• graft copolymerization;
  • comonomers;
  • paper sheet;
  • water absorption;
  • wettability


The chemical graft copolymerization reactions were used to enhance water resistance of paper by reaction of acrylonitrile (AN) monomer onto cellulosic paper sheet in the presence of comonomer (styrene or acrylic acid or itaconic acid) 1 : 1 molar ratio in dimethyl formamide using benzoyl peroxide as free radical initiator under nitrogen atmosphere at 70°C. The infrared spectroscopy confirms that graft copolymerization reaction occurs onto the paper samples. Water absorption test was carried out following the Normal Protocol 7/81 (water absorption by complete immersion) to evaluate the protective effect of the graft treatment onto the paper sheet. It was found that the three graft copolymerization systems reduced the water absorption of the investigated paper and the reduction of water absorption is directly proportional to the grafting %. The wettability of the grafted and ungrafted paper sheet samples were investigated using the wicking time method which exhibits the decreasing of paper sheet wettability using the AN/S comonomers in the graft copolymerization reaction. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013