Analysis of the topochemical effects of dielectric-barrier discharge on cellulosic fibers
This study investigates the fundamental topochemical effects of dielectric-barrier discharge treatment on bleached chemical pulp and unbleached mechanical pulp fiber surfaces. Fibers were treated with various levels of dielectric-barrier discharge treatment ranging from 0 to 9.27 kw/m2/min. Changes to the fiber surface topochemistry were investigated by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The AFM studies were complemented by inverse gas chromatography (IGC), contact angle evaluation, poly-electrolyte titration, viscosity testing and determination of water retention value (WRV). The static coefficient of friction and zero-span tensile index of sheets were also evaluated. Low dielectric-barrier discharge treatment levels resulted in increased surface energy and roughness. Fibers treated at high applied power levels showed surface energies and roughness levels near that of reference samples as well as evidence of degradation and decreased fiber swelling.