The Paper Science research degrees are part of a dynamic research area within the school. We have close links with industry and much of our research impacts directly on current industry practice. Our academic team are highly rated within the paper science sector, and are regarded as experts in their field.
The range of materials classed as paper is diverse, from bathroom tissue to cardboard; but, despite the physical differences, they have the same chemical composition, consisting primarily of natural cellulosic fibres. The difference in the type of paper arises from the choice of raw material and the influence of the manufacturing process.
Our research covers the influence of factors, such as recycling and process chemistry, on the physical properties of the sheet, and looks at ways to improve them. We also look at improving the efficiency of raw materials and energy in manufacturing processes.
We have strong ties with industry, including collaboration with Aylesford Newsprint, Billerud, Abitibi Consolidated, and M-Real. Our research impacts directly on paper manufacturers, and their suppliers and customers, and we are consistently approached by industry to collaborate and give expert advice on research projects.
Some of our recent research projects include:
-Analysis of factors affecting the pore size distribution of paper
-Measurement and modelling of paper shrinkage during manufacture
The influence of sheet uniformity and starch on the strength of recycled board
To underpin the research and teaching activities, we have established state-of-the-art laboratories, which allow comprehensive characterisation and development of materials. These facilities range from synthetic/textile fibre chemistry to materials processing and materials testing.
To complement our teaching resources, there is a comprehensive range of electrochemical, electronoptical imaging and surface and bulk analytical facilities and techniques.