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Mechanisms of water removal during wet pressing

Phase-1: Compression of sheet and felt begins: air flows out


structures until the sheet is saturated; no hydraulic pressure is
built up (and therefore, no driving force for dewatering)

Phase-2: The sheet is saturated and hydraulic pressure within
the sheet structure causes water to move from the paper into the
felt. Phase 2 continues up to the mid nip where total where total
pressure reaches maximum. It has been shown that hydraulic
pressure reaches maximum just prior to mid nip.

Phase 3: The nip expends until the hydraulic pressure in the
paper is zero, corresponding to the point of maximum paper
dryness.

Phase-4: Both paper and felt expend and the paper becomes
unsaturated. Although a negative pressure is created in both
structures a number of factors cause water to return from the
felt to the paper.
Principles of pressing

Total pressure = Mechanical + Hydraulic

Hydraulic pressure gradient causes water to flow in the
path of least resistance

Mechanical pressure gradient equal and opposite hydraulic
gradient


Types of presses

The most important requirement in press design is to provide the
shortest path for the water to flow in escaping from the nip.

The shortest distance is equal to the felt thickness (vertical
direction). The main water flow should be perpendicular to the
felt and lateral flow should be minimized

Plain Press
Top roll positioned so that sheet and fabric wrap this roll
ahead of nip to remove air bubbles which would cause press
wrinkles in sheet.

Water pressed out of sheet and fabric flows back on surface
of bottom roll against roll's rotation.

Plain press limited to 1,000 fpm (305 mpm) speed.






Double felted press (Above 130 g/m
2
)
Double felting a nip allows water removal in both directions.

Double felted presses are particularly beneficial in the first press
where the greatest quantity of water is being handled and where
the greatest tendency for crushing exists.

In addition, double felted presses have more equal distribution of
the fibre pressure on the top and bottom side of the sheet resulting
in less sheet two-sidedness as related to ink, size, and coating
absorption.



Suction Press
1/8 inch (3.2 mm) diameter holes drilled on about 5/16 inch
(8 mm) centres over the entire roll surface

Air or spring-loaded seals are positioned between the inside
shell surface and the box. Liquid ring type vacuum pumps
or centrifugal exhausters, located in the machine room
basement or outside the building, provide the vacuum.

Felt and sheet wrap suction zone to remove air bubbles and
to seal suction zone

Water from sheet and felt drawn into holes to bottom roll
by vacuum and hydraulic pressure.

Water must travel both vertically and horizontally through
felt to holes in bottom roll.

Sheet is shown contacting felt after leaving press. This
should be avoided because of rewetting of sheet.

Felt and sheet travel is arranged to wrap the suction area so
that their surfaces at the in-going nip are under vacuum.
This provides a seal against air leakage and removes any air
trapped between the felt and sheet, preventing blowing and
felt wrinkles.

As the felt and sheet pass through the nip between the
suction and plain rolls, water is squeezed out at the in-going
nip. Capillary action of the felt fibres and the hydraulic
pressure developed by the compression of the felt and sheet
in the nip cause water to flow in through the felt and into
the holes of the suction roll.





Grooved Press
The grooves in the roll cover provide easily accessible receptacles
for expelled water.

The helically cut grooves are typically 2.5mm (0.1) in depth, 0.5
mm (0.02) wide on 3.2 mm (0.125) centres i.e. 8 grooves per
inch

The maximum lateral distance for water travel in the grooved
press is only 1.3mm (0.05)

Since the grooved rolls are solid, higher pressure can be applied

The water caught in the grooves is thrown off by centrifugal force
at high roll surface speeds and roll can be cleaned by the action of
spray or doctor blades

Blind drilled roll





Cover of the solid roll is drilled with small closely spaced
holes.

The wells tend to self clean by the action of centrifugal force








Fabric press
A multiple-weave, non-compressible fabric belt passes
through the nip between the felt and the rubber-covered
roll to provide void volume to receive the expressed water.

Water is removed from the fabric by passing it over a
suction box on the return run.

The shrink-sleeve press is a simplified modification of the
fabric press, utilizing only a non-compressible fabric jacket
or sleeve which is shrunk over the press roll to provide void
volume.

Modern press felt designs with high void volumes have
reduced the benefits of a separate non-compressible fabric
or sleeve.


Extended nip press
The "Extended- nip Press" features a very wide nip to give the
sheet a long dwell time at high pressure.

When used as the last nip, this press provides not only a much
drier sheet, but also a stronger sheet due to improved
consolidation of the web structure.

Key components are the stationary pressure shoe and the
impervious elastomer belt, which form the bottom portion of the
double-felted nip.

The shoe is continuously lubricated by oil to act as a slip bearing
for the belt.

The average loading of 4100 kPa (600psi) along the 25 cm (10
inch) length of shoe is equivalent to 1050 kN/m (6000 pli) by the
normal method of specifying press load.






