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C. Rydefalk, A. Hagman, L. Yang and A. Kulachenko. Mechanical response of paperboard in rapid compression – The rapid ZD-tester, a measurement technique. In Advances in Pulp and Paper Research, Cambridge 2022, Trans. of the XVIIth Fund. Res. Symp. Cambridge, 2022 (D. Coffin and W. Batchelor, eds), pp 311–331. FRC, Manchester, 2022.


Paperboard is a common material for packages and other carriers of information. During rotary printing processes, the paperboard is subjected to rapid deformations in the out-of-plane direction as it passes through the nip between the rolls of the printer. Being viscoelastic in nature, the mechanical response of the material to high deformation rates differs from what is measured with conventional testing conducted at slower deformation rates. In this work, a device called the rapid ZD-tester is used to show the response of paperboards subjected to a rapid pressure pulse and compare this to measurements made at lower strain rates in a common universal testing machine. All the tested paperboards show complete recovery within 5 s when being rapidly compressed, while the slower compression to the same pressure leaves a deformation that remains after 5 s. The stiffness response differs between the paperboards, but does not consistently increase or decrease between slow or rapid compressions. The difference in response between slow and rapid compression appears larger for the low-density paperboard in the study. The time scales in the rapid ZD-tester are comparable to those in a printing press, and, therefore, evaluation of the material response of the paperboard measured by this device is relevant in the context of printing applications.

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