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Paper mechanics

The mechanical properties of paper materials are of great importance for their function during converting and use of the final products. More effective production, less waste, and optimal material use require good mechanical properties.

Within paper mechanics, we aim at identifying the relevant properties of paper materials, developing test methods to quantify these properties, and predicting their effects in different applications. We combine our expertise in material mechanics and structural mechanics, with knowledge on processes and products that are specific for paper materials and products, to investigate and propose solutions to problems in the paper and packaging industry. We work mainly with packaging materials, like paperboard and corrugated board, where the mechanical properties are crucial for the functionality.

Our research on paper mechanics is applied and is mostly performed in cooperation with industry partners, either bilateral or in consortia. We carry out larger research projects on paperboard and corrugated board within the RISE Bioeconomy research programme.

Advanced characterisation of paper materials

Our research laboratory in Kista gives us unique possibilities to develop new methods to characterise mechanical properties in materials like paper, paperboard and corrugated board, and study the structural mechanics of converting processes and of packaging. We have, for instance, developed methods for characterising properties in the thickness direction, fracture mechanics, and creep. By using climate chambers and climate rooms, we can perform testing in conditions different from the standard climate in our main laboratory.

Beyond standard measurements like tensile testing and SCT, we offer testing with methods that we have developed or improved. The following are some examples:

  • Tensile and compression testing in the thickness direction of the paper or paperboard
  • Measurements of transversal shear
  • Determination of shear strength profiles through the thickness of paperboard
  • Measurements of cohesive fracture properties
  • Creep testing in tension and compression
  • Hygroexpansion measurements using a method that does not add load to the test specimen

More information

Within paper mechanics, we offer both bilateral assignments and projects, and larger multilateral research projects.

We can help you with characterisation of mechanical properties of paper, paperboard and corrugated board, but with our knowledge in material mechanics and structural mechanics we can also offer experimental and theoretical analysis of the effects of the mechanical properties in converting processes and in packaging.

We develop and improve experimental methods for paper materials, converting processes and packaging within our multilateral research projects but also in bilateral projects to be able to address and solve problems the industry has. We work with physically based models to analyse the relations between material properties and the structural mechanics.

Johan Alfthan

Contact person

Johan Alfthan

Senior research associate

+46 10 228 45 82

Read more about Johan

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