Fibre suspension flocculation under simulated forming conditions

by Yan, Huawei

Abstract (Summary)
A flow loop system for study of fibre flocculation insuspensions has been developed. The system is designed tosimulate the flow conditions in a paper machine headbox. It isequipped with a radial distributor feeding a step diffuser pipepackage, after which the flow is contracted in a 2-D nozzle.The flow system is also equipped with a secondary flowcontraction with an area reduction ratio of 2:1 after theheadbox nozzle, mimicking accelerations that may take placeduring forming. The flow system is equipped with heating andcooling devices for the study of temperature effects on fibresuspension flocculation. An online dosage device for the studyof chemical effects on fibre suspension flocculation is alsoincluded. The maximum flow velocity in the system is 16m/s.Flowing fibre suspensions were studied using a high speedCCD video camera and transmitted infra-red laser light pulseillumination. Images were taken either separately before andafter or along the secondary contraction. Images of fibreflocculation were evaluated by power spectrum analysis, and themean floc size and the flocculation index were calculated. Aconcept of mean floc area reduction, based on power spectrum,has been introduced to characterise the fibre network insuspensions. By comparingthe fibre flocculation before andafter the secondary contraction, or by following the fibreflocs along the secondary contraction, floc rheologyinformation can be obtained. The effects of chemical additivesand fibre surface modification can also be studied by comparingthe corresponding fibre flocculation.For a bleached softwood kraft pulp suspension at a fibreconcentration of 5 g/l, the fibre flocs along the secondarycontraction have been manually evaluated, and the resultsconfirm that the power spectrum analysis is applicable. Ca 1/5of the flocs were broken into two by the contraction. The meanfloc size increases in MD while in CD it decreases during theflow contraction. Both the floc aspect ratio and the flocorientation in MD increase during the flow contraction. The netfibre floc area is decreased and the fibre flocs areconcentrated by the flow contraction, which is confirmed by anincrease of gray value of the flocs in the light transmissionimages. The dewatering of fibre flocs may thus have alreadybeen started in the suspension before reaching the wires in theforming zone.Some physical influences on fibre suspension flocculationhave been investigated. The results confirm that fibreconcentration and fibre length are the dominating factorsaffecting fibre suspension flocculation. Increasing absoluteflow velocity has an insignificant effect on fibre flocs in theflow contraction. Suppressing turbulence, by increasingsuspension viscosity via a decrease of medium temperature,shows a clear effect on reducing fibre suspensionflocculation.Some chemical influences on fibre suspension flocculationhave also been investigated. A retention aid, flocculant,cationic polyacrylamide, C-PAM, increases fibre suspensionflocculation by a bridging mechanism, and a formation aid,class II, anionic polyacrylamide, A-PAM, decreases fibresuspension flocculation by suppressing turbulence. Fibresuspension flocculation can also be reduced by surfacemodification with carboxymethyl cellulose, due to a reductionof the friction between fibres. The amount of fibre dispersiondepends on the ionic form of the grafted CMC, due to theelectrostatic repulsion between negatively charged groups onthe grafted CMC moieties. Xyloglucan, a non-ionic polymer,which is strongly adsorbed on cellulosic fibre surfaces, showsa similar influence on reduction of fibre suspensionflocculation by decreasing the friction between fibres.The fibre flocculation data in the flow loop system werealso compared with the corresponding paper formation data inthe sheets produced on a pilot paper machine, both with andwithout chemical additives. The results show that the fibresuspension flocculation is well correlated with the paper sheetformation: when the fibre suspension flocculation is increased,the corresponding paper sheet formation deteriorates,especially in the large scale range.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Kungliga Tekniska högskolan

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation



Date of Publication:01/01/2004

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