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Mechanics of fibre networks and materials


Paper constitutes one of the most complex materials among those you encounter in your daily life. In this course, you will be exposed to the intricate mechanics of paper through a number of case studies, in which we will investigate real problem and learn how to solve them.

There is a wide class of materials where a fiber network is the main load-carrying component. This class encompasses paper, paperboard, tissue and many biopolymers. These materials are known to have outstanding stiffness-to-mass ratio which is one of the reasons they are so abandon in nature. We will study this class of materials by considering paper and its applications. Despite being simple in use, paper constitutes one of the most complex materials among those you encounter in your daily life. Paper can be easily tested mechanically and exhibits a whole range of behavior during converting and end-use. Paper is heterogeneous and anisotropic. In a number of applications, it is used beyond its elastic limit. The strength of paper is size-dependent and is different in tension and compression. Furthermore, paper absorbs water, which changes its mechanical properties and dimensions. 


Paper as an engineering material, packaging performance, behaviour of corners in carton board boxes, web dynamics in paper transport systems, statistical aspects of failure of paper products, fracture properties, moisture-induced deformations, creep and relaxation, mechanics in printing nip for paper and board, micromechanics, wood bio-composites – extending the property range of paper products

Learning objectives

After the course, the students should be able to

– describe and analyseimportant paper technology applications using correctsolid mechanics terminology,

– relate the results from the most important methods for mechanical testing of paper and board to the appropriate solid mechanicsterminology,

– describe important aspects of the constitutive modellingof paper and board for analyses of converting and end-use applications,

– demonstrate the benefits of mathematical modellingand numerical analyses in paper technology applications,

– discuss and argue for experimental and numerical results orally and in writing, and

– appreciate the advantages, disadvantages andlimitations of using paper as a renewable material.  

October 14 – 18, 2019

ECTS: 6.0

LOCATION: KTH Solid mechanics, Teknikringen 8 D, floor 1, Stockholm


Schedule: find the preliminary schedule here >>

Contributors Prof. Sören Östlund, KTH, Mikael Nygårds, RISE Bioeconomy, Prof. Artem Kulachenko, KTH,  

Literature/Course material: Niskanen et al., Mechanics of Paper Products, de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin, ISBN 978-3-11-025463-1, 2012

Examination: Home assignments and written examination

Prerequisite: Basic course in solid mechanics 

Course fee: The course is free of charge for PhD-students, postdocs and employees at Swedish universities. International PhD-students and postdocs are entitled to a reduced course fee of SEK 8 200:- (excl. VAT). Industrial participants and participants from institute are welcome to take the course as commissioned education. For participants from a Treesearch partner the course is free of charge; participants from other organisations pay a fee of  SEK 27 300:- (excl. VAT).

Contact persons/Course co-ordinators:

Professor Artem Kulachenko,

The course is given in cooperation with  KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Course registration