3-D Characterization of the Structure of Paper and Paperboard and Their Application to Optimize Drying and Water Removal Processes and End-Use Applications

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The three dimensional structure of paper materials plays a critical role in the paper manufacturing process especially via its impact on the transport properties for fluids. Dewatering of the wet web, pressing and drying will benefit from knowledge of the relationships between the web structure and its transport coefficients. The structure of the pore space within a paper sheet is imaged in serial sections using x-ray micro computed tomography. The three dimensional structure is reconstructed from these sections using digital image processing techniques. The structure is then analyzed by measuring traditional descriptors for the pore space such as specific surface ... continued below

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Shri Ramaswamy, University of Minnesota & B.V. Ramarao, State University of New York August 29, 2004.

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Description

The three dimensional structure of paper materials plays a critical role in the paper manufacturing process especially via its impact on the transport properties for fluids. Dewatering of the wet web, pressing and drying will benefit from knowledge of the relationships between the web structure and its transport coefficients. The structure of the pore space within a paper sheet is imaged in serial sections using x-ray micro computed tomography. The three dimensional structure is reconstructed from these sections using digital image processing techniques. The structure is then analyzed by measuring traditional descriptors for the pore space such as specific surface area and porosity. A sequence of microtomographs was imaged at approximately 2 m intervals and the three-dimensional pore-fiber structure was reconstructed. The pore size distributions for both in-plane as well as transverse pores were measured. Significant differences in the in-plane (XY) and the transverse directions in pore characteristics are found and may help partly explain the different liquid and vapor transport properties in the in-plane and transverse directions. Results with varying sheet structures compare favorably with conventional mercury intrusion porosimetry data. Interestingly, the transverse pore structure appears to be more open with larger pore size distribution compared to the in plane pore structure. This may help explain the differences in liquid and vapor transport through the in plane and transverse structures during the paper manufacturing process and during end-use application. Comparison of Z-directional structural details of hand sheet and commercially made fine paper samples show a distinct difference in pore size distribution both in the in-plane and transverse direction. Method presented here may provide a useful tool to the papermaker to truly engineer the structure of paper and board tailored to specific end-use applications. The difference in surface structure between the top and bottom sides of the porous material, i.e. "two-sidedness" due to processing and raw material characteristics may lead to differences in end-use performance. The measurements of surface structure characteristics include thickness distribution, surface volume distribution, contact fraction distribution and surface pit distribution. This complements our earlier method to analyze the bulk structure and Z-D structure of porous materials. As one would expect, the surface structure characteristics will be critically dependent on the quality and resolution of the images. This presents a useful tool to characterize and engineer the surface structure of porous materials such as paper and board tailored to specific end-use applications. This will also help troubleshoot problems related to manufacturing and end-use applications. This study attempted to identify the optimal resolution through a comparison between 3D images obtained by monochromatic synchrotron radiation X-CT in phase contrast mode (resolution  1 m) and polychromatic radiation X-CT in absorption mode (res.  5 m). It was found that both resolutions have the ability to show the expected trends when comparing different paper samples. The low resolution technique shows fewer details resulting in lower specific surface area, larger pore channels, characterized as hydraulic radii, and lower tortuosities, where differences between samples and principal directions are more difficult to detect. The disadvantages of the high resolution images are high cost and limited availability of hard x-ray beam time as well as the small size of the sample volumes imaged. The results show that the low resolution images can be used for comparative studies, whereas the high resolution images may be better suited for fundamental research on the paper structure and its influence on paper properties, as one gets more accurate physical measurements. In addition, pore space diffusion model has been developed to simulate simultaneous diffusion in heterogeneous porous materials such as paper containing cellulose fibers and void spaces. Stochastic dynamic approach along with random walk simulation has been implemented to model simultaneous diffusion in 3D matrix of cellulose fibers and pores. This model is suitable for simulating simultaneous diffusion in porous materials under variety of conditions including low relative humidity conditions where diffusion occurs predominantly through one medium i.e. pore space and high humidity conditions where both mediums (i.e. fiber and pore spaces ) are highly conductive. Both pore as well as effective diffusivity values for paper samples of varying structure were compared with the experimental values and are in fair agreement especially through the thickness direction of samples. In addition to this, intrinsic fiber phase diffusivity has been estimated for the first time using a combination of simulation and experimental data.

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  • Report No.: ID 13873
  • Grant Number: FC36-00ID13873
  • DOI: 10.2172/883703 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 883703
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc874564

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Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • August 29, 2004

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Nov. 22, 2016, 1:35 p.m.

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Shri Ramaswamy, University of Minnesota & B.V. Ramarao, State University of New York. 3-D Characterization of the Structure of Paper and Paperboard and Their Application to Optimize Drying and Water Removal Processes and End-Use Applications, report, August 29, 2004; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc874564/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.