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Aktivitäten 2014
PPPS Confernce
9. September 2014 bis 17. September 2014
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Progress in Paper Physics Seminar (Raleigh, NC, USA)


The Progress in Paper Physics Seminar (PPPS) is a periodic conference, where the leading researchers in the research field of pulp and paper science present and discuss their recent results and their scientific progress. During the conference I held a presentation with the title “Assessing the coating layer distribution on paper using UV scanner imaging”.

Associate Professor Dr. Joel Pawlak opened the conference on Monday, September, 8. The keynote speaker Dr. Richard Phillips gave us a very interesting presentation on the global outlook for the pulp and paper industry. His conclusion was that bioenergy and biomaterials may add valuable new products and higher revenue to the pulp mills.

The conference itself consisted of 9 sessions:

  • ·         Cellulose, Cellulose Fiber, and Bond Characteristics
  • ·         Advanced Cellulose and Forest Based Materials
  • ·         Three Dimensional Formability of Paper Products
  • ·         A poster session
  • ·         Physical Properties of Paper
  • ·         Drying, Dimensional Stability and Moisture Effects on Paper
  • ·         Structure of Paper
  • ·         Plastic Deformation of Paper
  • ·         Modeling of Paper


As can be seen from the above list, the conference covered a huge variety of research topics. On the first day we got an overview on the research of single fibers bending stiffness, the fiber-fiber friction and a presentation on a controversial topic: the fiber-fiber bonding mechanisms.

On the second day we learned about the quality requirements of deep drawn paperboard cups and how difficult numerical and analytical studies of the process can be. The main defect of deep drawn paperboard cups is the springback, but this problem is not well described yet.

In the afternoon the poster session took place where many researchers presented their results on posters. After the presentations, we walked around and discussed with the researchers at their posters. During the discussion I had the chance to get into contact with Dr. Schaffrath who investigates the deformation behavior of paper in Z-direction.

On Wednesday a PhD student of Professor Sampson presented interesting factors affecting free shrinkage of handsheets and stated that understanding these factors can provide important insights into on-machine shrinkage. In the afternoon I held my presentation, where I introduced a new measurement method for determining the coating layer distribution and I received some important suggestions to improve my work. After the end of the daily sessions we had the possibility to attend to an university tour and visit the campus and the research facilities of North Carolina State University. So we saw how other universities perform their research.

In the evening the social and annual banquet took place. During this event the Van Der Akker price for advances in paper physics was handed over to Assoc. Prof. Joel Pawlak.

On the last day of the conference the focus was put on the plastic deformation and modelling of paper. Amanda Mattson and Tetsu Uesaka, a well known research scientist in the field of pulp and paper research, showed us that there are other possibilities to characterize a fiber network in order to meet the future requirements on materials.

In the afternoon we left Raleigh and began our field trip towards Miami University, Oxford, OH.

Domtar Paper, Kingsport Mill


The paper mill is located at Kingsport, Tennessee and has the only sulphur free pulp mill in the US. The history of this mill starts at the beginning of the 20th century, so the mill is an old and traditional facility. They renewed the whole mill ten years ago.

The raw material for the production process is chipped hardwood, which comes from sawmills around the area. This area is a typical hardwood area with large woods and lakes. They do not have a chipping-facility. The pulp mill produces chemical pulp with a Kappa-Value of 10 after bleaching. As mentioned, the pulp process is the only Soda-Process in the US. The Soda-Process uses just NaOH for cooking and no Na2S; therefore, it is free of sulphur. The advantages of this process is that it is complete free of H2S odor. This is important when you consider that the mill is located nearby the town and the home of people. One of the disadvantages of a Soda-Process is the weaker tear Index of the chemical pulp because of the missing S2-Ions with its high selectivity due to chain length of the molecules. Due to fact that hardwood has short fibres, the chain length and the tear index are not main parameters. The bleaching plant has three steps. The first step is an oxygen delignification process; the second and third step is a conventional ClO2 step with an alkaline extraction in-between. The pulp mill has a capacity of ~290.000 tons per year.

The paper machine was manufactured by Metso and was originally built for an European company. This company went bankrupt and so they could not afford buying this machine anymore. Domtar bought it and built it at Kingsport instead of three old machines. It is a state of the art woodfree copy paper machine with a gap-former, single-nip shoe press and a single-teared pre-drying section and a film-coater. They use PCC that comes from an online-plant as filler and their own chemical hardwood pulp. The percentage of reinforcement pulp is around 10% and is delivered by kraft-pulp-mills. They perform separated refining and mix the three components in the stock-preparation. This mill produces only Rolls with standard-trim width. These rolls are sold to customers as well as to the own Domtar converting-plants.

