Introduction of polymers into fibrous structures by solution impregnation


  • Corrected proofs received March 10, 1983


Dry-formed networks of cellulose fibers, produced with a laboratory device, have been impregnated with aqueous solutions of poly(vinyl alcohol) or solutions of poly(vinyl acetate) in acetone. In both cases, the strength and stiffness of the networks increase several times compared with the unmodified structure. When aqueous solutions are used, it appears that a minimum amount of poly(vinyl alcohol) is required (ca. 2 wt %) to increase the strength appreciably, but when poly(vinyl acetate) dissolved in acetone is used, as a binder, the strength improves even at the lowest level of polymer addition. For the systems studied here, the elongation at rupture increased with increasing polymer concentration. In most cases, the amount of polymer in the network structure was less than 10 wt %. Some results from impregnations using other polymeric systems, e.g., latices, are also reported.