Douglas W. Bousfield
Director of the Paper Surface Science Program
Fluid mechanics • rheology • numerical methods • coating processes
My research is directed at the application of fluid mechanics and rheology to industrial processes such as paper coating, paper web formation, printing, bubble coalescence, filtration, flotation, and polymeric film coating. Emphasis is placed on the development of simplified models to represent specific processes and the verification of these models with experiments. A number of novel experimental tools have been built to show the important mechanisms of various processes. Several unique areas have emerged in this effort understanding these processes. Recently, research on how to use cellulose nanofibers to help generate materials that can replace plastic in packaging applications has been started.
- Particle Motion Modeling
Suspensions are involved in many areas of coating and printing. The need to understand the rheological properties and the final properties of the coating layer has caused a new effort in modeling of particles motion in a flow field. The colloidal forces as well as the hydrodynamic forces are included in the model.
- Coating Flows on Porous Webs
When suspensions and polymer solutions are contacted with a porous substrate, capillary and other external forces can cause the fluid phase to penetrate into the substrate. Unique methods have been developed to describe the coating flow field accounting for this penetration.
- Cellulose Nanomaterials
When paper fibers are mechanically treated, fine scale fibrils are generated, often called cellulose nanofibrils (CNF). These materials have potential to be used in a number of applications such as paints, coatings, medical devices, and construction materials. Of interest in my lab is the use of these materials to displace plastic in food packaging or other single use applications.