45% or higher dryness on linerboard and other grades

Improved uniformity of dryness as a result of longer time in the
nip

Increased physical properties such as Mullen burst, ring crush,
and tensile

Use of lower strength pulps for a given sheet strength

Reduced refining with a given pulp

Increased production off dryer limited machines


Mechanism involved in the expressing of water from the
web

The Poiseulles equation describes between flow rate, pressure
gradients etc. and the capillary dimensions for flow through
capillary systems

8 .
. . .
4
l
r n p
Q





Where Q= flow rate, vol/time unit
p = Pressure drop across the capillary system
r = Radius of the capillary
= Viscosity of the liquid
n = number of capillaries
l = Length of capillary

If we consider two capillary radii systems, having the same
capillary fraction (same void fraction), and capillary radii r1 and
r2 then the ratio between the volume flow rates Q1 and Q2 of the
two systems under a given pressure drop p wiil be

Q1 = (r1)
2

Q2 (r2)

Both the capillary radii and void fraction of the press felt are
much larger than those of paper.The capillary suction p of a
wetted capillary is given by:
p = 2/r, where = surface tension of water/ air and
r = capillary radius

The suction in a capillary has a reciprocal relationship to
the capillary radius
The capillaries of paper are much larger than those of felt
The capillary suction of paper are much stronger than
those of the felt
Sheet transfer

Suction pick-up arrangement

Straight-through press arrangement

Suction transfer press arrangement



Twinver press arrangement

Modern three-nip no draw press






















FACTORS INFLUENCING WATER REMOVAL PERFORMANCE

PRIMARY (Influencing out
going sheet dryness
by 4% or more)
SECONDARY
Post nip rewet Initial fabric flow
resistance
In-going sheet dryness In-going fabric dryness
Furnish properties Rewet in the nip at speed
Double felting Shape of pressure profile
Sheet temperature Roll covers
Impulses Fabric design
Fabric pressure
uniformity
Roll venting

Press loading:
Nip load (pounds per lineal inch, pli or kilonewtons per
meter, kNm).
Higher nip loading decreases felt life and increases press
drive load and increases press drive load
Losses are offset by appreciable gains in moisture removal
and improved sheet consolidation

Nip load (kN/m) = Total roll load (kN)
Width of roll face (m)

Nip load (pli) = Total roll load (lb)
Width of roll face (m)

Press action is a function of nip loading per unit area
(pressure) in the nip

Average nip pressure (kPa) = Nip load (kN/m)
Nip width (m)

Average nip pressure (kPa) = Nip load (pli)
Nip width (in)


Press load uniformity:

The largest factor in nip pressure uniformity is the fabric


Peak pressure variations

Bliesner and MacGregor prepared special baseless fabrics
using a fiber diameter of 43 m in one fabric and 19 m in
another. The smaller diameter fiber produced a dryness
nearly 7% higher on 50 g/m
2
sheet (31lb/3000 ft
2
)


Dryness vs fabric fineness

Machine speed:

As speed is increased water removal from the sheet will
decrease with other conditions held constant
The more fundamental variable is nip residence time (NRT)

NRT (msec) = Machine direction nip width
Machine speed

Press impulse:

The effect of press loading and NRT has been
considered as independent variable
Campbell showed that increase in out going sheet
consistency is proportional to the product of pressure
per unit area and duration of press application
Wahlstorm and Schiel used the pressure time product in
relation to wet press water removal
Beck summarized the definition by giving the following
definition:
t
Impulse =
c
P (t) dt = Pave X (tctb)

t
b
= Press load
Machine speed

Impulse is usually expressed as Mpa-sec or psi-sec
Where:

Pave = Average nip pressure, Mpa or psi
P(t) = Pressure any time, Mpa or psi
tb = Time profile begins (entering the nip), sec
tc = Time profile ends (leaving the nip), sec
Two roll press sections is of the order of 0.013-0.02 MPa-
sec

Pressure pulse parameters


Dryness vs impulse, kraft Dryness vs log impulse, kraft


Dryness vs impulse, newsprint Dryness vs impulse,
linerboard

The dryness changes from near 30% at a press impulse of
under 0.007 MPa-sec to near 60% dryness at a press
impulse of 0.07 MPa-sec.

Dryness vs log impulse, roll and extended nip press
Sheet temperature:
Temp of the sheet as it is being pressed can have
significant effects on water removal and thus qualifies as a
primary variable.
As the temp in the sheet is raised both surface tension and
viscosity of water decrease, which lowers resistance of
water movement through the sheet and to ultimate removal
in to a fabric at the press.


Dryness vs sheet temperature

At 33% ingoing moisture level the dryness has increased
from 40% to near 45% with an increase in temp 27
0
C to 82
0
C or 1% drier for each 11
0
C


Interrelationship of process parameters

In-going sheet dryness

At the 35 to 45% dryness level, a near linear relation of
approximately 1% change in outgoing dryness was for
each 2% change in in-going dryness.


Effect of in-going sheet dryness

Basis weight

A change in out going sheet dryness from about 43 to 39%
was observed when basis weight changed from 45 to 120
g/m
2


Effect of basis weight on dryness


Furnish properties
Fiber quality will depend on:
1. Tree species
2. Age of tree
3. Condition of the fiber in the chip entering the pulping
process
4. Chip thickness
5. Types of pulping process
6. Pulping variables
7. Bleaching operations
8. Beating
9. Sheet consolidation

A comparison of cross-sections and stress-strain behavior of
fiber models
When a sheet is pressure controlled, little resistance is
offered to flow of water out of the mat and the mat
elastically rebounds after the sheet emerges from the nip.

The rapid rebound of such furnishes probably influences
their rewet gain.

The deformation of sheet will depend upon higher fiber
surface area, higher basis weight or more swollen
components, then pressing this sheet will be more flow
controlled.

Flow controlled pulps acts as viscous elements, where
sheet resists both deformation upon entering the nip and
elastic expansion once out of the nip.

Deformation of Kelvin elements when either the spring or the
dapshot determines the compression response.

Dryness vs retention value
Felting

The wet fabric is the receptor that acts as an absorptive
interface between the roll and the sheet

Fabric compressive properties are controlled by fabric
condition and design.
The difference in void volume between the compressed
and relaxed conditions is a first approximation of the
fabrics absorptive capacity.

Double felting has been an effective method of
increasing water removal in the press.

Rewet

The quantity of water going back in to the sheet
(rewet) in the expending zone of the nip varies
from 3-35 g/m
2
(WAHLSTORM)