An analytical approach to assess the interrelation of surface properties and softness of tissue paper, TAPPI Journal February 2023


Application: Readers may use this information to understand the complexity of tissue surfaces and the need for appropriate characterization, as well as for understanding the interrelation of surface roughness, softness, and bulk properties.

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Author: J. Reitbauer, R. Eckhart, and W. Bauer
An analytical approach to assess the interrelation of surfac
ABSTRACT: The tissue industry constantly strives for improving the overall quality of tissue paper, as customers pay more attention to special quality features when it comes to a purchase decision between different products. As producers need to optimize their processes and furnish mixtures to keep production costs low, accurate and fast methods are crucial for characterization of important tissue properties. Here, we present a method for the characterization of the tissue surface regarding roughness and describe its relation to the tissue surface softness properties, based on a sample set of dry-creped bath tissue (DCT) with different amounts of softwood (SW), hardwood (HW), and nonwood pulp (NWP). The surface of tissue is complex and consists of several overlying structural features; thus, the optical non-contact measurement principle of focus variation was used to provide robust and reliable topographical surface information. Based on the obtained 3D data, areal surface analysis was performed to determine the surface roughness of the tissue samples, which is described by the developed interfacial areal ratio (Sdr) and the power spectral density (PSD). To determine the surface softness properties (TS7) of the tissue, a widely-used tissue softness analyzer (TSA) in the industry was employed. The surface softness (TS7) and the stiffness (D) parameters of this instrument were considered for surface and structural characterization. The results of the surface roughness (Sdr and PSD) and surface softness TS7 measurements show a good linear correlation, with higher surface roughness implying a higher TS7. The presented evaluation of these aspects of tissue softness allows an objective, fast, and accurate assessment of the relevant properties in addition to standard panel tests and is also applicable to other hygiene products.

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