3-D Simulation of Paper Structure in View of Optimizing Paper Production, 2006 Papermaker’s Conference
A new computational model of 3-D paper structure was developed in order to simulate the effect of fiber morphology upon paper properties. Indeed, depending on the wood species, the dimensions of the fibers may vary by a factor two or three, which directly influences paper structure and properties. Knowing the size distributions of the fibers, our model creates virtual pieces of handsheets made of real pulps that can be visualized and manipulated. The simulator was validated by quantitative determinations. For a given basis weight, the model calculates the number of fibers in a sample and the main texture properties, i.e. thickness, apparent density, porosity and roughness. The relative bonded area, apparent specific surface and pore size values, which are important factors for assessing mechanical or transport properties, can also be determined. In a relatively short computational time, the model gives the evolution of a property as a function of the variations of one morphological parameter, e.g. fiber length, which can be used in an optimization problem.