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Cotton fibers possess properties which make them desirable as a papermaking furnish. One type of cotton fiber (that is, linters) has the shortcoming of developing low paper strength and high paper bulk. Chemical modification of the linters fiber eliminates these disadvantages. Paper made from hydroxyethylated linters, in particular, has improved strength, uniform formation, excellent permanency, improved surface characteristics, and new combinations of porosity and absorbency with strength.
Bond, ledger, social, printing, thin, and porous papers are all likely to contain hydroxyethylated cotton linters. For identification of this new fiber, Herzberg iodine stain is inadequate. The microscopical study of morphological characteristics constitutes a preferred basis for fiber characterization. Hydroxyethylated linters may be distinguished from regular linters by determining solubility in alkali. Pulp crystallinity and degree of substitution data provide information, if desired, as to the stage of processing at which the fiber was modified and the extent of modification.
Research Supervisor, Research Center, Hercules Powder Co., Wilmington, Del.