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Official Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society

A method to determine lumen volume and collapse degree of pulp fibers by using bottleneck effect of mercury porosimetry


On applying mercury porosimetry to wood blocks or paper sheets, the “bottleneck” effect due to pits of fibers occurs and thus lumen volume can be determined from the weight increase due to the remaining mercury. However, in addition to the mercury in the lumen, some mercury drops may also remain in the space between fibers within a paper sheet. The mercury between fibers increased with an increase of basis weight. Thus, a large number of paper sheets of low basis weight, such as 10 g·m−2, should be used to determine the lumen volume of pulp fibers. Furthermore, in the case of fibers from mechanical pulp with many open cut fibers, mercury can retract from the open lumen such that the bottleneck effect due to pits does not occur. Therefore, the degree to which fibers are cut should also be considered for lumen volume determination. Although quantitative estimation of open cut fibers is difficult, the percentage of open cut fibers is quite low for the long fiber fraction. Thus, the remaining mercury for the long fiber fraction can be adopted as the lumen volume at least for practical purposes. Compared with the original lumen volume of the wood, the volumetric degree of fiber collapse was also estimated. Plausible values of almost 100% for lightly beaten KP and about 85% for slabwood thermomechanical pulp were obtained for the degree of collapse.


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Correspondence to Tatsuo Yamauchi.

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Part of this report was presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of the Japan Wood Research Society, Akita, August 2006

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Yamauchi, T. A method to determine lumen volume and collapse degree of pulp fibers by using bottleneck effect of mercury porosimetry. J Wood Sci 53, 516–519 (2007).

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