Radiation grafting of vinyl monomers onto wood pulp cellulose. Part I



The effect of dose, dose rate, monomer type, and monomer concentration on the water transport behavior in grafted cellulose pulp and hand sheets was studied. At low dose rates, grafting rates of styrene onto wood pulp were less with hand sheets than with the pulp itself. Grafting was also found to be decreased by increasing the dose rate. Grafting mixtures of styrene and acrylonitrile gave better yields than styrene alone. Excellent grafting yields were obtained by treating the pulp or hand sheets with water before adding vinyl monomers. In this way, solvents such as dioxane could be eliminated from the grafting mixture. The hand sheets, grafted with mixtures of acrylonitrile and styrene, had good mechanical properties although less than the corresponding ungrafted sheets. Grafting decreased the moisture regain in pulp and hand sheets. Gamma irradiation of wood pulp under ambient conditions without additives reduced the water sorption considerably.