Optical methods for fines and filler size characterization: Evaluation and comparison
2016 (English)Report (Other academic)
The pulp fines and mineral fillers in the fine fraction of a papermaking stock influence process conditions and sheet properties. The influence is largely dependent on the size and shape of the particles. Quantitative characterization of the size and shape of fines and fillers would aid in process control and prediction of product properties. Thus, the aim of the study was to evaluate and compare optical instruments which can be used to quantitatively characterize the fine fraction of a papermaking stock. The compared instruments were the Mastersizer2000 from Malvern, based on diffraction scattering of a laser beam, the ImageStream from Amnis, and the Fiber Tester and Fiber Tester Plus from ABB Lorentzen & Wettre. The last three instruments are all based on imaging of the particles and have spatial resolutions ranging from 0.33 µm to about 10 µm per pixel.
All instruments overestimated the size of calibration spheres with known sizes. In several cases, calibration particles that were smaller than the spatial resolution of the instrument were detected. In these cases, the relative measurement error was large, likely due to positioning and quantization errors. It is also suggested that the oversizing was partly due to dissimilar optical properties of the calibration particles, compared to the typical sample, and that better calibration materials for fines need to be developed.
For the image-based instruments, the relative share of fines and filler particles increased with as the size of the measured particles decreased. Thus, with higher spatial resolution, more particles were detected. However, the shape of the particle size distribution depended on the resolution and the field-of-view. The ImageStream resolved single PCC particles, which has not previously been done using flow microscopy. Due to its limited field-of-view, the ImageStream could not measure the largest fines, which were detected by the Fiber Tester and Fiber Tester Plus. While the Fiber Tester Plus did not resolve single PCC particles, it detected, due to its higher resolution, a higher share of smaller particles than the Fiber Tester. Overall, the ImageStream and the Fiber Tester Plus were found to be complementary.
The diffraction-based method struggled to measure small fines. It is proposed that small fines diffracted light insufficiently to be detected by the instrument. The obtained result was also highly sensitive to the choice of refractive index; a fact that some of the previous users apparently were not aware of.
In summary, image-based methods were found to perform better than the diffraction-based method when measuring on fines and mixtures of fines and fillers, while the highest resolution image-based instrument and the diffraction-based method were best when measuring on pure fillers.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Innventia AB , 2016. , 55 p.
, Innventia Report, 717
Stock, fine fraction, fines, fillers, size, shape, morphology, particle size distribution, particle characterization, flow microscopy, laser diffraction, flow cytometry
Paper, Pulp and Fiber Technology Reliability and Maintenance
Research subject Production Engineering; Fibre and Polymer Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-180719OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-180719DiVA: diva2:896445
FunderSwedish Energy AgencyVINNOVAÖnnesjö Foundation
QC 201601222016-01-212016-01-212016-01-22Bibliographically approved