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ORCS: Orientation and rheology of cellulose suspensions in a capillary tube

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

One major route to high performance cellulose based materials is through control of structure at the nanoscale. This applies to a wide variety of applications such as gels, dispersions, composites, films, emulsions. Here we take a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the self assembly of nanocellulose using theory, advanced measurement, and functional studies.

The self assembled structures of cellulose have a major effect on functional properties. This has been demonstrated in several studies, but still we understand the self assembly process only poorly. To gain a deeper understanding we will combine theoretical models on rheological properties together with 3-dimensional imaging of structures, and a physical experimental model for achieving structure.

Main results

  • We were able to study the orientation of components of layered structures with our new polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomographyt (PS-OCT) setup. Its advantage over traditional polarization tools is that it can be used to measure not only average over the studied sample but also local polarization.

  • PS-OCT has potential as a light-weight online measurement tool, which can be used to observe the local orientation of elongated particles during processing, which is useful when developing novel flow geometries e.g. for 3D printing.

  • The new method could allow faster adaptation of new fiber-based materials to e.g. additive manufacturing.


  • Jäsberg, A., Puisto, A., Leppänen, I., Koponen, A. I., and Alava, M. J. Online detection of orientation of cellulose nanocrystals in a capillary flow with polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography. Cellulose, 30, 3539–3550, 2023.

  • Arola, S., Kou, Z., Rooijakkers, B. J. M., Velagapudi, R., Sammalkorpi, M., & Linder, M. B. (2022). On the mechanism for the highly sensitive response of cellulose nanofiber hydrogels to the presence of ionic solutes. Cellulose, 29(11), 6109-6121.

Research Project Managers

Project status

Funded by FinnCERES 2019-2021.


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