at least three distinct meanings that are relevant to papermaking chemistry. A colloidal dipersion is a suspension of very small solid particles, as in the case of a filler slurry. By contrast, we call it an emulsion of the suspended entities are liquid, or at least if they were liquid when the emulsion was formed. "Dispersion" is also the act of dispersing materials to make a suspension. Finally, the most universal component of attractive forces between colloidal particles is known as the London dispersion component of attractive force. Such forces arise due to the momentary dipoles created by movements of electrons in orbitals surrounding the adjacent atoms on different small objects. (The reason that an attractive force got this illogical name has nothing to do with the act of dispersing colloidal dispersions; rather, it is because the forces are related in theory to the dispersion of light by a prism.)

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This page is maintained by Martin hubbe, Associate Professor of Wood and Paper Science, NC State University, .