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Experimental investigation of a model forming fabric Gilchrist, Seth

Abstract

Paper making involves three fabrics: forming, pressing, and drying. The forming fabric is responsible for sheet forming, the initial dewatering of a low concentration pulp suspension into a wet sheet of paper. In the process of forming, topographical and hydrodynamic marks can be transferred from the drainage media (the forming fabric) to the sheet produced. An experimental investigation of a model forming fabric was performed to identify the geometric parameters having the largest influence on hydrodynamic wire mark. The data were also compared with the numerical simulations of Huang. To simplify the problem, justifiable engineering simplifications were made. The second phase (the fibres) was removed and the machine-direction filaments were neglected. This reduced the problem to investigation of flow through a bank of dissimilar cylinders. It was desired to find the most important geometrical parameter to reduce flow non-uniformity in the paper side flow field. Particle image velocimetry, pressure drop and flow visualization tests were conducted to investigate the flow through the array of cylinders. It was found that with a cylinder surface separation of 0.75$\times$ the paper side cylinder diameter the pressure drop tended toward the sum of the rows, and the paper side flow field was nearly identical to the paper side row only flow field, regardless of the backing side cylinder dimensions and configuration. It was seen that when the pressure drop through the bank of cylinders was equal to the sum of the rows’ pressure drops the paper side flow field was the same as the paper side row only flow field. As such, pressure drop can act as an indication of when the machine side row will not affect the paper side flow field.

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