Multi-scale Simulation of Paperboard Edge Wicking Using a Fiber-resolving Virtual Paper Model

A. Mark, A. Berce, R. Sandboge, F. Edelvik, E. Glatt, S. Rief, A. Wiegmann, M. Fredlund, J. Amini, M. Rentzhog, R. Lai, L. Martinsson, U. Nyman, J. Tryding, Tappi Journal, 11(6):9-16, 2012.


When liquid packaging board is made aseptic in the filling machine the unsealed edges of the board are exposed to hydrogen peroxide. A high level of liquid penetration may lead to aesthetic as well as functional defects. To be able to make a priori predictions of the edge wicking properties of a certain paperboard material is therefore of great interest to paper industry as well as to packaging manufacturers. In this paper a multi-scale framework is proposed that allows for detailed simulation of the edge wicking process. On the fiber micro-scale virtual paper models are generated based on input from tomographic and SEM images. A pore morphology method is used to calculate capillary pressure curves, and on the active pores one-phase flow simulations are performed for relative permeabilities. The results as functions of saturation and porosity are stored in a database. The database is used as input for two-phase flow simulations on the paper macro-scale. The resulting fluid penetration is validated against pressurized edge wick measurements on paper lab sheets with very good agreement. The proposed multi-scale approach can be used to increase the understanding of how edge wicking in paperboard packages depends on the micro-structure.


This work is part of the ISOP (Innovative Simulation of Paper) project which is performed by a consortium consisting of Albany International, Eka Chemicals, Stora Enso, Tetra Pak, Fraunhofer ITWM and Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre.

Authors and Afillations

  • A. Mark, Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre
  • A. Berce, Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre
  • R. Sandboge, Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre
  • F. Edelvik, Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre
  • E. Glatt, Fraunhofer ITWM
  • S. Rief, Fraunhofer ITWM
  • A. Wiegmann, Fraunhofer ITWM
  • M. Fredlund, Stora Enso
  • J. Amini, Stora Enso
  • M. Rentzhog, Stora Enso
  • R. Lai, Eka Chemicals
  • L, Martinsson, Albany International
  • U. Nyman, Tetra Pak
  • J. Tryding, Tetra Pak

Photo credits: Nic McPhee