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The Mechanics of Web Spreading - DR Roisum 1

Figure 1

Normal Entry Law

The web will seek normal entry (right ∠ to roller axis) at the point of contact. Figure 2
Direction Right Angle
of Travel Getting Normal
If the web is not currently entering normal to the roller, it will attempt to get
there at an exponentially decreasing rate.
Direction Edge Position
of Travel Error

Edge Position

Upstream Downstream
Roller Roller

Unwind Windup
or Roller or Roller

Edge Position Error vs Time

Edge Position
Error (x)

Figure 3
Spreading Forces
There are three forces that can move a web outward from its centerline.

Lateral Force Bending Moment Folding

2 The Mechanics of Web Spreading - DR Roisum

Figure 4
Combined Bending and Tension
Bending from spreaders or misaligned rollers, tension from line tension.

Bending, No Tension

Top View

Side View End View

Bending, With Lo Tension

Top View Distribuion

Side View End View

Bending, With Hi Tension

Top View Distribuion

Side View End View

Figure 5
Concave Spreader Roller
This spreader is a simple roller whose diameter at the ends > the center.

Optimum Design

D0 D1

Simpler Design

D0 D1

.3L .4L .3L


Straight Roller Conversion

A couple wraps
D0 D 1 of tape
The Mechanics of Web Spreading - DR Roisum 3

Figure 6 Figure 8
Concave Spreader Mechanics The Bowed Spreader Roller
Surface speed variations across the roller induce spreading. The bowed roller is a bearing supported cover on a curve stationary bar.

Diameter and Surface Speed Profile of the Concave Roller

Bowed spreader roller drawing from

Spencer Johnston.

Hi Speed Lo Speed Hi Speed

Resulting Ingoing Web Tension Profile

Hi Tension Lo Tension Hi Tension

Induced Moment and Shape

CL View of Left Half Web Only for Clarity

M The tension distribution is replaced

by an equivalent tensile force at the
centroid and a bending moment.

However, the law of normal entry is

violated by the angle of the web at
the point of contact with the roller ...

Figure 9
Bow Shape
Superposing the Lateral Force gives the Final Shape The axle of a bowed roller is usually bent into an arc of a circle.
CL View of Left Half Web Only for Clarity
V The only way to get the web back to
normal entry is by superposition of an b
outward lateral force.
Thus, the resulting shape from a
Normal Entry combination of a nonuniform tension
distribution and lateral force meets Lc
the normal entry/exit laws as well as
observations of spreader behavior.
Radius of Curvature
2 2
L c + 4b
r = Typical radii: 20-200 m
for large radii: Typical bows: 5-100 mm

Lc 2
r ≅

Figure 7
CD Web Stress/Strain in a Concave Spreader Roller
Data Courtesy Dr. Ronald Delahoussaye
Figure 10
141 psi 77 psi -35 psi CD Web Stress/Strain in a Bowed Spreader Roller
Data Courtesy Dr. Ronald Delahoussaye
15 psi 14 psi 76 psi

0.0012" 177psi 167 psi 43 psi

9 psi 8 psi -1 psi
1.20E-03 Thick
1.57E+05 MD Modulus
1.17E+05 CD Modulus
6 psi 3 psi -1 psi 0.0020"
1.60E-01 MD Poisson
6.00E+00 Width
1.20E+01 Span
1.50E+00 Tension Inputs:
7.50E-01 Radius 1.20E-03 Thick
4.50E+01 Bow Plane 1.57E+05 MD Modulus
9.00E+01 Wrap 1.17E+05 CD Modulus
7 psi 3 psi -1 psi
6 psi 3 psi -1 psi 1.68E+03 Profile 1.60E-01 MD Poisson
6.00E+00 Width
1.20E+01 Span
1.50E+00 Tension
7.50E-01 Radius
4.50E+01 Bow Plane
9.00E+01 Wrap
-1 psi 0 psi 0 psi 1.68E+03 Profile
0 psi 0 psi 0 psi

0 psi 0 psi 0 psi 0 psi 0 psi 0 psi

Upstream Roller (Poisson

0 psi 0 psi 0 psi

Upstream Roller
4 The Mechanics of Web Spreading - DR Roisum
The Mechanics of Web Spreading - DR Roisum 5

Figure 11 Figure 15
Effect of Bow & Traction on the Amount of Spread Bow Orientation Changes Span Lengths
The optimum bow for maximum spread depends on tension and traction. A bow turned into the sheet makes the center span length longer/tighter.

