Full-field hygro-expansion characterization of single softwood and hardwood pulp fibers

N.H. Vonk, M.G.D. Geers, J.P.M. Hoefnagels (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The dimensional stability of paper products is a well-known problem, affecting multiple engineering applications. The macroscopic response of paper to moisture variations is governed by complex mechanisms originating in the material at all length-scales down to the fiber-level. Therefore, a recently-developed method, based on Global Digital Height Correlation of surface topographies is here exploited to measure the full-field hygro-expansion of single fibers, i. e. a surface strain tensor map over the full field of view is obtained as function of time. From the strain field, the longitudinal and transverse hygro-expansion and principle strains can be calculated. Long- A nd intermediate-duration dynamic tests are conducted on softwood and hardwood fibers. A large spread in the softwood fiber's transverse and longitudinal hygro-expansion coefficient ratio was found, while hardwood fibers behave more consistently. Computing the principle strain ratios reduces this spread, as it takes into account the variations of the deformation direction, which is directly affected by the micro-fibril angle (MFA). Furthermore, long-duration tests allow identification of the half-times at which the fibers equilibrate. Finally, the determined major strain angles for all fibers are consistent with the MFA ranges reported in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-74
Number of pages14
JournalNordic Pulp & Paper Research Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2021


  • Global digital height correlation
  • Hygroexpansion
  • Paper fiber
  • Pulp
  • Strain field


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