I mentioned last week that there were many things to think about coming out of the 5th Annual Light Green Machine Institute Conference.
Dr. Steven Keller, of Miami University, in his talk on headboxes, came up with a thought that was a stunner for me.
It went like this. A typical headbox is handling roughly 26,000 gpm of water. In the process of papermaking, we accelerate that water to roughly 60 miles per hour (100 km/hr) and then immediately decelerate it to zero (in the foils on the fourdrinier or gap forming section).
Folks, 26,000 gallons of water weighs 216,840 pounds (98,000 kg). Not only do we have to supply the energy to accelerate and decelerate this (F = ma), we must supply the supporting structures to create a stable environment for all this activity to occur.
Now, we have all realized this is going on, but we likely have not thought of it in the terms Dr. Keller so brilliantly presented.
No solutions here, but only an expression of frustration felt by papermakers through the centuries: how can we eliminate all this water in the forming section?