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


The word "fibrillation" refers to both a process and the result of that process. Refining can be defined as the passage of a slurry of papermaking fibers between plates in relative motion to each other that have raised bars on their surfaces. The fibers are subjected to shearing and compression forces. One of the things that happens during refining of fibers is fibrillation, the partial delamination of the cell wall, resulting in a microscopically hairy appearance of the wetted fiber surfaces. The "hairs" are also called fibrillation. The smallest microfibrils may be as small as individual cellulose chains. Fibrillation tends to increase the relative bonded area between fibers after the paper has been dried.

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