A Comparative Study of the Effects of Chemical Crosslinking Agents on NBSK Handsheet Properties

Antti Korpela (Corresponding Author), Atsushi Tanaka, Alistair King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


Chemical crosslinking is an established method for improving the wet performance of paper. In the chemical crosslinking process, covalent bonds are formed between cellulosic surfaces. The formed intra- and inter-fiber bonds increase the paper’s wet strength and reduce its water absorptivity. The majority of published studies concern crosslinking treatments with glyoxal, citric acid (CA), or with 1,2,3,4-butanetetra-carboxylic acid (BTCA). The most severe disadvantage of the crosslinking treatments with glyoxal, CA, and BTCA is that the formed crosslinks make the fibers and the paper more brittle. This downside effect has largely impeded the utilization of crosslinking in paper and paperboard making. In the present study, handsheets made from Nordic bleached softwood kraft pulp (NBSK) were crosslinked with methylated 1,3-dimethylol-4,5-dihydroxyethylene urea (mDMDHEU), which is commonly used in cotton fabric finishing. Similar to using glyoxal and citric acid, crosslinking with mDMDHEU notably increased the handsheet wet strength and decreased the water absorption. Compared to the use of glyoxal or CA, the crosslinking with mDMDHEU did not make the handsheets that brittle. These results suggest that mDMDHEU could be a more viable crosslinking agent for improving the wet performance of paper products
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-948
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Paper
  • Crosslinking
  • Glyoxal
  • Citric acid
  • Mechanical properties
  • Water absorption


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