Two physical phenomena which determine fundamental possibilities of paper forming are studied. The two phenomena are (i) laminar/turbulent transition and (ii) decay of turbulence. At first, the relevance of the processes to paper making is reviewed and discussed. The state of the boundary layers (laminar or turbulent) on split vanes and the decay of turbulence in the free stream are found to be of uttermost importance for the control of layer purity, formation and other properties of the final paper. Experiments in which these two processes are studied by visualisations are presented. The experiments emphasize the impact of fibres on these processes, as compared to what is found with pure water. All experiments are performed in model experiments were the structures in the flow are visualised by the addition of small, flake-like particles. It is shown that the addition of fibres radically change the physics of the flow. In a water table experiment, the addition of fibres is seen to promote the production of turbulent spots. At high enough fibre concentrations, the flow of water and fibres is fully turbulent even if a flow of pure water is laminar. In decay of turbulence, the fibres are seen to radically change the energy transfer between different scales so that intermediate and small scales remain active for longer times. It is concluded that fibres have large effects on laminar-turbulent transition and turbulence
decay and that improved knowledge of these effects are a corner stone in the understanding of head box flow and its relations to the resulting paper quality.