Peak Spread: Edges

1. Maximum Traction
2. Bow sized near onset of slippage
+ Spread

Figure 16
Stresses at a Bowed Roller
Bow Lateral and bending forces both contribute to move the web outward.

Velocity Vectors (left half)

T1 < T2 < T3
T Tension

CL Lateral

Figure 12
Entering/ Exiting Span Ratio
The entering/exiting span ratio is desirably about 2:1.

Before 2 1 After
Roller Spreader Roller

Figure 17
Wrap Effects on Bowed Roller Spreading
As the wrap increases, so does the carry outward effect. For 180° wrap:

Figure 13 Carry Out

Spreader Roll Wrap Angle Web Exits Here
The bowed roller wrap angle is typically around 30°.

Web Enters Here

Spreader α

Figure 14
Bowed Spreader Roll Bow Orientation
The bow is pointed downstream on the perpendicular bisector of the wrap.

Bow Direction

Rotate Bow INTO web IDEAL BOW DIRECTION Rotate Bow OUT OF web
to tighten to tighten
slack CENTER slack EDGES
6 The Mechanics of Web Spreading - DR Roisum

Figure 18 Figure 21
Bowed Roller Web Path Effect of Friction on Pipe/D-Bar Spreaders
Web streamlines for various deckle positions. The web is steered by bar/web friction.

Tension/Friction Profile

W2 Hi Tension Lo Tension

Induced Moment and Shape


M Remember, the Normal Entry Law

applys only to non-slipping rollers.

Thus, the web does NOT have to

enter a sliding pipe or D-b spreader
normal to the local axis.


Figure 22
A 'Snake' Shaped D-Bar
Web positions with a positive curvature may wrinkle or overlap slits.

If center of local arc

lies above the bar,
Bar Shape then it has a
(Position) R>0 positve curvature
W0 and vice-versa
C R<0

Bar Slope
(1st Derivative)

Figure 19
D-Bar Spreader
A D-Bar spreader is a stationary bar with intermediate jack adjustments.

Web Bar Curvature Curvature and the d2 y
Jack (2nd Derivative) 2nd derivative of dx2
Beam bar position are κ =
+ Contract closely related. dy 2 3/2
Contract dx

- Spread

Figure 20
Pipe/D-Bar Mechanics
The web will seek a minimum energy path (length) through the spreader.

After Roller
Figure 23
The Dual Bowed Roller Spreader
Plan View The dual bowed roller has two fixed bowed rollers for twist/fold spreading.

CL Roller Optional Pivot
for Spread Adjust
Before Roller

End View Energy/
Path Length B

Outward Offset After

The Mechanics of Web Spreading - DR Roisum 7

Figure 24 Figure 27
The Dual Bowed Roller Mechanics Compliant Cover Spreader
Though difficult to see in this view, all entries and exits are normal. Has a very soft cover with special undercut grooving.


Figure 28
Fold Twist Compliant Cover Spreader Principle
The cover defects outward as it passes over the roller.

Cover Deflection - End View Land Deflection - Side View

Spread Tension

Figure 25
The Pos-Z™ Spreader
The Pos-Z™ has two stationary bowed bars for twist/fold spreading.

Roller Web/Cover Paths - Traction Web/Cover Paths - Slippage
Plan View, Left Side Plan View, Left Side
No Spread? Contraction

Web Cover Web Cover


Figure 26 Figure 29
The Pos-Z™ Spreader Mechanics Slatted Spreader Roller
The outward offset comes from twisting/folding, normal entry not enforced. Has cam actuated 'rubber bands' as a cover which expands.

A simple demonstration of the

offset capability of a pair of
Top View angled Pos-Z bars can be
demonstrated as shown at left
using a strip of paper and two
End Cam
Poly Bands

Side View

The Pos-Z spreader provides

web offset because it wraps the
bar at a tiny helix angle such as
exagerated here. Twisting and
Offset folding is simultaneous at the
bars, but the open spans see no
additional strains.
8 The Mechanics of Web Spreading - DR Roisum

Figure 30 Figure 33
Edge Pull Web Stretchers Typical Slippage Induced Spreader Wear
Grip and pull the edges of the web outward. Is maximum near the edges of the web.

Web Stretcher Rollers Tenter


Releases Here

p tr

roller pair Deckle

Clamps Here

Figure 34
Poisson Contraction
Figure 31 The 'Free' spreader.
Contraction by Raised Threads and Grooves
Caused by the increasing CD arc length along the surface.

