Chemical and Physicochemical Investigation of an Aminoalkylalkoxysilane As Strengthening Agent for Cellulosic Materials

AMDES (aminopropylmethyldiethoxysilane) was used to investigate the physicochemical and chemical events related to the introduction of aminoalkylalkoxysilanes in cellulosic materials. Using <sup>29</sup>Si CP-MAS and <sup>1</sup>H NMR to study the reactivity and structural modification of AMDES in the paper it was shown that polymerization occurs in situ. The distribution of the active compound on the surface of the fibers and throughout the fibers’ thickness was visualized by SEM-EDS. A relation between moisture content, fiber swelling, and uptake of AMDES was found. To better represent old and brittle documents, the paper was predegraded by oxidation with sodium hypochlorite. XRD confirmed the advanced destruction of the amorphous areas of cellulose. Adding AMDES in the oxidized paper resulted in improved mechanical properties, a roughly unmodified degree of polymerization of cellulose, but a slight increase in the yellowing, probably due to several possible reaction products such as imines, amine, amides, and Maillard reactions products. The deacidification efficacy was established and the strengthening effect was shown to arise from the interaction of AMDES with the cellulose fibers.