Georgia Journal of Science


The objectives of this study were to compare the mechanical and physical properties of the sheets made using the Vortigen technology (a non-conventional technique that creates very high number vortices in a fluid flow mixture of water, fibers, and chemical additives) with those produced from a conventional method of papermaking and to provide insight into the impact of formation hydrodynamics on sheet properties. The results of formation, ultrasonic stiffness, and creep/accelerated creep measurements of the Vortigen sheets as compared with the standard sheets are presented. Samples of Vortigen (V) and standard (S) sheets (4 samples from each group) were obtained from papers produced on a pilot machine. Formation measurements (that provides a measure of density distribution in a sheet) were performed using a formation tester which is based on beta particle absorption. Measurements of creep and accelerated creep were made at a constant relative humidity (RH) of 80% and a cyclic RH between 30% and 80% for strips cut along the machine direction (MD) and cross machine direction (CD, which is perpendicular to MD) directions.

There was a significant difference between the distributions of basis weights for the two types of papers. The mean coefficient of variation in grammage for the V samples was 8.97 while that for the S samples was 12.60. The mean MD/CD stiffness ratios for the V and S samples were 1.1 and 1.6, respectively. The mean Z-direction longitudinal specific stiffness corresponding to the V samples were 18% greater than the corresponding value for the S samples. The MD strips from the S samples exhibited the smallest creep while the CD strips from the S samples exhibited the largest creep. Creep values corresponding to the Vortigen sheets were between the extreme values of the standard samples. The results of this study indicated that because of the influence of formation hydrodynamics on fiber orientation and formation, in general, the stiffness properties (and specifically the CD stiffness) of the Vortigen samples were greater than those of the standard samples.

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