Raised Thread Rollers Wide Grooved Rollers

(aka worm rolls)

Web Web

No Low High
Tension Tension Tension
Shell Groove

Figure 32
Force Vectors over Rollers and Spreaders
For a tractive bowed roller, a slipping bowed roller, and a slipping bar.

Fully Tractive Bowed Roller Known: Roller Velocity

Web Velocity
Roller & Web Velocity Unknown: Spread
Traction Forces
Web Stresses

Figure 35
Spreading is Temporary
Slipping Bowed Roller Known: Roller Velocity Spreading dissapates due to necking, weave, and camber.
Roller Unknown: Web Velocity
Web Spread Necking Weave Camber
Traction Forces The web will return to its Random disturbances The web has a natural
Force Web Stresses 'natural' width in about which are different for each curvature which moves
1 width downstream. deckle position steadily some deckle positions
moves some deckle positions apart, and others
apart, and others together. together.

Stationary Bar Known: Roller Velocity
Web Velocity
Web Traction Traction Forces
Velocity Force
May be Spread
Known Web Stresses


The Mechanics of Web Spreading - DR Roisum 9

Spread Distribution
While we can adjust average spread, minimum spread is what is important.

1. Pfeiffer, J. David. Web Guidance Concepts

and Applications. TAPPI Finishing and Converting
Conference Proceedings. (October 1977).
2. Pfeiffer, J. David. Web Guidance Concepts
and Applications. Tappi Journal, Vol. 60, No. 12, pp. 53-
58. (December 1977).
Contract Spread 3. Ducotey, Keith S. Dynamic Coefficient of
Friction Including the Effects of Air Entrainment Between a
Roller and Web. M.S Thesis, Web Handling Research
Center at Oklahoma State University. (December 1987).
4. Adams, Richard J. The Influence of Rolls
Figure 37 and Reels on Flutter and Windage. Tappi Journal, Vol. 75,
Spreading Problem Diagnostics No. 11, pp. 215-222. (November 1992).
Using Fault Tree Analysis.

Underpowered New
5. Shelton, John J. Lateral Dynamics of a
Moving Web. Ph.D Thesis, Oklahoma State University.
(July 1968).
Spread 6. Gehlback, Lars S. and D. M. Kedl and J. K.
Adjustment Magnitude
Good. Predicting Shear Wrinkles in Web Spans. Tappi
Avg Spread Too High Eliminate Misalign Wrinkle
Journal, Vol. 72, No. 8, pp. 129-134. (August 1989).
Too Low Demands
on Spreader Eliminate Web Mfg 'Streak'
7. Delahoussaye, Ronald D. Analysis of
Deformations, Stresses and Forces in Webs Encountering
Increase Avg/MinSlit Web Width
Spreading Rollers. Ph.D Thesis, Web Handling Research
Duplex every other web position
Center at Oklahoma State University. (December 1989).
8. Lucas, Robert G. Better Spreading of the
Web in the Winder - and How to Achieve It. Pulp & Paper,
Spread Variance Decrease Drive/Tension Variations Vol. 30, No. 3. (Apr il1977).
Problem with MD
Position Decrease Speed/Traction Variations 9. Feiertag, Bruce A. Selection of Bow for
Decrease Web MD Variations
Curved Axis Rollers. TAPPI Finishing and Converting
Allow for Roll Poisson Width Expansion
Conference Proceedings. (October 1981).
10. Anon. D-Bar Spreader Instructions. Beloit
Corporation Manual #J 045-10006, October 1973.
11. Friedrich, Craig R. Stability Sensitivity of
with CD
Adjust Spreader
Web Wrinkles on Rollers. Tappi Journal, vol 72, no 2, pp
Position Decrease Web CD Variations 161-165. (February 1989).
Misaligned Roller (anywhere) 12. Shelton, John J. Machine Direction Troughs
Other in Web Spans and Corrugations in Wound Rolls. Internal
Report, Web Handling Research Center at Oklahoma
State University. (August 1991).
13. Seo, Y.B. et al. Tension Buckling Behavior
of Paper. Journal of Pulp and Paper Science, vol 18, no 2,
pp J55-J59. (March 1992).


I would like to thank Dr. Ronald Delahoussaye of

Oklahoma State University and Robert Lucas of Beloit
Corporate Research for their assistance in reviewing this