FPInnovations was proud to welcome Professor Srikantha Phani, from the Department of mechanical engineering at University of British Columbia, who spent two weeks (June 18 – June 28) at FPInnovations’ Pointe-Claire laboratory during his sabbatical leave. Professor Phani, a research partner as part of FPInnovations 5-year Tissue Research Strategy (collaboration with university on fundamentals of tissue creping and water absorption), was performing a short study visit aimed at updating the research progress in tissue creping and defining new collaboration to better understanding the flow and deformation mechanics in towel products.
Improvements in the softness, absorbency and strength properties of tissue and towel products can lead to a significant increase in value; however, stronger towels are often found to be less soft and absorbent. The overarching goal of Prof. Phani’s visit was to discuss and work with FPInnovations staff to gain new insights into the flow and deformation characteristics of tissue products. To that end, a combination of laboratory experiments (absorbency and tensile testing), imaging studies, and numerical modelling were used to help build a foundation for a major research activity around the understanding the fundamentals of paper towel water absorption.
Prof. Phani’s main activities at FPInnovations included:
- Touring FPInnovations’ pilot tissue machine and tissue testing labs
- Meeting FPInnovations’ staff to review research progress and plan further research activities
- Presenting a seminar to FPInnovations staff on the simulation and experimental work on better understanding the tissue creping process both in both lab and on real tissue machine
- Conducting tissue testing at FPInnovations’ lab
- Visiting Kruger Products’ Gatineau tissue mill and review the research results with mill staff
- Participating to the dinner FPInnovations hosted for its Program Advisory Committee (PAC) members.
Ultimately, this visit should lead to a renewal of a NSERC CRD in tissue research, with expanded industry-university research consortium. Expected deliverables include a report summarizing the work done in collaboration with FPInnovations (simulation and testing results), as well as a technical seminar on the fundamentals of water absorption by porous materials.