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Dynamic Hand Sheet Former for Advanced Fibrous Materials Research

School of Environmental & Forest Sciences








This proposal requests support for the acquisition of a Dynamic Sheet Former (DSF) to fill a critical need for manufacturing fibrous materials on campus. In this era of rising ecological considerations, sustainability and renewability must be considered at the forefront of materials design and process engineering to address the global challenge of sustainable routes to new technologies. To this aim, the Bioresource Science Engineering (BSE) program has begun incorporating naturally derived materials and cleaner fabrication processes into their curriculum, giving students a unique edge to become future sustainability leaders. This is best accomplished through experiential learning, which engages students in hands-on activities, promoting connections from concepts learned in the classroom to real-world situations. By combining interactive lectures, computational work and experimental lab projects, BSE is offering invaluable experience to prepare students for tomorrow's challenges, and the ability to expose students to cutting edge systems at scales relevant to current and upcoming industrial practices is critical. Currently, there are limited options to assemble bio-based fibrous components into macrostructures at UW: either bench-scale methods, or a 1972-pilot-size papermachine. The formers are limited in their control of fiber orientation and are not suited for mass production. Although the latter generates larger volumes of anisotropic products, its extensive demand in time, materials and energy precludes its implementation in large courses for rational design studies. The automated DSF bridges this gap by enabling the manufacturing highly-oriented sheets and laminated structures rapidly and with minimal material input, offering unprecedented opportunities for excellence in multidisciplinary education.


When not in use for laboratory course work, equipment will be made available to UW personal and time can be reserved using the online calendar on the website for the Wollenberg Paper & Bioresource Science Laboratory.

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