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AKD sizing :dispersion colloidal stability, spreading and sizing with pre-flocculated dispersion

by Mattsson, Rosa

Abstract (Summary)
Alkylketene dimer, AKD, dispersions are used in the paper industry to obtain paper grades with a hydrophobic character i.e. resistance to sorption of water. AKD is used in neutral to alkaline internal sizing, pH in the interval of 6-9. AKD dispersions consist of wax particles emulsified in water. The particles are electrostatically and in most cases also sterically stabilized by cationic polyelectrolytes. The size of the particles is usually in the range of 0.5-2 µm in diameter. The idea of having cationic particles is that they are supposed to be deposited onto the negatively charged fiber surfaces, heterocoagulation. An increased usage of recycled pulp and a closure of the wet-end circuits of the paper machine will lead to increasing levels of dissolved and colloidal substances. These substances could be detrimental by affecting the AKD deposition onto the fiber material and the colloidal stability i.e. induce flocculation of sizing particles. Flocculation could lead to an inhomogeneous distribution of the sizing agent. The aims addressed in this thesis were the following: to investigate if high levels of shear, electrolyte concentration, anionic polymers and surfactants could affect the colloidal stability and induce flocculation of differently designed AKD dispersions to study the migration of AKD and the influence of extractives on the migration to study the sizing efficiency and retention using flocculated dispersions The colloidal stability of the dispersions was tested under shear by measuring the particle size distribution and the microelectrophoretic mobility. The migration of AKD through paper sheets with defined thickness and through paper sheets impregnated with extractives was analyzed with contact angle measurements on stored samples. The sizing efficiency of flocculated AKD was determined by measuring 60-second Cobb and contact angles on laboratory sheets. The retention of AKD was determined by quantitative analysis of the AKD content in the laboratory sheets using alkaline hydrolysis followed by solvent extraction and quantification with capillary gas chromatography. It was shown that anionic polymers and surfactants could seriously affect the colloidal stability of the dispersions, while shear and electrolyte concentration had a small influence. Dispersions with a high surface charge flocculates easier than dispersions with a low surface charge in process water from the wet-end of a linerboard paper machine. The flocculation rate is fast and occurs on the same time scale as deposition onto fines and fibers. The AKD agglomerates could be up to 30 µm in diameter even at high levels of shear. The AKD diffusion coefficient in paper sheets was estimated to be 10-11 m2/s at a temperature above the melting point of the wax. The results indicate that extractives do not interfere with the AKD migration. A reasonable explanation is that migration occurs via the vapor phase. It was also shown that sizing with flocculated AKD improved the sizing efficiency significantly due to increased retention. This clearly indicates that migration is efficient and that agglomerates can be used for internal sizing provided that the flocculation process is controlled. The conventional picture that the sizing agents must be very evenly distributed to achieve efficient sizing could, from the viewpoint of these results, be questioned. The process of sizing with pre-flocculated AKD dispersions is the subject of a patent application. Even if this thesis is focused on AKD dispersions, the obtained knowledge should be possible to transfer to other sizing systems. The emulsification process for rosin and ASA is based on the same principles as for AKD.
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School:Luleå tekniska universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/2002

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