Encapsulation of precipitated calcium carbonate fillers using carboxymethyl cellulose /polyaluminium chloride: preparation and its influence on mechanical and optical properties of paper
Keywords:Brightness, filler modiﬁcation, hand-sheets properties, Kraft pulp, opacity, paper strength
Inorganic fillers are usually used in papermaking industry to reduce production costs and enhance paper optical properties. As an attempt to improve fillers application in papermaking, carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and poly aluminum chloride (PAC) were used to encapsulate precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) ﬁller and modify its surfaces. In the first step, the optimum conditions for filler treatment (i.e. pH, CMC and PAC contents) were obtained. Through the second step, different amounts of CMC-encapsulated PCC were added to fiber suspension and some hand-sheets were made. Then, the effect of modified filler addition in different levels of 20, 25, and 35% on mechanical and optical properties of paper was investigated. The PAC dosage was found to be a critical factor for effective encapsulation of PCC fillers by carboxymethyl cellulose. When the dosages of CMC and PAC were 4% and 0.8% (based on the dry weight of PCC), respectively, ﬁller modiﬁcation caused to improve signiﬁcantly the retention by more than twice. Strength properties of the hand-sheets fabricated with the CMC/PAC-modified PCC were also found to be significantly better than those obtained with the unmodified PCC at similar levels of filler content. In addition, the brightness and opacity of the ﬁlled papers at 30% addition of CMC-modified fillers were strikingly enhanced to 88.45 and 77%, respectively. SEM observations of the filled papers also demonstrated that CMC-encapsulated ﬁller particles were clustered and retained efficiently onto the fiber network. The present method for modification of PCC may provide an alternative approach to increase the filler amount in the paper structure by alleviating filler drawbacks.
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