Modelling of heat and moisture transport in a corrugated board stack

University essay from KTH/Skolan för kemivetenskap (CHE)

Abstract: The corrugated board is considered as the second most used packaging material and the world’s environmentally acceptable solution for packaging, with wide range of applications. After the manufacturing process, the corrugated board is cut into sheets and stored in a stack until optimum moisture content has been reached in order to avoid undesired properties. However, due to complex and various structures, it is difficult to estimate the appropriate time so to achieve the acceptable moisture level of the corrugated board stack. So a homogenized model of the stack has to be created which will have the same average properties as the real stack. In order to achieve this goal the behavior of a smaller part of the stack, the unit cell, is investigated. In the second step a homogenized model is created with the average transport of mass and heat. At the end, the unit cell is scaled up. In this master thesis, only the first and the second steps were simulated. This was achieved by creating a 3-D mathematical model using finite element method and simulating its properties in COMSOL Multiphysics®. Four mathematical models were used in the description of the 3-D model: the heat transfer, the moisture transfer, the vapour concentration and the gas pressure. Moreover, by applying the gradient in one direction in each case, the behavior of the detailed unit cell was investigated. Finally different simplified geometries were created and investigated so to approach a homogenized model which described better the average properties of the detailed model. By comparing the results of the models, it was concluded that the homogenized models 2 and 3 approached the values of the second detailed model but only inside of the unit cell. However, the deviation was not negligible and further investigation is required in order to find a new homogenized method.

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