Special thanks to the manufacturing support manager Mr. Roger Smith and his team. They gave us a very interesting tour though this mill and had some time for a talk and questions.

Wausau Paper, Harrodsburg Mill


Wausau Paper is located at Harrodsburg, Kentucky. We met Dr. Gary Rudemiller, Vice President Operations. He showed us the Harrodsburg mill. This mill produces away from home tissue products. Wausau paper has many patents for tissue spenders. Their focus is on away from home products.

Wausau mill has one paper machine and a big converting-facility. The capacity of the converting facility is bigger than the production capacity of the paper machine, also its need for different qualities. Therefore, they have to sell and buy mother-reels.

The paper machine itself is a one of the first Voith ATMOS machines and was built in 2010 with an investment of 220 million US-$. The machine can be run as a conventional tissue machine and as an ATMOS machine. They perform a four-week conventional production and afterwards three weeks of ATMOS production.

The ATMOS process is a special tissue production process from Voith. Tissue produced on an ATMOS machine has a better quality regarding softness and bulk. The main part of this process is the ATMOS cylinder. It’s a kind of through air drying process. The difference to a conventional TAD process is that they also use a forming-fabric, but instead of hot air, they use the off-steam from the Yankee-cylinder. The paper web is located between two forming fabrics supporting the wet paper web, which comes from the former and therefor the web dries restraint. A forming felt applies the pressure on the ATMOS vacuum cylinder. The hot off-steam is sucked through this paper-web and pre-dries the paper. Afterwards the drying of the paper is finished on a Yankee-cylinder. The amount of energy is higher than on a conventional tissue production, but lower compared to TAD. This process can be seen as a hybrid-process with better quality than conventional tissue and better energy consumption than TAD.

IP Research Facilities, Cicinnati, OH


On Monday we were allowed to see one of the biggest research laboratories in the world. International Paper (IP) is a global leader in the packaging and paper industry and supplies a wide range of products that people rely on every day. The technology center of IP is located in the suburbs of Cincinnati. Mr. Crawshaw, the manager of the IP technology center gave us a great tour through the research facilities of IP. Technological improvement and research of the whole IP Company is focused at this place. Around 300 researchers are working in different groups at continuous improvement and trouble shooting for the IP-mills. They have a fiber lab with laboratory digesters to do laboratory cooking of pulp and also lab-film-coaters and a good equipped wet and dry-laboratory. For example, they are able to do dynamic sheet-forming. This is really impotent when you want to get a paper-sheet with a fiber-orientation in z direction. Regarding paper-analyses, they have also a variety of possibilities. They can do TAPPIO-analyses to get a CD or MD profile and they have the possibility to do mass spectrometry, gas chromatography, liquid chromatography and they even own a SEM and an ESEM. For advanced structural paper analysis they use their X-ray diffractometer. Every associated paper mill sends its samples to the technology center and due to the well equipped research facility they can find solutions for any product related problem.

Miami University, Oxford, OH


On Saturday we arrived at Miami University in Oxford Ohio. Prof. Steven Keller gave us a tour around the campus and showed us the most important buildings on the campus. The first time when hearing the name Miami University one might affiliate the name to the city in Florida. In fact, Miami’s name reflects the history of the Native American tribe that once inhabited the Miami Valley region of Ohio. Miami University maintains strong ties with the Miami Tribe which is now located in Oklahoma. Miami University is an Ohio public university and was founded in 1809. Miami offers 120 bachelor, 60 master and 12 doctoral degree programs. There are more than 17000 students enrolled on the Oxford campus.

The students we have met on Saturday evening explained us the student life at Miami University. In the first year of enrolment student are usually accommodated at the Oxford campus and live together in apartments. In the following years students can choose whether to stay on campus or to live off campus in houses. Usually the houses are ambiguous named so that the students do not refer on their addresses but on the house names.

There is an own division for housing, dining, recreation and business services. Compared to Austria, universities in the US offer a broad variety of programs to care about the students also in their spare time. One reason for that is, that the city itself has a total population of 21000 and the city is not prepared to offer such a wide range of services.

On Monday Prof. Keller and his students guided us through the paper testing laboratory of the Department of Chemical Engineering. The paper testing laboratory contains the standard testing equipment and also some special instruments Prof. Keller and his research team use for their research. One of these measurement devices is used for soft X-radiography imaging for acquiring 2D radiographic images. Another special device has been developed by Prof. Keller for mapping the thickness and apparent density by twin laser profilometry. 



Autor: Oliver P. Hunstein

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