Fiber length and fiber-to-fiber bonding effects on tensile strength and fracture toughness of kraft paper have experimentally been investigated. Laboratory sheets were made from kraft pulp, each with a distinct set of fiber lengths. Additionally, the fiber–fiber bond strength was improved by carboxymethyl (CMC) grafting. The tensile strength and work of fracture toughness results were compared to predictions from a shear-lag model which considers the fiber–fiber bond shear strength, the fiber tensile strength and fiber pull-out work. The tensile strength and fracture work for papers with weak fiber–fiber bonds increased with fiber length consistent with the shear-lag model. CMC-treated fibers provided strong fiber–fiber bonds. Papers made from such fibers displayed high strength and work of fracture independent of fiber length which indicates that the failure process is governed by fiber failures rather than bond failures. The fracture toughness, expressed as the critical value of the J-integral, increased strongly with fiber length for both untreated and CMC-treated papers. The results show that long fibers and CMC addition are extremely beneficial for improving the fracture toughness.
Journal of Materials Science – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2017
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