Mini-Encyclopedia of Papermaking Wet-End
Part Three: Equipment & Unit Operations
Reptation refers to the diffusion of a high-mass soluble polymer into a pore that has a characteristic size smaller than the polymer's average conformation in solution. Over time the polymer may be able to work its way into the pore "single file," starting at one end. The process of reptation tends to be inhibited by high molecular mass, branched polymer structures, or very high affinity between polymer segments and the substrate. There is evidence that polymers of molecular mass lower than about 10,000 grams per mole are able to reticulate into the pores in the cell walls of kraft fibers.
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