Fibre Orientation Modelling Applied to Contracting Flows Related to Papermaking

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Abstract: The main goal of this work was to develop numerical models for studying the behaviour of fibres in an accelerated flow. This is of special interest for e.g. papermaking. The early stage of the paper manufacturing process determines most of the final properties of a paper sheet. The complexity of studying the flow of fibre suspensions both experimentally and numerically emphasises a need for new ideas and developments.By means of solving the evolution of a convective-dispersion equation, i.e. the Fokker-Planck equation, a fully 3D approach with respect to the position and the two fibre angles, polar and azimuthal angles, following a streamline is presented. As an input to the fibre orientation model the turbulent flow field is solved by Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) with second-order closure in the turbulence model. In this work two new hypotheses have been presented for the variation of the non-dimensional rotational diffusivity with non-dimensional fibre length, Lf /? and the Reynolds number based on the Taylor micro-scale of the turbulence, Re? Parameters for the two new hy- potheses and earlier models are determined with the aim of achieving a general relation and a value of the rotational dispersion coeffcient of stiff fibres in an anisotropic turbulent fluid flow. Earlier modelling work has been focused on solving the planar approach, i.e. assuming all fibres to be in one plane. This planar approach is discussed and compared with the fully 3D approach and its validity is evaluated.The optimization of parameters for the different hypotheses correlated on a central streamline, showed a good agreement with an independent experimental result in the undisturbed region. Moreover, it is particularly interesting that the boundary layer region and the wake region are predicted fairly well and the phenomena are well described, which has not been the case earlier. It seems that the new hypothesis based on the variation of the non-dimensional fibre length, Lf /? gives the best correlation in these shear-layer regions. Further- more it was established that the planar approach fails to predict shear layers, i.e. the boundary layer and the wake regions. As emphasized in the theory section, the planar formulation is strictly valid only if all fibres are oriented in one plane, which is not the case in the shear layers. In the undisturbed region, the 3D and the planar approaches, agree in their results. This leads to the conclusion that both approaches are suitable when shear layers are not studied.